Currently reading: VW plans sporty hybrids
VW says it will go about hybrids in a different way to rivals, going for performance and economy

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.

Hinz also confirmed that a hybrid Golf will be made and its powertrain will be a development of the one launched in the Jetta.

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.

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NobbyUK 3 November 2010

Re: VW plans sporty hybrids

Rather than trashing Scott Brownlee's post, I think it's refreshing to see a manfacturer 'high-up' adding to the forum, and a sign that the car-makers do monitor what 'enthusiasts' are saying about the hot topics of the day, even if they have to wade through reams of one-eyed, ill-judged and sceptical posts in the process.

I don't agree with much that Scott has to say - I also think that Honda's CR-Z is the closest thing yet to a 'sporty' hybrid (it's not fast but it's fun) - but I thinks it's great that he's openly chipping in. It must make a nice change for him from dealing with recall stories.

pete.mcl 3 November 2010

Re: VW plans sporty hybrids

Scott B wrote:

Sporty hybrids a new thing?


Exactly, Honda have released the CR-Z Hybrid. Which is 'sporty' AND comes as a MANUAL. At least Honda can have a choice of gearboxes in their hybrids as the tech is far from as complex as the Toyota/Lexus equivalent. Yes there is no direct choice of what gearbox you have in the UK market in something like the CR-Z, but if the US version is anything to go by, they may reconcider....

Maxycat 3 November 2010

Re: VW plans sporty hybrids

MrTrilby wrote:
the article also quite clearly states that VW have produced a petrol powered hybrid concept. Not a diesel. And it also claims their concept has better emissions than VW's best diesel - the Golf Bluemotion.
VW's lowest emission vehicle is not the Golf Bluemotion with 99 g/km but the Polo with 87g/km according to Autocars first drive article figures. The article quite clearly states they will either develop a petrol OR diesel and not both, the choice being to maximize economy, diesel version, or power boost via petrol.