While Volkswagen has been slightly absent on the hybrid, HEV, plug-in hybrid, PHEV and electric vehicle, EV scene, its come back this year involves the fastest hybrid production car.
The 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid is now the fastest production hybrid car, according to the Southern California Timing Association, SCTA. In order to achieve this, the specifically modified compact sedan Jetta Hybrid set the new hybrid speed record of 185.394 mph, that’s 298.363 km/h on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Nevada.
Technically Speaking. In order to achieve this, VW had to comply to the SCTA rules, which meant modifying many components on the production car. Indeed, the Jetta’s powertrain was tweaked by the company’s R&D team in Wolfsburg, Germany in order to squeeze as much horsepower as it could and break the world speed record. Meanwhile, the engineers at the Volkswagen Test Center in California worked on the drivetrain to finalize the last tweaks and calibrations. The last modifications were made by California’s A-Salt Racing and Advanced Product Engineering to ensure safely on the Salt Flats.
The 2013 Jetta Hybrid is dues at the end of this year and the company expects it to deliver a combined fuel economy of 45 mpg. The Jetta Hybrid uses about 20% less fuel than direct competition, a similar type of sedan with a conventional drivetrain. It sports a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder TSI gasoline engine with direct-injection. It weighs at 216 Lbs and cranks out a healthy 150 horsepower, with a peak power output of 170 hp in S driving mode. The 0 to 60 mph is achieved in less than 9 seconds. But the Jetta Hybrid’s other claim to fame is that it claims to be the first hybrid car to use a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission.
27 hp is delivered via a 20 kW electric motor that gets its power from a small 1.1 kWh Li-ion battery pack. In fact, it’s so small, it consists of only 60 individual cells that fit neatly under the rear bench seat. But the Jetta Hybrid has one nice feature. It can be driven in pure electric mode at speeds up to 44 mph. While the distance won’t get you far, it could be perfect for those short trips to pick up a cup of coffee, say1.2 miles.
According to Marc Trahan from VW: “It was a real challenge to integrate the complex hybrid elements and generate the power needed to run at these speeds. The Jetta Hybrid Land Speed Record project shows both the sporty nature of our Hybrid offering and the technical excellence of our engineers in Wolfsburg and in the Test Center California.”
VW hasn’t been quick to give us state-of-the-art electric drive, but the Jetta Hybrid offers some great features. Another one of which is the stop/go traffic system that shuts off the gasoline engine at standstill, but also disengages the engine when braking, thus allowing for even more fuel saving. So far, this makes the VW Jetta Hybrid the hybrid to beat for the competition.