VW Golf GTE HyRacer student concept brings TCR glamour to hybrid hatch

Published: 25 August 2020

► GTE HyRacer built by VW apprentices
► Beefy bodykit plus tweaks under the skin
► Based on Mk7.5 Golf GTE

Apprentices at Volkswagen have revealed their 2020 creation. Intended to be unveiled at the annual Lake Worthersee Volkswagen festival (cancelled, naturally, due to you-know-what) it has instead made its debut at Volkswagen’s Autostadt in Wolfsburg.

For 2020, it takes the form of a modified Golf GTE – named the Golf GTE HyRacer.

What exactly is the HyRacer?

It’s the result of months of work by trainees at Volkswagen Group Retail Germany. Volkswagen’s apprentice cars are a tradition of the Worthersee festival – each year, they get the chance to modify a VW car in whichever way they see fit – whether that’s as an off-roader, an efficient eco-mobile or, in this case, a high-performance hybrid hot hatch.

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13 trainees were selected from VW dealerships across Germany, and only had a limited period in which they could work on the car together. That meant liberal application of three things bound to get any German engineer’s heart racing – ‘precise planning, intensive co-ordination and independent work’. Wibble.

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTE HyRacer

The end product is the HyRacer (Hy = Hybrid, Racer = Racer, get it?) – a tricked-out version of the hybrid-powered Volkswagen Golf GTE. A previous-generation model was used, a useful cost-saving measure, no doubt – not to mention a practical one as the Mk8 GTE hasn’t yet been released.

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The apprentices widened the vehicle by 80mm, adding on some rather spectacularly chunky arches wrapping 265-section tyres. Custom bumpers front and rear incorporate the GTE’s characteristic C-shaped daytime running lights as well as a widened brake light pinched from the Arteon.

Any performance mods?

Only mild, actually – power has increased to 247bhp, a slight boost to the standard car’s 201bhp. No word on what that does to performance, but with those ultra-wide tyres, 40mm lower suspension and 380mm brake discs it’s likely to steer and stop with a little more verve than before.

Trainees also went mad on the interior, equipping it with yard after yard of Alcantara, new sports seats and plenty of blue stitching. They even modified the infotainment system to display a custom HyRacer logo, which is a nice touch, while the steering wheel features an integrated stop/start button as well as drive mode selection – a feature borrowed from Audi.

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTE HyRacer

Finally, because no millennial is complete without at least one daft electric toy, a pair of electric scooters were fitted to the boot to allow further mobility even when your destination is beyond the reach of a car.

Can I buy one?

No chance. Practical considerations aside – this is based on the previous-generation Golf, a car that’s now out of production – the trainee vehicles produced each year are never intended to be put into production. Instead, they’re a fun exercise, both for the apprentices who get to design and build them and for punters at the Worthersee festival who enjoy looking around them. This year, with no festival to display the fruits of their labours at, we’ll just have to appreciate the trainees’ hard work over the internet instead.

By Tom Wiltshire

Bauer Automotive staff writer; enjoys Peugeots, naturally-aspirated diesels, column shifts and steel wheels