Volkswagen has revealed that they are working on mild hybrid prototypes that may power the line-up in the coming years. The German automaker has revealed prototypes using the new system, which the company says is 'close to production'. At the moment, Volkswagen has fitted the mild-hybrid powertrain to the Golf and Tiguan for its its testing phase.
This mild-hybrid system is composed of a 48-volt starter generator and a 48-volt electric front axle. Energy is then stored in the battery pack, also rated at 48-volts. A DC/DC (direct current) converter would sent power to the front axles to assist in both acceleration and economy. This hybrid system is paired to Volkwagen's new 1.5-liter turbo engine, which made its debut in the facelifted Golf.
Output from the turbo gas engine is rated at 148 PS while the electric motors add another 35 PS. This particular engine uses what's called a Miller Cycle which, according to Volkswagen, gives it a high compression ratio and, as a result, better thermal efficiency. The company claims an improvement of 2.5 kilometers per liter over the non-hybrid version. Besides the hybrid system, Volkswagen is also testing a new dual-clutch transmission to pair for the mild-hybrid Golf and Tiguan.
Another application Volkswagen sees for the mild-hybrid system is an electric all-wheel drive system. In practice, the gas engine powers the front wheels and constantly power the front wheels unless slip is detected. When there is slip, the electric motor powers the rear wheels to further aid traction.
Expect this technology to appear in the eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf and spread to the rest of the automaker's line-up.