DETROIT – Volkswagen is getting set to push more chips into the vehicle-electrification pot, unveiling a new hybrid version of the Jetta and an all-electric Beetle concept called the E-Bugster here at the North American International Auto Show.

The two models provide a shot in the arm to VW’s “Think Blue” marketing campaign rolled out in the U.S. last May and are meant to help establish the brand as a leader in fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly technologies.

“To become No.1 by 2018, we need to be the most sustainable,” CEO Martin Winterkorn says of the auto maker’s drive to become the world’s highest-volume auto maker before the decade runs out. “We’re spending E6 billion ($7.6 billion) in research and development every year to make it happen.

“The Jetta Hybrid and E-Bugster are proof of this vision.”

VW sold a record 8.1 million vehicles worldwide last year, good for what it says was a 12.5% share of the global market, but likely still trailing General Motors and Toyota at the top.

The new Jetta Hybrid, which will hit the U.S. in November, is being positioned as a performance hybrid. It mates a 150-hp 1.4L turbocharged gasoline engine with a 20-kW (27 hp) electric motor.

The combination provides 45 mpg (5.2 L/100 km) city/highway fuel economy but can take the car from standstill to 60 mph (97 km/h) in less than 9 seconds.

The Jetta Hybrid’s 220V, 1.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack weighs less than 80 lbs. (36 kg) and is mounted under the rear bench seat. The car is the first hybrid with a 7-speed, dual-clutch transmission, which VW says weighs just 163 lbs. (74 kg), significantly less than a conventional automatic.

Travel in electric-only mode is possible up to 44 mph (71 km/h) and for distances up to 1.2 miles (2 km), the auto maker says. In addition to typical stop/start functionality, the Jetta Hybrid can shut down its engine at up to 84 mph (135 km/h) to maximize fuel economy when coasting at freeway speeds.

The 2-seat E-Bugster is a stylized version of the Beetle powered by a 114-hp electric motor and air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack.

Although shown here as a concept, an electrified version of the Beetle is expected to be in production next year.

Ulrich Hackenberg, head of product development, tells WardsAuto the E-Bugster’s 28 kWh battery pack is designed to power the car more than 100 miles (161 km) between charges and last 106,000 miles (170,000 km).

Although it is a hardtop, the car looks like a convertible with its top up. It is distinguished from the production Beetle by its flat, wide windshield, low-profile roof and unique headlamps. Inside, the tachometer is replaced by an energy-consumption meter and displays showing the battery’s state of charge and remaining range.

dzoia@wardsauto.com