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More family-friendly hybrids coming: Volkswagen Tiguan and Golf Mark 8.5 plug-in hybrids firming with third mystery model in the wings to target Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Toyota RAV4

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VW has more plug-in hybrids on the cards.
VW has more plug-in hybrids on the cards.

Volkswagen Australia has changed its tune on plug-in hybrids following the launch of its Touareg R large SUV, with the local arm looking to add hybrid models to the mix. 

Ruled in, then out, it looks like several plug-in hybrid Golfs might be on the cards with the release of the Mark 8.5 update, along with next generation Tiguan eHybrid.

Another, mysterious, third model is also under consideration, says Volkswagen. This is likely to be the forthcoming Tayron, a three-row SUV that will take over from the Tiguan Allspace globally. 

“For our market we look at the opportunity to bring in more options, expand on what has now started with Touareg and we’re looking into Golf, Tiguan and eventually [another model] down the track as well”, said Volkswagen Australia General Manager of Marketing and Product Ralph Beckmann.

“Whatever is offered from the factory we will absolutely investigate”, he added. The Tayron has yet to be formally unveiled but CarsGuide understands it will take Tiguan Allspace’s place in the local line-up. 

Petrol will, naturally, feature but with diesel dropped from Golf, Tiguan and Tiguan Allspace line-ups we can expect plug-in hybrid power to step in to take over. 

Plug-in hybrid in a sporty guise.
Plug-in hybrid in a sporty guise.

The federal Government's New Vehicle Efficiency Standard (NVES) have greatly influenced Volkswagen’s modulation in strategy. Brands such as Nissan, Toyota and Isuzu lobbied to water down the standard, the legislation puts Volkswagen Australia in a better place for low emissions vehicles. 

“There’s a lot of numbers being crunched at the moment to understand that we have an optimised, balanced mix to work in harmony with the NVES. 

“That then gives us additional leverage to have access to additional production or different technology – like PHEV – to balance and optimise our [sales] mix in Australia,” said Beckmann adding the policy is “very welcome for us”.

The e-motor is integrated into the gearbox.
The e-motor is integrated into the gearbox.

What models can we expect?

Volkswagen introduced its latest plug-in hybrid system with larger batteries and more efficient motors first in the third-gen Tiguan medium SUV followed by the Mark 8.5 Golf update. 

The figures are pretty impressive: a 19.7kWh battery teamed with a turbo-petrol engine means power can be 150kW or 200kW with all-wheel drive possible as the motor is integrated into the automatic gearbox

For the Tiguan that means around 120km of electric-only driving range from a full charge while the Golf eHybrid can travel 143km in WLTP combined testing, with the sporty GTE at a still-impressive 131km. 

Volkswagen AU will expand its hybrid range.
Volkswagen AU will expand its hybrid range.

Additionally, both models are now capable of 50kW DC fast-charging and 11kW three-phase AC recuperation – both improvements over the expensive Touareg R’s system. 

Given the as-yet unconfirmed Tayron will use the same platform and powertrains, it’s safe to assume a 200kW plug-in hybrid seven seater would exceed 100km from a charge of its battery. 

Falling under the Volkswagen Group umbrella, Cupra has already confirmed the new plug-in hybrid system for Australia powering its updated Leon hatch and Formentor sports SUV launching next year.

With over 100km driving range, VW's new PHEV is impressive.
With over 100km driving range, VW's new PHEV is impressive.

The goal will be to have a variety of options for customers – especially in the popular medium SUV space. Volkswagen Australia envisions buyers will be able to choose between petrol five-seat Tiguan, a plug-in hybrid version potentially with seven seats and a fully electric ID.4 all in much the same price space. 

On the topic of price, Cupra offers its Leon VZe for a slightly lower price to the VZx. That would see a Golf GTE plug-in hybrid at around $55,000 in Mark 8 spec. Expect that to climb nearer to $60K with the facelift, with a regular eHybrid potentially coming in under $50K. 

The Tiguan is harder to predict with an all-new model coming soon. A flagship Tiguan R-Line plug-in hybrid would need to be under $70K to make sense next to the ID.4 and other electrified medium SUVs. 

The new Golf and Tiguan will be released by the first quarter of 2025 with final Australian line ups yet to be revealed – it sounds like hybrids are on the cards, though. 

John Law
Deputy News Editor
Born in Sydney’s Inner West, John wasn’t treated to the usual suite of Aussie-built family cars growing up, with his parents choosing quirky (often chevroned) French motors that shaped his love of cars. The call of motoring journalism was too strong to deny and in 2019 John kickstarted his career at Chasing Cars. A move to WhichCar and Wheels magazine exposed him to a different side of the industry and the glossy pages of physical magazines. John is back on the digital side of things at CarsGuide, where he’s taken up a role as Deputy News Editor spinning yarns about the latest happenings in the automotive industry. When he isn’t working, John can be found tooling around in either his 2002 Renault Clio Sport 172 or 1983 Alfasud Gold Cloverleaf.  
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