Detroit Preview For Jetta Hybrid
Debuted at the Detroit Auto Show, the Jetta Hybrid uses a 148bhp 1.4-litre TSI engine and 26bhp electric motor to power the front wheels, with the former linked to a DSG gearbox. Like the Touareg, it uses a parallel setup that allows both power sources to work individually.
As such, the car can travel 1.3 miles on electricity alone, as well as decoupling the petrol engine when the driver lifts off the throttle at high speeds. This also allows the electric motor to be decoupled when it isn’t needed, reducing drag on the drivetrian and cutting fuel consumption further, while a brake energy recuperation system helps recharge the battery on the move.
Volkswagen said this setup allows the Jetta Hybrid to return 54mpg, 20% better fuel consumption than the conventional 1.4-litre TSI, while offering brisk acceleration times when the two power sources are combined. At 170bhp with both units working in tandem, the saloon sprints to 60mph in less than nine seconds.
Visual changes are subtle, limited to minor aerodynamic alterations front and rear and a revised grille which features a blue-backed Volkswagen logo for the first time. Hybrid badges are displayed on the front wings and bootlid.
Inside, the instrument panel has been replaced with a bespoke display showing energy flow, battery charge and the power provided by the electric motor, while the audio system can show a graph of historical data for the last half hour of driving.
To avoid impacting on interior space, the lithium ion battery pack is housed behind the rear bench seat, and Volkswagen has fitted a system which disconnects the power source after an accident. The additional weight adds 100kg compared to a conventional 1.4 TSI Jetta.
The Jetta Hybrid will be available in North America from November. Volkswagen said it has no plans to bring the model to Europe.