By on April 27, 2018

2018 Volkswagen Golf, Image: VW Group

Audi is bullish on 48-volt mild hybrids, and its Volkswagen sister division is no different in wanting to see larger batteries take some of the load off of its internal combustion powerplants.

The automaker announced Thursday that its upcoming eighth-generation Golf will offer a low-cost alternative to purely gas- or diesel-powered motoring. The mild hybrid system appearing on that vehicle, due next year as a 2020 model, will soon spread throughout the VW lineup, the automaker claims.

VW’s 48V system also works with diesel engines, which should give stringent European regulators something to smile about (and perhaps extend the longevity of an engine type with a soiled reputation).

Like other belt-driven starter generators, the system allows for easy stop/start functionality, with electric power transferred to the engine’s crankshaft via the serpentine belt during acceleration. Think of it as a light electric boost. While the small battery (in hybrid terms) isn’t capable of propelling the vehicle under electric power alone, VW claims it allows for gas-free coasting on the highway, furthering the system’s fuel economy benefits.

The 48V battery replenishes itself through regenerative braking, just like a conventional hybrid.

The automaker calls the new mild hybrid a “starting point” in its quest to spread electrification through its model lineup. Don’t worry — VW didn’t neglect to mention there’ll be “extra dynamism” available in the new car, all thanks to this gas-saving feature.

Image: Volkswagen

As VW Group hasn’t given up on diesel just yet, the company also previewed a new 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder yesterday. The engine’s targeted at front- and rear-drive Audi applications, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to arrive on these shores. Output ranges from 136 horsepower to 204 hp. As mentioned earlier, it’s available in mild hybrid guise.

The quintessential fun hatch, VW’s Golf stands to see a styling revamp when the new model rolls off the line next year. While it’s expected to borrow some cues from 2015’s Golf GTE Sport concept (like the flagship Arteon), you’ll surely be able to pick it out from a crowd. Messing with the Golf is like messing with the Jeep Wrangler. Go too far and you risk offending the faithful.

[Images: Volkswagen Group]

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10 Comments on “Next-generation Volkswagen Golf to Offer Electric Assist, but Just a Tad...”

  • avatar

    The photo makes me wonder if Volkswagen is taking after Honda in putting rims on its cars that look like they came off of a lawnmower? I would be very disappointed in Volkswagen if this were so…

    • 0 avatar

      I think VW was first, from when the MKVII came out. Honda’s decision is just much more noticeable.

    • 0 avatar

      I like those better than the previous standard GTI wheels. Which I hated. Luckily, for ’17 the Golf Sport came with different wheels than the rest of them that I do like. Unluckily, it looks to be a one year unique fitment. So I hope I never need to replace one…

      Volkswagen might have gotten another sale out of me in only a year if I could have gotten a green ’18 GTI equipped the same as my ’17 Sport, but nope, can’t get one with goodies sans sunroof anymore. Glad I got while the getting was good.

  • avatar

    Sounds like a good reason to buy a MKVII while you still can. The words “mild hybrid” remind me of those lame Malibus that used similar nomenclature.

    • 0 avatar

      I had a number of those as rentals, and the Buick version, and other than being Malibus they were pretty unoffensive and did seem to get really good mileage.

  • avatar

    Screw this mild hybrid nonsense, just add an electric version of the GTI to the lineup and improve the current e-golf.

    • 0 avatar

      The Golf GTE has been around in other markets for some time already. Just not in the US as we don’t get the real goodies on this side of the pond.

      Side note: I read somewhere that 2019+ US bound Golf models will be built in Germany once again and not Mexico. This was news about 4 months ago.

  • avatar

    Another facelift next year? They just facelifted the Golf for 2018!

    • 0 avatar

      The MK 7.5 has been on sale in Europe for over a year. The MK 8 is due to start production next summer, with a launch in September and on-sale most likely in November 2019 – for Europe. VW is pushing up the timeline a bit due to their profitability drive: there are a host of optimizations and new assembly techniques they want to put into production as soon as possible.

      Usually the US lags at least 12 months behind the EU launch, but this time around may be different. Word on the street is that VW wants to remove Golf production from the Puebla factory to make room for more CUVs. That would push manufacture of Golfs for the US market elsewhere – possibly back to Germany in an effort to satisfy union demands.

      In any event, don’t expect to see a MK8 here in the US until 2020 at the earliest.

  • avatar

    Great. More weight and more expensive crap to fix when it inevitably breaks.

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