The new Jetta Hybrid has made its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, bringing electric drive to a new class of Volkswagen. Propulsion comes from a high-tech 1.4-litre TSI 150 PS petrol engine and a 20 kW zero-emissions electric motor. Together, these fuel consumption that is around 20 per cent better overall than an equivalent petrol-powered vehicle (at 45 mpg US – around 54 mpg Imperial), but also sporty performance, with the benchmark 0 to 60 mph sprint taking less than nine seconds.
Using electric power alone, the Jetta Hybrid can be driven at speeds of up to 70 kmh (44 mph) and over a distance of two kilometres (1.3 miles), depending on conditions. For maximum performance, both the TSI engine and the electric motor combine, giving peak power of 170 PS.
This is the first use of the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine in America, and it offers the same power and more torque (250 Nm, 184 lbs ft) than the normally aspirated 2.5-litre engine that is commonly used in the Jetta there.
A lithium-ion battery supplies the energy for the electric motor. It is located behind the rear seat bench, making no compromises on interior space. The battery is made up of 60 individual cells, each with an energy capacity of five Ah. Together they produce a nominal voltage of 220 Volts and an energy capacity of 1.1 kWh and weigh 38.5 kg. Cooling is provided by an integrated fan, operated by the battery’s own management system that performs diagnostic, monitoring and safety functions, including disconnecting the battery in the event of an accident.
The Jetta Hybrid launches in North America in November 2012; there are no current plans to sell this model in the UK.