First Hybrid to Use 7-Speed Dual-Clutch TransmissionWe first wrote about the VW Jetta hybrid a year and a half ago, but now it's finally here. Well, almost. It will become available in North-America "at the end of 2012", but more details about it have been unveiled at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show.
Technical Highlights of 2013 VW Jetta HybridThe Jetta hybrid will be powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine (weighting just 216 lbs) producing 150 hp and 184 lbs-ft of torque from just 1400 rpm up to 3500 rpm. It is mated to a 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor which can move the car alone up to 44 MPH. The combined power rating is 170 hp, giving the Jetta hybrid a 0 to 60 mph time of 9.0 seconds.
The battery uses the lithium-ion chemistry. It has a rating of 220-volt and can store 1.1 kWh in 60 individual cells with a combined energy capacity of 5 Ah. It's integrated behind the rear seat and weighs less than 80 lb. Because it stores relatively little energy (compared to a plug-in hybrid, for example), the Jetta hybrid only has an electric range of 1.2 mile, and only when the battery is sufficiently charged.
Another highlight for the 2013 VW Jetta hybrid is the transmission. Most hybrids have continuously variable transmissions (CVTs), but the Jetta has a dual-clutch:
Power is taken to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch transmission that operates automatically and efficiently, as well as providing super-fast shifting. Downsizing was achieved here, too: at 163 lb, the DSG transmission weighs significantly less than a conventional automatic and is also much more compact in its construction. Thanks to its lightweight drive components, the weight of the Jetta Hybrid was only increased by 221 lb despite the addition of a battery system. The car weighs in at less than 3310 lb, which is low for a hybrid vehicle.
Fuel economy is estimated to be a respectable 45 MPG combined, which is pretty good compared to most cars, but still below Toyota's 2010 Prius hybrid. I was expecting that by now, other automakers would have soundly beaten Toyota's flagship hybrid, but I suppose we'll have to wait a bit longer...
Pricing and Availability for 2013 Jetta HybridAll that VW said about pricing was that the Jetta hybrid would be "competitively priced with other compact hybrids" and that it would launch "in the North American market at the end of 2012".
More from the Detroit Auto Show: Ford Unveils New 2013 Fusion Hybrid (lithium-ion, 47 MPG) and Plug-In Fusion Energi (100+ MPGe)