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Diesel Lovin' VW Reveals Aggressive Hybrid Vehicle Plan



Volkswagen, along with other European auto companies, has long proclaimed diesels as a better green strategy than hybridization. True, diesels are efficient and practical, but in the U.S., they have a reputation of being noisy and smelly. VW has worked hard to overcome that image with cars like the Jetta TDI but now are apparently changing direction (although they still like diesels).

During a press conference last week at its Electronics Research Lab in Palo Alto, California, Volkswagen chairman Dr. Martin Winterkorn repeated the company's electrified slogan: “In the future, the heart of Volkswagen will also beat with electricity.” And in an opaque reference to the original Beetle, Winterkorn told the gathered media that “Volkswagen is working on the electric car for everyone.” (We'll report on VW's electric car strategy on PluginCars.com later today.) He added that hybrid and electric vehicles will account for three percent of the German carmaker's global sales by 2018.

The Roadmap

Winterkorn concluded his remarks by laying out the company's roadmap for hybrid and electric vehicle introductions into the United States. First up is the 2011 Touareg Hybrid, which launches later this year.

The Touareg Hybrid pairs a 333 horsepower, 3.0-liter supercharged direct injection V6 gasoline engine with a 34-kilowatt (47 horsepower) electric motor. Completing the powertrain is an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive setup.

Drawing juice from a 145 pound, 1.7-kWh nickel-metal hydride battery pack tucked into the spare-tire well, the Touareg Hybrid can do some cool tricks—like traveling on electric power up to 31 mph for up to a mile or so. Also, VW engineers cleverly positioned a clutch between the engine and transmission that can shut down the V6 at speeds up to 99 mph. The company refers to this as “sailing” and results in incremental increases in fuel economy. Real-world combined mileage will be around 20 mpg. That's a nice jump from the conventional version, but not exactly the ultimate green SUV.

Like all full hybrids, the Touareg Hybrid shuts the engine off when the vehicle comes to a stop and starts up again in electric mode. Under deceleration or braking, the electric motor acts as a generator and sends electricity to the battery pack. The Touareg's hybrid system will be shared with the Audi Q5 Hybrid and Porsche S Cayenne Hybrid that are set to arrive later this year. Porsche will also build a limited number of the hybrid 918 Spyder hypercar.

Pricing has not been released for the Touareg Hybrid, but expect around $5,000 to $6,000 more than the base V6 gas engine model, which starts at about $41,000.

The VW hybrid sales volume leader will be the 2012 Jetta Hybrid. Wrapped in the sheetmetal of the newly introduced 2011 Jetta, this gas-electric model will be a full hybrid. Surprisingly, the Jetta Hybrid's gasoline engine will be the U.S. debut of VW's twincharger TSI in-line four cylinder.



Not to be confused with the TwinDrive plug-in hybrid shown in 2008, the twincharger TSI incorporates both a supercharger and a turbocharger, and has been available in Europe since 2006 in the VW Golf. The supercharger provides boost at low rpm with the turbo kicking in for top-end power. It's a novel use of forced induction, with the supercharger blowing through the turbo's compressor before heading to the intercooler, then the intake manifold.

Combined with direct injection, the forced induction gives the 1.4-liter four nearly the same performance as the 2.0-liter turbo, but is more efficient and therefore delivers higher fuel mileage and fewer emissions.

It's not confirmed that the 2012 Jetta Hybrid will use the 1.4-liter twincharger engine. Volkswagen is developing 1.2- and 1.6-liter versions and either are possibilities. Again, pricing has not been revealed, but expect a $3,000 to $5,000 premium over the Jetta's base price of $15,995.

But wait, there's more. The VW Passat will be offered with a hybrid powertrain in 2013 followed by the Golf, but it's not a given they will be offered in the U.S. Audi is working to hybridize the A8 sedan, but no introduction was given.

Why this emphasis on hybrid and electric vehicles by Volkswagen? Simple. Governments are tightening rules to cut emissions. VW's ambitions are to nearly triple its share in the U.S., the world's second-biggest auto market, to six percent by 2018 and increase sales to one million cars, including 200,000 Audi vehicles. To meet the California dictate, and similar eco-rules around the world, the automaker will indeed have to make the “electric car for everyone” and put some electricity into the cars everyone is already buying.

Source: http://www.hybridcars.com/news/diesel-lovin-vw-reveals-aggressive-hybrid-vehicle-plan-28314.html
 

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I think TDI will have at least another 10 years of strong use. What matters is: in North America? And how good will hybrids be?

