Now, being a conservative petrol head, I personally loathe hybrids for their numbed driving experience and shoddy build quality. But seeing as how hybrids and electric cars are our current but temporary solution, companies such as Tesla have proven to us that alternative powertrains can be made in more appealing packages…but of course you had to be a rockstar to afford one. But now, Volkswagen might be the first to make affordable hybrids that appeal to the more, serious driver.
So we heard it through the grapevinethat Volkswagen might be making an innovative sporty hybrid system. Now, I know you’re probably thinking…hybrid and sporty…that’s as much of an ideal combination as mixing whiskey and vodka. But the volks at Volkswagen AG think otherwise.
The result is a new system that will break the tradition of woeful and boring hybrid automobiles, offering increased performance whilst maximizing fuel economy.
This new system will be debuted using the all-new Mark 6 Jetta.
“We’re not an experienced hybrid maker like Toyota or Honda, so we don’t just want to come up with what everyone else already has,” said project manager of the Jetta Michael Hinz. “We want to do something unique.”
Hinz stated that his plans are to separate the trims enough so that those opting for the higher performance route will rely on a turbocharged gasoline engine, while those seeking the most fuel economy will be offered a diesel-electric system.
The idea for the Jetta’s hybrid system is that it “would not be like the one on the Touareg,” which was designed to increase fuel efficiency. Hinz says that hybrids really aren’t fuel efficient…and they’re not because of the amount of weight the battery packs and electric motors add.
“We could do a power hybrid. We’re certainly not going to do both. You must decide to go with one or the other,” said Hinz.
VW briefly showed the world its hybrid system in the Jetta based New Compact Coupe or NCC, which will debut at the North American Auto Show in Detroit. The gasoline engine is a 1.4-Liter twin-turbocharged four-pot, whistling out 148bhp and 177 lb-ft of torque. Fused into the gearbox is an electric motor—which is slightly similar to Mercedes-Benz’s hybrid system—offering an additional 27bhp and a whopping 103 lb-ft of torque from a 1.1kWh lithium ion battery. Total output is 175bhp and 280 lb-ft of torque.
0-60 for the NCC supposedly comes in 8.1 seconds and onto a top speed of 141 MPH, while the combined fuel economy is estimated at 67.3 mpg.
Hinz also confirmed that a hybrid Golf with the same system will be made as well.
But while the new hybrid system maybe something to look forward to, the other is the potential for the reintroduction of the Jetta Coupe as the NCC may suggest, which was last seen four generations ago in the 1980s. The new sixth generation Jetta is a handsome car and it would be great to see a sleeker, two door version.
2011 Volkswagen Jetta:
– By: Chris Chin