The two models are part of VW’s effort to become the most environmentally friendly auto maker, a position its CEO says is necessary to become the world’s highest-volume car company.
Electric E-Bugster look at Beetle EV to come.
DETROIT –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 trailingand 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.