Volkswagen will use its sixth-generation Jetta to launch an innovative new sporty hybrid system that will break the mold of current mainstream hybrids by offering increased performance as well as economy.
“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 Jetta technical project manager Michael Hinz. “We want to do something unique.”
Hinz said hybrid systems could be used to boost power or improve efficiency. A turbocharged petrol engine is preferable for the power boost route and a diesel-electric system for economy.
The Jetta’s petrol-electric hybrid system, already confirmed for Europe in 2012, will harness one of the firm’s smaller-capacity TSI petrol engines, raising the possibility that VW’s mainstream hybrid system will be used to improve the performance of its already punchy turbo petrol range.
Hinz said the Jetta’s hybrid system “would not be like the one on the Touareg”, which was designed to boost efficiency. “Are hybrids really fuel efficient? Not really, as you are adding more weight,” said Hinz. “Yes, we could do a power hybrid. We’re certainly not going to do both. You must decide to go with one or the other.”
Volkswagen previewed its hybrid system on its New Compact Coupé (NCC, pictured) concept at this year's Detroit motor show. NCC's petrol engine is a 1.4-litre Twincharger, with 148bhp and 177lb ft of torque. It’s supported by an electric motor integrated into the gearbox; with 27bhp and 103lb ft, it draws electricity from a 1.1kWh lithium ion battery housed under the boot to boost the NCC’s overall output to 175bhp and 280lb ft.
VW claims the NCC will hit 62mph in 8.1sec on the way to a top speed of 141mph. Combined fuel economy is put at 67.3mpg, and CO2 emissions are 98g/km.