VW is looking to add electrons for extra efficiency

Introduced alongside a new turbocharged 1.5-liter engine powered by natural gas and a new 2.0-liter diesel hybrid TDI engine, Volkswagen has unveiled an upcoming 48-volt mild hybrid system intended for service across VW’s lineup. First in line to receive the 48-volt system is the next-generation Golf.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Exterior
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The hybrid system should offer some extra low-end grunt for those of you more interested in the performance side of things.

The latest seventh-generation Golf debuted back in 2012, while the upcoming eighth-generation vehicle is expected to roll off the production line in June of next year. European sales will commence shortly thereafter, while U.S. sales will likely commence sometime in 2020.

With the debut of the next Golf, Volkswagen will also introduce the world to its latest 48-volt mild hybrid system. The tech will eventually head to the rest of the Volkswagen lineup, with the German companying aiming to make hybrid efficiency more broadly affordable, reducing consumption and emissions in the process.

The hybrid system should also offer some extra low-end grunt for those of you more interested in the performance side of things.

Helping it achieve those goals will be a large lithium-ion battery pack, which is juiced by regenerative braking technology. It’ll also include a starter generator, which will kick over the ICE and add a dollop of extra torque when starting up. As such, VW’s start/stop engine system should be more effective, with the car even coasting while the ICE is switched off when appropriate, saving a few mpg in the process.

The improved electrical system will pair with a traditional internal combustion engine. In the Golf that likely means a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder.

2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Exterior
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We’ve seen a system like this before from VW, namely in the latest Audi range.

We’ve seen a system like this before from VW, namely in the latest Audi A6, Audi A7, and Audi A8. As such, expect something similar in the Golf.

A report from Car & Driver is also reporting that the 48-volt system will not be offered in the U.S., at least not initially. We do, however, expect it to head stateside as soon as the eighth-generation Golf is finally shipped over.

All told, the move makes sense for a company struggling to clean up its public image. After all, how can you call a car company dirty when it offers hybrid and all-electrics across the entirety of its lineup?

Obviously, the system will also help VW’s average mpg, and emissions numbers, both of which are critical to its long-term success as environmental standards are gradually made more and more stringent. And, considering Volkswagen wants to electrify its entire stable by 2030, it’ll help the company develop the tech for extra uses later on, with the regenerative braking and battery technology carried over to the upcoming all-electrics as well.


2018 Volkswagen Golf High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf.

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Jonathan Lopez
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Press Release

World premiere I: 48V mild hybrid. One of the most important, new drive systems is a 48V mild hybrid. Volkswagen will initially launch this variant on the market for the next Golf generation. With the new 48V technology, Volkswagen aims to make hybrid drives affordable to an extremely large clientèle. The drive systems drastically reduce consumption and emissions while at the same time offering extra dynamism and comfort with an electric boost function and exceptional drive performance. Volkswagen will gradually extend the electrification of conventional drives to the entire fleet. The next Golf represents the starting point in this worldwide electric campaign.

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