DETROIT-- Volkswagen debuted the Jetta Hybrid and the E-Bugster concept at the North American Auto Show in Detroit on Jan. 9. The 2013 Jetta Hybrid will launch in the North American market at the end of 2012.
The 2013 Jetta Hybrid uses a turbocharged gasoline engine mated to a zero-emissions electric motor. The car delivers an estimated combined fuel economy figure of 45 mpg. In addition, the Jetta Hybrid can be driven in pure electric mode at speeds of up to 44 mph and for up to 1.2 miles, depending on operating conditions.
For the first time in the U.S. market, Volkswagen is using its 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline powerplant, which weighs just 216 pounds. The downsized four-cylinder engine develops 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque delivered from just 1400 rpm up to 3500 rpm. Combined with the 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor, the system ensures that the new Jetta Hybrid is a genuinely sporty vehicle, Volkswagen said.
As in the Touareg Hybrid SUV, the Jetta Hybrid features a clutch that decouples the gasoline engine from the drivetrain when in pure electric drive or coasting modes.
A lithium-ion battery supplies the energy to the electric motor. The compact 220-volt, 1.1 kWh battery is integrated behind the rear bench seat and weighs less than 80 pounds. The battery consists of 60 individual cells with a combined energy capacity of 5 Ah. The frequency of the discharge and charge cycles in hybrid operation requires high-performance battery cooling, which is handled by a fan mounted directly on the device. The battery also has its own management system that performs safety, diagnostic and monitoring functions as well as temperature management. The battery is disconnected when it’s not in use or if the car is involved in a collision.
Power is taken to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. At 163 pounds, the DSG transmission weighs significantly less than a conventional automatic and is also much more compact in its construction. Thanks to its lightweight drive components, the weight of the Jetta Hybrid was increased by just 221 pounds, despite the addition of a battery system. The car weighs in at less than 3,310 pounds, which is low for a hybrid vehicle.
When the battery of the Jetta Hybrid is sufficiently charged, the Jetta Hybrid can be driven over a distance of up to 1.2 miles in pure electric mode, with zero emissions. The Jetta Hybrid works as an electric vehicle up to 37 mph if the electric motor is engaged automatically or up to 44 mph if the driver presses the E-mode button to the right of the shift lever. About a third of the potential fuel savings in the Jetta Hybrid comes through electric driving.
The E-Bugster uses an electric motor that makes 114 horsepower (85 kW) and 199 pound-feet of torque. A lithium-ion battery enables the car to go more than 100 miles in zero-emissions driving.
The battery, stored under the trunk floor and the rear bench, weighs 695 pounds. The battery is recharged via a plug interface located underneath the hood’s VW logo and can accommodate all three types of available chargers: Level 1 (120V), Level 2 (240V), and, where available, Level 3 (quick charge, 80 percent charge in 30 minutes).
Volkswagen calls the electric drive unit used in the E-Bugster “Blue-e-motion,” and it will be found in future products such as the Golf Blue-e-Motion.
The exterior look isn’t all that sets the E-Bugster apart from the production Beetle; it also sports EV-specific gauges inside. The traditional tachometer has been replaced with an energy consumption display that fluctuates with vehicle acceleration. Other instrumentation includes a driving range indicator, a display showing the battery’s charge state, and a display that shows the driver the intensity of battery regeneration.