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Volkswagen rules out mild-hybrid Golf 8 for Australia

Mild child: The Golf 8 is set to be offered with mild-hybrid powertrains in overseas markets, but the Australian model will continue to be motivated by internal-combustion engines.

Eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf to increase efficiency via mild-hybrid technology

27 Apr 2018

VOLKSWAGEN Group has confirmed that the eighth-generation Golf small car will feature mild-hybrid powertrains when it goes into production next year alongside the pure-electric ID hatchback, but they will not be offered in Australia.

Speaking to GoAuto, Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger revealed that there are no plans to import the mild-hybrid Golf 8.

“In Australia, we’re going in the direction of full EVs in the form of the ID family alongside ever more efficient conventional drivetrain cars,” he said.

As such, the mild-hybrid Golf will join Golf GTE plug-in hybrid and pure-electric e-Golf as electrified models that are yet to reach Australian shores.

Nevertheless, the aforementioned ID hatchback will initiate VGA’s pure-electric charge when it likely arrives in local showrooms alongside the internal-combustion Golf 8 in 2020.

As previously reported, the ID family will initially launch with the ID hatchback before expanding to the ID Crozz SUV, ID Vizzion sedan and ID Buzz people-mover in the early stages of next decade.

Described by the German car-maker as “the starting point for the comprehensive electrification of conventional drives”, the overseas-market Golf 8 will employ a 48V system that combines a belt-integrated starter generator with a lithium-ion battery.

This set-up will be in addition to the traditional 12V system that is usually responsible for powering the vehicle’s electrical components.

Meanwhile, the 48V system will allow the Golf 8 to ‘coast’ with its internal-combustion engine imperceptibly switched off in certain situations, such as when braking to complete stop at a traffic light.

Energy generated during braking is recuperated by the 48V system to charge its battery, while the 12V system relies on power provided by the DC/DC converter.

Efficiency is improved thanks to this function, with Volkswagen promising that fuel consumption on the combined cycle test can be reduced by up to 0.3 litres per 100 kilometres.

However, this mild-hybrid technology is not just about saving fuel and reducing emissions, as improved dynamics are also on the cards due to the electric torque boost it provides off the line.

Thus, Volkswagen’s 48V system is similar in application to those found in an increasing number of Mercedes-Benz and Audi models, among others.

According to Volkswagen Passenger Cars member of the board of management with responsibility for technical development Frank Welsch, the Golf 8 will kick-start the company’s electrification revolution.

“Electrifying conventional drives will enable us to further reduce consumption and emissions while also increasing dynamics and convenience,” he said.

“We are starting this extensive electrification campaign with Volkswagen’s best-selling vehicle to date – the Golf.

“Our newly developed, cost-effective 48V mild hybrid will pave the way for introducing this type of technology to the mainstream.

“The basic interaction of different energy sources – electricity, petrol, diesel and natural gas – represents a paradigm shift at Volkswagen.”

Sales of the Golf have improved significantly this year, with 4885 examples sold to the end of March, representing a 20.2 per cent increase over the 4063 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.

This effort places the Volkswagen fourth in the sub-$40,000 small-car segment, trailing the Toyota Corolla (9264 units), Mazda3 (8916) and Hyundai i30 (6751) but ahead of the Kia Cerato (4582) and Honda Civic (4166), among others.

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