2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:36
VW wants to grow powerfully in the USA and is launching an attack against Toyota. As the “New Compact Coupé”, the Wolfsburg-based company is presenting a kind of noble version of the Jetta. It is unlikely to stay with a study: As a four-door with hybrid drive, the car should be the leather of the Prius.
By Sebastian Viehmann
How fitting: just in time for the auto show, fuel prices rose sharply in Detroit. While a gallon of gasoline cost less than two dollars last year, the average is currently $ 2.73. That is a long way from the horror prices of summer 2008, but Americans' appetite for saving fuel is growing - again. And never before has the range of economical cars at the fair been as large as this year. The motto is four instead of eight cylinders and MPG is the magic word: How many miles per gallon can a new car create? Even hybrids, whose sales success in the US is known to rise or fall almost parallel to the development of fuel prices, can look forward to good times. An indication of this is the high demand for the new Prius and the Ford Fusion Hybrid.
Electric short distances
At VW, the Touareg will make the very late hybrid start in a few weeks. What comes next is indicated by the New Compact Coupé study, the Wolfsburg star at the Detroit Motor Show. The drive work is shared by a 1.4 liter, 150 hp petrol engine with turbocharging and a 20 kilowatt electric motor. The engine sits between the petrol unit and the seven-speed dual clutch transmission. A lithium-ion battery in the rear of the car supplies the energy for the electric machine. The hybrid coupé can also drive short distances purely electrically. The TSI engine is then decoupled via a disconnect clutch in order to avoid drag torque losses. When braking, the electric motor works as a generator and recovers energy. According to VW, the hybrid study achieved an average consumption of 4,2 liters per 100 kilometers and accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 8.6 seconds.
In terms of optics, the study is based entirely on the current VW design with a touch of Scirocco in the front - extra-wide headlights, connected by a black radiator element. The coupé silhouette clearly borrows from the Audi A5. The 4.54 meter long car rolls on 19-inch wheels. The tear-off edge on the trunk lid reduces air turbulence and thus fuel consumption.
Well behind Honda and Toyota
The study is also intended to whet the Americans' appetite for the new Jetta, which will appear in the summer and, above all, would like to dig the top dogs Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. This is still wishful thinking, because the Jetta cannot really gain a foothold in American compact cars (sub compacts). In California, for example, the most important US car market, sales figures were well behind the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, Matrix and Prius models in 2009.
The “New Compact Coupé” looks very close to series production. As can be learned from company circles, the Jetta successor - the current model currently costs just under 18,000 dollars in the USA - will start at 15,000 dollars in the future and thus directly attack the Corolla. But that's not all: If the Wolfsburg-based company's chic show car goes into series production, the hybrid won't be long in coming. Then VW would finally have an opponent for Toyota Prius and Honda Insight in the important hybrid market USA. While the driving pleasure of the latter two hybrids is not exactly enormous, VW promises a part-time electrician with power. However, diesel also seems to be slowly gaining acceptance among US buyers as an alternative. Every fourth Jetta is already sold with a diesel engine under the hood. VW will therefore drive multiple tracks - in the USA both diesel and hybrid should gain market share in the long term, in Asian countries the hybrid will play a role in particular.
In Germany, where the Jetta is more of a marginal figure, the Golf would be the more interesting hybrid candidate. If the German downward trend in diesel continues, which was of course also owed to the scrappage bonus last year, the hybrid traffic light in Wolfsburg could soon be green. After all, the Wolfsburg-based tactics are not new - the motto for Touran and Tiguan was also: first wait and then roll up the field from behind.
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