Volkswagen has already laid out aggressive plans for a future full of battery-electric cars, but the German car brand will also electrify nearly every vehicle in its lineup in some way. VW announced Thursday that it will begin with the next-generation Golf.
Specifically, the eighth-generation Golf will feature a 48-volt, mild-hybrid system, which the brand showed off at the International Vienna Motor Symposium. The system features a 48-volt belt-integrated starter generator and a 48-volt battery to complement the internal-combustion engine. VW said the car can essentially "coast" with the engine shut off, which will save fuel.
With the bigger battery onboard, the system can also store greater amounts of energy. Specifically, it will be able to recoup energy during braking. The extra juice also will provide greater amounts of torque and activate the 48-volt belt-integrated starter generator. The latter acts as the vehicle's alternator and starter, and as the electric motor to provide the "electrification" aspect to the entire powertrain. Power generated is transferred via the belt.
Other details surrounding the 2020 Golf are unknown, but it will likely take design inspiration from the Golf GTE Sport concept shown in 2015. Underneath all the running gear will be VW's familiar MQB platform.
The Golf mild-hybrid will complement the all-electric ID hatchback, which is also due around 2019. The ID will replace the e-Golf as VW continues to diversify its vehicle portfolio and add further battery-electric and electrified options. Certainly, the Golf won't be the last place we see VW's new 48-volt mild-hybrid system.