The Golf Hybrid concept that’s sitting on VW’s show floor in Geneva has a “Golf Bluemotion Diesel” badge on its hatch, but the hybrid technology is intended to be used with either a diesel (TDI) or direct-injection gasoline (TSI) engine. VW’s aim was to create a powertrain that would have CO2 emissions of less than 90 grams per kilometer, and they achieved this, since the Golf TDI Hybrid comes in at 89 grams. It’s worth noting, though, that a conventional Golf TDI emits only 119 grams per kilometer, since anything under 150 grams is considered to be pretty clean in the European market.
There’s nothing groundbreaking about the hybrid technology used here; there’s a battery pack under the rear cargo shelf, an electric motor in the middle of the chassis, and the engine in front. At first glance, this car looks like any other Golf, but then you notice that the grille is different, the air inlets have been minimized to reduce aerodynamic drag, and the car sits a bit lower. The handsome eight-spoke wheels have a black ring around their perimeter which presumably also helps reduce drag.
Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe announced at the Geneva show that his company has no plans for a diesel hybrid due to the higher cost of such a powertrain, so if VW goes ahead with production, it’s likely to have this market to itself. There’s no word whether such a production car would come to America.