The new model has the same C-shaped LED daytime running lights as the all-electric battery-powered Golf and shares the marine blue accents that have long been the declared colour scheme of Volkswagen’s e-mobility marketing push. On the GTE, though, they replace exactly the red motif used on the GTI, and the hybrid shares that car’s horizontal fins in the bumper. A small facelift in 2017, saw the GTE left relatively untouched with new LED lights at the front and rear, a new plush infotainment system and new bumpers.
The GTE appears lower and leaner than a standard Golf, too. It’s an advantage of the sports suspension that lowers it by around 10mm, and the 18in alloy wheels – an inch larger than the ones with which Audi chose to supply the A3 e-tron.
Underneath, however, the two cars are virtually indistinguishable. The GTE gets the same 148bhp 1.4 TSI petrol engine, which drives the front wheels in conjunction with a 101bhp electric motor built into the same housing as that used by the bespoke six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.