The T-Roc could inaugurate the hybrid system.

Volkswagen is getting ready to introduce a 48-volt hybrid system. Automakers are increasingly turning towards 48-volt hybrid systems in a bid to reduce emissions while keeping development costs in check. For example, the after-treatment system needed to make the TDI diesel engine comply with emissions regulations in Europe adds "six to eight hundred euros" to the price of the all-new Polo, according to one executive.

The system will be a mild hybrid, meaning cars equipped with it won't be able to drive on electricity alone. It's expected to boost gas mileage by complementing the internal combustion engine when needed. Rival Renault rolled out a similar technology on the new Scenic, and it will apply the system to some of its other cars in the coming months.

Industry trade journal Automotive News Europe reports the 48-volt system will make its debut under the hood of the T-Roc, a Golf-sized crossover expected to break cover in the next few months. Other models (including the Golf and, likely the next-gen Jetta) will get it shortly after.

"Once we have it in an MQB-based model it's more or less plug and play. We can put it on other models because we have a modular platform," said Frank Welsch, the head of the company's research and development department, in an interview with Automotive News Europe.