NAIAS 2012: Jetta Hybrid has pure EV mode

  • 10-Jan-2012 12:52 EST

The mass of the Jetta Hybrid is up by only 100 kg (220 lb), with a gross weight of less than 1500 kg (3307 lb).

Volkswagen chose the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit to debut a hybrid version of its new Jetta with a 1.4-L TSI four-cylinder engine, a seven-speed DSG transmission, and a 20-kW electric motor. The Jetta Hybrid joins the Touareg Hybrid as VW's second hybrid model to pair a gasoline engine with an electric motor, and it will debut in the U.S. and Canadian markets in November.

Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand with responsibility for Development, says that the hybrid combination results in a 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) time of less than 9 s. He added that the car's estimated combined U.S. EPA rating of 45 mpg represents consumption about 20% less than a com-parably powered car with a conventional drive system. In city traffic, fuel economy climbs by up to 30%. The car can be driven in pure electric mode at speeds of up to 70 km/h (44 mph) and up to 2.0 km (1.2 mi), depending on terrain and ambient conditions.

The turbocharged gasoline engine develops more power than the standard 2.5-L I5 at 110 kW (148 hp), and peak torque of 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) is available from 1400 to 3500 rpm. A decoupling clutch disengages the engine from the drivetrain when in pure electric driving or "sailing" mode during coasting and braking. For full acceleration, the electric motor and TSI combine for a temporary peak power of 125 kW (168 hp), which is applied to the front wheels via the DSG.

A compact 35.8-kg (78.9-lb) lithium-ion battery behind the rear seat consists of 60 individual cells, each with an energy capacity of 5 A·h to produce a total nominal 220 V and 1.1 kW·h energy capacity. Battery cooling is handled by a fan.

Thanks to lightweight drive components, the mass of the Jetta Hybrid is up by only 100 kg (220 lb). Additional safety modifications to the vehicle structure take the gross weight of the car to less than 1500 kg (3307 lb). To improve NVH, the 1.4-L TSI turbocharged engine is refined with a new exhaust system, and the car gets an acoustic windshield, thicker side windows in front, and other measures to make it the quietest car that Volkswagen has ever offered in this class.

Jetta Hybrid bodies are distinguished by aerodynamic modifications that include a new front spoiler, a rear diffuser, and a rear spoiler that improve the car’s aerodynamic drag by 10%. Hybrid badges are on the front, rear, and side body panels. A special radiator grille has the VW logo on a blue background.

The base model is equipped with LED rear lights and special 15-in alloy wheels with low-rolling-resistance tires. Higher-spec models come with 16- or 17-in wheels and bi-xenon headlights. New instruments have operating info displayed in menus showing such data as energy flow diagrams, battery charge state, and an ePower meter.

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