Jetta Hybrid hints at European plug-in Golf
The Jetta Hybrid is the first North American market vehicle to use the 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, which combined with its electric motor offers a combined 170bhp and 184lb.ft. It can be driven on electric power for up to 1.3 miles, and is capable of decoupling the engine at speeds of up to 84mph when the accelerator pedal is released.
Under the rear bench is a lithium ion battery pack, recharged on deceleration using the electric motor as a generator. The complete hybrid drivetrain adds 100kg to the weight of the conventional car, while refinement is increased by a new exhaust system and thicker glass. Volkswagen has announced fuel consumption figures of 54mpg (Imperial) on the combined cycle, just behind the Toyota Prius.
Hybrid versions are marked out by an aerodynamic bodykit offering a 10% reduction in drag, new head and tail lights with LED daytime running light and model-specific 15-inch alloy wheels on low rolling resistance tyres. Inside, a bespoke instrument display shows how much power the driver is using, and how it is being deployed.
Volkswagen has no plans to bring a Jetta Hybrid to the UK, but has hinted at a plug-in hybrid based on the Golf due in 2014. This is likely to use the same 1.4 TSI engine as the Jetta.