Any major advances in battery technology will take a number of years to develop, test, put into production, and accepted. There's no way it will take less than 5 years. For example, even if the Volt and Leaf are huge successes, there will still be plenty of market for other cars. In addition, Europe will continue to have strong support for TDI which will trickle down to North American support for TDI. Part of this is how much the vested interests have in diesel fuel and TDI technology. They're not going to throw away billions of dollars of manufacturing and research until market forces say so.

I am not optimistic about hydrogen fuel cell cars - there is no supply and distribution infrastructure and fuel cells are expensive. EV can be made on a wide scale with current technology so easier gains can be found there.

This is a good as time as any to announce that myturbodiesel.com has spawned a sister site: www.evwaudi.com , the site for EV (and hybrid) VW and Audi. My admin name there is Voltron :) (the admin has to have a funny name) At this point it's just a blog for hybrid VW and Audi but a forum will be added soon. The high quality writeups and FAQ that appear on that site as more information on how the VW hybrid system works and how the Audi hybrid system works.
 

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I think TDI will have at least another 10 years of strong use. What matters is: in North America? And how good will hybrids be?

Any major advances in battery technology will take a number of years to develop, test, put into production, and accepted. There's no way it will take less than 5 years. For example, even if the Volt and Leaf are huge successes, there will still be plenty of market for other cars. In addition, Europe will continue to have strong support for TDI which will trickle down to North American support for TDI. Part of this is how much the vested interests have in diesel fuel and TDI technology. They're not going to throw away billions of dollars of manufacturing and research until market forces say so.

I am not optimistic about hydrogen fuel cell cars - there is no supply and distribution infrastructure and fuel cells are expensive. EV can be made on a wide scale with current technology so easier gains can be found there.

This is a good as time as any to announce that myturbodiesel.com has spawned a sister site: www.evwaudi.com , the site for EV (and hybrid) VW and Audi. My admin name there is Voltron :) (the admin has to have a funny name) At this point it's just a blog for hybrid VW and Audi but a forum will be added soon. The high quality writeups and FAQ that appear on that site as more information on how the VW hybrid system works and how the Audi hybrid system works.
FYI, the Audi Q5 was recently confirmed to be the first Audi hybrid. I saw that there was an A8 hybrid concept but it's a no go. Q5 = fancy Tiguan?
 

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Hybrids will never be as practical as pure breed cars of gas, diesel or electric. Fully electric is where they want to be. Chevy's Volt is actually somewhat ahead of the curve in thinking. The gas engine in it is nothing more than an electric generator to feed the electric engine. That is much more efficient than rigging 2 drivetrains up.
 

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FYI, the Audi Q5 was recently confirmed to be the first Audi hybrid. I saw that there was an A8 hybrid concept but it's a no go. Q5 = fancy Tiguan?
The Tiguan is based off the Jetta. The Q7 is based off the Audi A4/a5. If you look inside the Tiguan it's like they raised the Jetta.
 

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The Tiguan is based off the Jetta. The Q7 is based off the Audi A4/a5. If you look inside the Tiguan it's like they raised the Jetta.
Tiguan is based off the MK5 Golf architecture (think of a GTI jacked up). They are built alongside in the Wolfsburg, Germany plant. The Q5 is based off the the new Audi MLP platform (Modular Longitudinal Platform) which debuted in the 2007 Audi A5 coupé.
 

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Hybrids will never be as practical as pure breed cars of gas, diesel or electric. Fully electric is where they want to be. Chevy's Volt is actually somewhat ahead of the curve in thinking. The gas engine in it is nothing more than an electric generator to feed the electric engine. That is much more efficient than rigging 2 drivetrains up.
Except that in fuel efficiency is isn't. The loss from the gas motor now is even more as the loss of conversion to electricity and loss at the electric motor to propulsion.
 

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Except that in fuel efficiency is isn't. The loss from the gas motor now is even more as the loss of conversion to electricity and loss at the electric motor to propulsion.
Actually it isn't, that's why I said it. Kind of weird I know but you can be more efficient charging a battery using petrol for an induction engine than if you harness its power mechanically. Harnessing the power of the petrol mechanically involves a lot of conversion between many moving parts. Harnessing the power as electricity utilizes far fewer. Then for mechanical efficiency it is hard to be beat an induction engine. Electrically induced magnetism is just too good. Kind of heresy on a TDI site but thems the facts. :panic:
 
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