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Volkswagen unveils its first diesel mild hybrid

Diesel's not dead just yet, not in Europe at least.

This is the old EA288, but VW didn't have a picture of the new one. Just imagine this with a starter-generator in place of the regular ol' starter, and you're most of the way there.

Volkswagen's announcement of the eighth-generation Golf's mild hybrid system wasn't the only powertrain announcement on the docket for this week.

Volkswagen also unveiled a new diesel powertrain at the Vienna Motor Symposium. The EA288 Evo is a 2.0-liter I4 diesel engine with a 12-volt mild hybrid system that includes a starter-generator and a lithium-ion battery. VW says it will improve fuel consumption and increase comfort.

In terms of more technical info, VW redesigned the engine's combustion process in order to improve exhaust emissions before it gets treated. The engine's weight is down and frictional losses have been improved, further aiding efficiency. VW also improved the packaging and efficacy of both the diesel particulate filter and the selective catalytic reduction system.

The diesel might be all but dead in the US, but Volkswagen is marching forward with its diesel powertrains elsewhere in the world. The automaker says the EA288 Evo will meet both current and future emissions regulations for European certification. Outputs will range from 136 horsepower to 204 hp.

As with many other VW Group engines, the EA288 Evo can be jammed into just about everything. It'll be used in Audi vehicles with longitudinal engine layouts to begin with, but the automaker says it will be installed transversely in the VW Group's MQB-platform cars in the future. That means it could end up in the new VW Golf, the Arteon, the Euro-spec Passat and a bunch of other cars that won't ever come to the US.