Volkswagen’s new plug-in hybrid Golf, which makes its public debut at next month’s Geneva auto show, will hit European markets later this year but isn’t slated for the U.S.

The latest-generation Golf finally is reaching the North American market this year after some 15 months on sales in Europe and now is in production at VW’s Puebla, Mexico, assembly plant.

And although the hybrid Jetta is sold in the U.S. and executives have hinted about expanding application of VW’s 1.4L engine in the market, a spokesman says the plug-in model is not targeted as part of the U.S. lineup for now.

VW says the new Golf GTE can travel up to 31 miles (50 km) and at speeds up to 81 mph (130 km/h) in all-electric mode (selected by way of a pushbutton) and will be rated at 157 mpg (1.5 L/100 km) combined on the European Driving Cycle.

The powertrain consists of VW’s 148-hp 1.4L TSI gasoline engine and 101-hp electric motor, for a combined rating of 201 hp and 258 lb.-ft. (350 Nm) of torque. Top speed is 135 mph (217 km/h) and 0-62 mph (100 km/h) takes 7.6 seconds, VW says.

The car uses VW’s 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic, which incorporates the electric motor within the transmission housing.

It takes 3-1/2 hours to charge the vehicle’s 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery from a conventional power outlet, but that can be reduced by an hour with a higher-powered line or via a public charging station, the automaker says. The charge port is positioned behind the VW logo in the car’s grille.

The battery adds 265 lbs. (120 kg) to the Golf’s curb weight, taking it to 3,360 lbs. (1,524 kg).

The hybrid model marks the fifth powertrain for the Golf line, which includes gasoline, diesel, compressed-natural-gas and full-electric versions.

The GTE comes with the full complement of range monitors and energy-flow displays inside the cabin. The exterior is based on the GTI, but has specific GTE badging and other small design cues to signal it is a plug-in model.

Currently, the only VW sold in the U.S. with the 1.4L TSI engine is the Jetta Hybrid, which also is assembled in Puebla. The automaker showed a Passat concept equipped with the engine at the North American International Auto Show in January and said it was testing the market to see how far down in engine size American customers would be willing to go.

Jetta Hybrid sales fell 3.4% in January to 224 units. Deliveries totaled 5,655 units in 2013, its first year on the market.

dzoia@wardsauto.com