Cars labeled as eTSI are equipped with a mild-hybrid drivetrain. This means that the vehicle is powered by a traditional internal combustion engine, which is assisted by an electric motor. eTSI vehicles are not capable of running solely on electric power.

Volkswagen and SEAT use the eTSI symbols as brand names for their MHEV (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle) type vehicles. MHEV vehicles are characterized by the use of a small electric motor instead of a traditional starter and alternator. This electric motor can be used bidirectionally, either as a generator (alternator) or as a starter. Thanks to this improvement, the vehicle can manage energy more efficiently, shutting down or starting the engine even during driving.

eTSI badge on the rear of a car 

Important common features of eTSI vehicles are that they cannot run solely on electricity. They are built on the MQB chassis platform and always need an internal combustion engine to move. More about MHEV drive technology can be found here.

The mild-hybrid technology is primarily used to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, especially the monitored amount of carbon dioxide CO2. For this reason, most global car manufacturers equip their traditional combustion engine models with various types of hybrid technologies. The simplest way to apply hybrid technology is through a mild hybrid. This easily creates classic models with lower consumption, such as the VW Golf eTSI or VW Passat eTSI.

Principle of eTSI operation:

A car with eTSI technology is equipped with a proven combustion TSI engine and a small electric motor functioning as a starter-generator. This electric motor operates either in alternator mode to charge the 48V batteries or in boost mode to assist the combustion engine in powering the vehicle. Additionally, the electric motor enables the start of the combustion engine, eliminating the need for a traditional starter in MHEV vehicles. The main advantage of this solution is that the combustion engine can be shut down and restarted during deceleration before an intersection, without the flywheel having to be at rest.

description of important eTSI drive components

What is the difference between vehicles marked with the eTSI (e-TSI) symbol and the eHybrid (e-HYBRID) symbol?

Volkswagen and SEAT use two levels of hybridization for their vehicles. The basic level of hybridization is represented by vehicles bearing the trade name eTSI. These are the above-described MHEV vehicles, which cannot run purely on electricity. The second, higher level of hybridization is represented by vehicles marked as eHybrid. These vehicles can already drive short distances purely on electricity, as they are PHEV vehicles.

What is the difference between VW vehicles marked with the GTE and eHybrid symbols?

When comparing vehicles marked with GTE and eHybrid, we find that both use the same type of drive, i.e., PHEV. They differ mainly in performance. Volkswagen GTE models are more powerful and sporty plug-in hybrid vehicles that follow the sporty tradition of GTI and GTD models.

Did you know:

Similar technical solutions to eTSI are also offered by the sister car manufacturer Škoda under the name e-TEC, or the Audi brand.