Volkswagen showcases 48V assisted Golf GTi

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As part of its continuinally increasing presence at the Wörthersee GTI fans meeting in Austria, Volkswagen has unveiled a apprentice-led project that adds a 48v mild-hybrid drive system to the traditional GTI hatch.

Thirteen apprentices from Volkswagen and Sitech developed the ‘Golf GTI First Decade’. The 10th apprentice-led GTI presented at the event, the ‘First Decade’ combines a 410PS petrol engine driving the front wheels, with a 48-volt electric motor that drives the rear wheels with a maximum output of 12kW. The two drive systems can be used separately but also work hand-in-hand when required.The batteries and control electronics for the electric rear-axle drive system are installed under the base plate in the car’s boot.

The car can be operated conventionally (front-wheel drive), in purely electric mode (rear-wheel drive) and in combined mode (all-wheel drive). The mild electric propulsion system offers the benefits of zero-emission, silent driving during parking manoeuvres and for short distances in residential areas or in stop-and-go traffic (electric mode). Through the recovery of braking energy (regenerative braking), two batteries in the rear of the vehicle are charged. This energy allows further carbon-neutral driving in electric mode. On more demanding surfaces, the combination of front and rear-wheel drive for starting assistance (electric all-wheel mode) comes into its own. The modes can be selected and controlled from a tablet PC using an app or from the infotainment display via Mirror Link.

“During the creation of their dream GTI, our apprentices learn about the complexity and future challenges of automobile production. They gain further experience in the use of digital technologies, the application of system technology and electro-mobility,” said Peter Christ, head of Automotive Technology Training in Wolfsburg. “This is why we choose our strongest talents and offer them the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors and experts from the entire company at an early stage.”

This year, the departments concerned included Design, Group Research Drive Systems, Technical Development, the pilot hall, the seat center, plastic parts production and the paint shop.

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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