The Golf range will not completely ditch diesel, but the smallest engines may not survive.

Volkswagen's next-generation Golf family could ditch smaller diesel engines in favor of a 48-volt mild hybrid system.

VW Group plans to be a leader in 48-volt electrical systems. The Golf is expected to use the higher voltage for a lightweight 'micro-hybrid' system. A two-stage forced induction system, pairing an electrically driven compressor with a traditional turbocharger, is also a possibility for some powertrains.

"The next Golf - the Mk8 - will lead a strong rollout of 48-volt electrics for us," VW head Herbert Diess said at the recent launch of the facelifted Mk7 model, as quoted by AutoExpress. "I think we will have to substitute some of the diesels for micro-hybrids in that car; they will have similar fuel efficiency and better acceleration, but have a similar cost or even slightly less."

Previous rumors suggested the next Golf's 48-volt hybrid system would be based on a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine with a starter motor that doubles as a generator. The latest report speculates that the 'micro-hybrid' system will be used for a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with a small electric motor that could provide a few extra horsepower under acceleration.

None of the future diesel-powered Golfs will be destined for the US market, but the 48-volt powertrain will presumably be headed across the Atlantic.