Volkswagen’s Jetta Hybrid was unveiled at Los Angeles International Auto Show this week.
With a claimed 45 mpg fuel efficiency, according to a VW press release, the model will be powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine used in “millions” of VWs in Europe. It will feature a button that will allow the driver to select electric-only mode, completely bypassing the need for the gasoline engine– but only up to 44 mph and up to 1.3 miles, depending on terrain.
Unlike many hybrid automobiles, the Jetta uses a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox just like those found in other VWs. The company claims it “merges driving fun with sustainability.” Dual-clutch gearboxes are known for their quicker-shifting nature than traditional automatics that have a torque converter.
But it’s not all unconventional. Like most hybrids, the Jetta Hybrid regenerates battery power under braking. Its gasoline engine will shut off while the car is stopped in city traffic– another feature frequently seen on hybrids and increasingly on non-hybrids.
Eco-conscious drivers may be able to eek a few more mpgs out of the Jetta Hybrid than VW’s 45-mpg estimate, just like this couple who got 49.9 mpg in a VW-sponsored eco challenge.