Next-generation Volkswagen Golf to Offer Electric Assist, but Just a Tad

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
next generation volkswagen golf to offer electric assist but just a tad

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.

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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3 of 10 comments
  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Apr 27, 2018

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

    • Hreardon Hreardon on Apr 28, 2018

      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.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Apr 30, 2018

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

  • SilverCoupe I am one of those people whose Venn diagram of interests would include Audis and Formula One.I am not so much into Forums, though. I spend enough time just watching the races.
  • Jeff S Definitely and very soon. Build a hybrid pickup and price it in the Maverick price range. Toyota if they can do this soon could grab the No 1 spot from Maverick.
  • MaintenanceCosts Would be a neat car if restored, and a lot of good parts are there. But also a lot of very challenging obstacles, even just from what we can see from the pictures. It's going to be hard to justify a restoration financially.
  • Jeff S Ford was in a slump during this era and its savior was a few years away from being introduced. The 1986 Taurus and Sable saved Ford from bankruptcy and Ford bet the farm on them. Ford was also helped by the 1985 downsize front wheel drive full sized GM cars. Lincoln in 1987 even spoofed these new full size GM cars in an ad basically showing it was hard to tell the difference between a Cadillac, Buick, and Oldsmobile. This not only helped Lincoln sales but Mercury Grand Marquis and Ford Crown Victoria sales. For GM full size buyers that liked the downsized GM full size 77 to 84 they had the Panther based Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Ford Crown Victorias that were an alternative to the new GM front wheel drive full size cars that had many issues when they were introduced in 1985 and many of those issues were not resolved for several years. The Marks were losing popularity after the Mark Vs. 1985 was the last year for the rear wheel drive Olds Delta 88 and rear wheel drive Buick Lesabre the rear wheel Caprice and Caprice Classic 3rd generation continued till 1990 when it was redesigned. B Body Buick Estate wagons continued thru 1990 as the Olds Custom Cruiser wagon and both were redesigned. GM held onto a few rear wheel drive full size cars but the Lincoln ad really brought home the similarly looking front wheel drive full size cars. Lincoln's ad was masterful.
  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.