Last month we got our first look at the larger, less expensive 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. As the car prepares for its U.S. launch, company CEO Martin Winterkorn announced yesterday that it will soon be available as a hybrid.
Speaking to Bloomberg yesterday at Volkswagen's research laboratory in Palo Alto, Calif., Winterkorn stated that a hybrid Jetta will join the hybrid Touareg SUV, scheduled to launch later this year. In our first look at the 2011 Jetta last month, we learned that powertrain options for the sedan would include a 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, 2.5-liter I-5, and a 2.0-liter I-4 turbo-diesel. Ahead of the sedan's October launch, some details remain unclear about Volkswagen's hybrid setup. While it may be similar to the Touraeg's parallel hybrid system, it might also be able to run completely on battery power at low speeds, similar to the Toyota Prius.
What we'd really like to see, though, is a diesel powertrain mated to a hybrid setup, similar to the Golf TDI Hybrid concept shown at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. It's rumored that the cost of pairing a hybrid system with a diesel engine is a factor holding up the technology's development, but the fuel savings would likely be impressive. Would you be willing to pay a higher price for a diesel hybrid? Let us know what you think in the comments section.