2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
By Jim McCraw
On Sale: Fourth Quarter 2012
Expected Pricing: About $28,000
The Volkswagen Jetta lineup will add a groundbreaking hybrid version late next fall. Volkswagen says the 2013 Jetta Hyrbrid will be the most fuel-efficient Jetta in the five-model family, with a combined mileage figure of 45 miles per gallon, and the first hybrid in the world to combine its engine and electric drivetrain system with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid will use 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine rated at 150 horsepower and 184 foot-pounds of torque, combined with a 27-horsepower electric motor/generator for a peak output of 170 horsepower. The Jetta Hybrid system will use an 80-pound, 60-cell, 220-volt, 1.1-kilowatt battery with a capacity of five amp-hours, located under the rear seat.
The system will allow the car to be driven from rest up to 37 miles per hour as an electric vehicle, or 44 mph in the E mode. Its performance envelope includes a 0-60 mph acceleration time of less than 9 seconds, according to Volkswagen.
Like the Touareg Hybrid SUV that preceded it to the market, the Jetta Hybrid has a system that completely decouples the gasoline engine whenever the electric motor is powering the car.
Like other hybrids, the Jetta Hybrid uses regenerative braking, feeding electrical energy into the battery that can be used in the electric drive mode or for boosting acceleration performance. In the Jetta Hybrid, whenever the driver releases the gas pedal prior to braking, the decoupling clutch disengages the engine. When the driver begins to brake the car, the brakes, rather than the usual combination of brakes, drivetrain drag, and engine torque, do all the braking.
The gasoline engine stops running when the car comes to a halt in city driving or stop-and-go traffic, provided that the driver presses the brake pedal and that the battery is sufficiently charged. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, at speeds of up to 84 mph, the engine shuts down and is decoupled from the drivetrain to eliminate driveline drag and the effects of engine torque.
A power meter multifunctional display replaces the tachometer on the left side of the instrument cluster to inform the driver of the operating state of the Jetta Hybrid, including Ready, Charge, Eco, Boost, E-Mode and Off.
The Jetta Hybrid is distinguished by aerodynamic modifications that include a new front airdam, a rear diffuser, and an integrated rear spoiler. The Hybrid's coefficient of drag is 10 percent lower than that of the standard Jetta. The Jetta Hybrid is equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels with low rolling resistance tires. A special radiator grille has the VW logo integrated on a blue background.
Volkswagen says the Jetta Hybrid will be the quietest car the company has ever produced in its class, thanks to a newly designed exhaust system, an acoustically optimized windshield, and thicker front side windows.