If you’ve never heard of the Volkswagen Golf GTE, you’re probably not alone. Even though the GTE has been around for some years across the pond, it’s never made its way to the United States. However, a recent trademark filing suggests that it may not be long before the U.S. gets its first taste of the GTI’s gasoline-electric hybrid equivalent.
The GTE is, at its core, a plug-in hybrid with a slight bent toward performance. The latest GTE was announced alongside the eighth-gen Golf GTI and is powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor fed power by a 13.0-kWh battery pack. All in, the powertrain makes a combined 224 hp, and VW claims the GTE can travel up to 37 miles without ever firing up its gas engine.
In early July of this year, Volkswagen applied to trademark the GTE name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. We reached out to the automaker about the mark and were told by a company spokesperson that “[VW] regularly trademark[s] possible names for all sorts of purposes. This doesn’t mean that a name will necessarily turn up on a production car.” This doesn’t confirm the GTE will make it to our shores anytime soon. That said, having a trademark filed for a car Volkswagen already produces may make bringing that car to the U.S. market just that much easier.
Volkswagen is probably just playing the long game here—trademarks last for 10 years, after all—and having the GTE name in its back pocket means that there won’t be any lawsuits to file or any rebranding to do should it decide to bring the Golf GTE our way after all. Or, perhaps the brand will use it on a different plug-in hybrid model such as a sporty gasoline-electric variant of the Tiguan or Jetta.
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Either way, performance hybrids often merge enjoyable dynamics with fewer emissions and lower fuel costs. While we don’t think Volkswagen is planning the next great Acura NSX competitor, we’re excited to see what it has in store for the future.
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