Volkswagen Golf is expanding the range with a more efficient version of its current gasoline engines. The eighth-generation Golf is now available with Volkswagen’s new eTSI mild hybrid powertrain, boasting all the virtues of 48-volt hybridisation.

The popular R-Line specification returns to the Golf, offering a package of exterior and interior upgrades to distinguish it from the rest of the line-up.

Marking the sporty R-Line trim out from its Life and Style counterparts is a bespoke R-Line styling package, bringing more assertive-looking bumpers to the front and rear, 17-inch ‘Valencia’ alloy wheels, and rear tinted glass.

The R-Line is further enhanced with the addition of sports suspension, which lowers the car by 15 mm, while the Progressive Steering system ensures engaging handling at all speeds. Multiple driver-profiles allow tailoring of the steering and gearbox responses to personal preferences.

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On the inside, the Golf R-Line benefits from R-Line front sports seats, with the car’s upholstery finished in attractive ‘Sardegna’ cloth, and the inner sides of the bolsters in high-quality ‘Art Velours’, while the head restraints are embroidered with the R-Line logo. An R-Line multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel also features, and further badging can be found on the side trim panels. Brushed stainless steel pedals and metallic trim elements complete the interior package. Ambient lighting adorns the interior of the R-Line, with 30-colour personalisation allowing the driver to further customise their Golf.

The R-Line adds these features to an already extensive equipment list for the Golf 8, which also includes a standard-fit Innovision Cockpit, combining Volkswagen’s 10.25-inch Active Info Display digital instrument binnacle with a 10-inch central infotainment screen for a continuous and cohesive digital dashboard. LED headlights and taillights, wireless smartphone charging and App-Connect smartphone mirroring add further sophistication.

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The R-Line, plus the already on sale Golf Life and Golf Style trims, are now available with Volkswagen’s new eTSI mild hybrid powertrain, for improved fuel economy and reduced emissions over the outgoing closest equivalent models. This system pairs Volkswagen’s already smooth and frugal 1.5-litre, 150 PS TSI engine to a mild hybrid system, comprising a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and 48-volt belt starter generator. The starter generator takes on the role of the alternator and starter, and also operates as a small electric motor providing a boost when pulling away. The generator also starts the TSI engine, with the system allowing the car to coast with the engine shut off as much as possible while the car is in motion, for optimal efficiency, while ensuring almost imperceptible transitions between engine-off coasting and engaging the petrol engine.

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The eTSI powertrain is available across all currently available Golf trims – Life, Style and R-Line – alongside 130 PS and 150 PS 1.5-litre TSI engines, and 115 PS and 150 PS 2.0-litre TDI units. The eTSI powertrain and 150 PS TDI unit both feature a 7-speed DSG transmission as standard, with the electrified option offering as much as a 10% improvement in fuel economy and reduction in emissions over the equivalent outgoing, non-electrified powertrains.