VOLKSWAGEN E-GOLF TO MAKE NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

VOLKSWAGEN E-GOLF TO MAKE NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

The first fully electric Volkswagen for the U.S. market promises everyday usability and versatility with zero tailpipe emissions and low ownership costs
• Drivetrain consists of 24.2 kWh lithium-ion battery and 115 horsepower electric motor: 7.2 kW onboard charger is standard
• Three driver selectable regenerative braking modes
• Standard Fast Charging capability allows 80 percent battery charge within 30 minutes
• Roadside Assistance Plan takes the anxiety out of “range anxiety’
• First Volkswagen to be fitted with all-LED headlights
• Fun to drive, just like a Golf—but with zero tailpipe emissions 

VW E-Golf

LOS ANGELES –  Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced details of the e-Golf, its first fully electric vehicle to go on sale in the U.S., which will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The e-Golf is part of a structured powertrain strategy that will lead to the timely introduction of new and alternative drive systems, and is a part of Volkswagen’s holistic approach to sustainability, Think Blue. Volkswagen has stated that it aims to be the world leader in e-mobility among automakers by 2018.Although Volkswagen has sold more than 30 million Golf models worldwide, this is the first zero tailpipe emissions, fully electric version of the car that will be sold to the public. The e-Golf is available in five-door form only and is immediately recognizable by its unique aluminum-alloy wheels and by its LED headlights, the first time they have been used as standard on a Volkswagen vehicle. The LED headlights are more energy-efficient than Bi-Xenon systems, yet produce even more light. The standard LED daytime running lights are also highly energy-efficient and have a signature C-shaped design, a feature of Volkswagen’s electric vehicles. Another striking feature is the colored strip across the radiator grille that consciously aligns the e-Golf with Volkswagen’s Think Blue® sustainability campaign.

The e-Golf is due to go on sale in the U.S. in select states in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Powertrain
The e-Golf is powered by a 115-horsepower electric motor. From a standing start the EEM-85 synchronous permanent-magnet AC motor develops an impressive 199 pound-feet of torque, allowing the e-Golf to reach 25 mph from rest in 4.2 seconds and to get to 60 mph in approximately 10.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 87 mph.

The high-performance 12,000-rpm motor and the single-speed EQ270 transmission form a compact unit: the EQ270 also incorporates an integrated differential and an electro-mechanical parking brake. The motor and transmission was developed in-house and is made at Volkswagen’s components plant in Kassel, Germany.

Depending on driving style and charging behavior, the average range for the e-Golf is between 70 and 90 miles. Helping ensure optimal range in cold weather is a newly developed heat pump that is part of the e-Golf’s comprehensive list of standard equipment. The pump uses both ambient air and heat from the drive system components to heat the cabin rather than relying solely on the high-voltage heater, helping to reduce on-board electrical consumption significantly, especially in winter driving.

Lithium-ion battery. The Golf A7 was developed from the outset to be a Battery Electric Vehicle. As the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture that underpins the new Golf A7 is so flexible, Volkswagen was able to integrate the lithium-ion battery in a space-saving frame in the vehicle floor, under the front and rear seats and in the center tunnel. Like the electric motor and the transmission, the battery was also developed in-house at Volkswagen and is made at the company’s facility in Braunschweig, Germany.

The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery accounts for 701 pounds of the e-Golf model’s 3090-pound curb weight. It is composed of a total of 264 individual prismatic cells, which are integrated into 27 modules (each with six or twelve cells). Collectively, the cells have a nominal rating of 323 volts, with an overall capacity of 24.2 kWh. A battery management controller (BMC) performs diagnosis and monitoring functions and also regulates the temperature balance in the battery junction controller (the interface to the motor’s energy supply). When the car is not in use or in the event of a collision, power from the battery is automatically cut off.

A central element of the drive system is the power electronics module. This controls the flow of high-voltage energy between the electric motor and the lithium-ion battery, depending on the battery voltage, which runs between 250 and 430 volts. During the process the power electronics module converts the direct current (DC) stored in the battery into alternating current (AC). The power electronics therefore have the following interfaces: the traction circuit connection to the battery; the three-phase connection to the electric motor; the plug connection from the DC/DC converter to the 12-volt power circuit; and a connection for the high-voltage power distributor.

DB2013AU01197_large__mid
Charging concept and equipment
There are several different ways of charging the e-Golf’s battery, via the car’s standard 7.2 kW onboard charger. The most optimal solution is the available 220-volt wallbox for a garage or carport: this charges at 7.2 kW, enabling a completely flat battery to be fully charged in less than four hours. If a 220-volt connection is not available, the most cost-effective and easiest alternative is to plug the standard charging cable into a 110/120-volt electrical socket, which will take around 20 hours to charge the battery.The standard Combined Charging System (CCS) plug gives the e-Golf the capability to also take advantage of DC Fast Charging infrastructure. In this case the car can be recharged at CCS-equipped DC fast charge stations at levels of up to 40 kW, allowing the battery to be charged to 80 percent in around 30 minutes. For added flexibility, the charging process can be activated—immediately or programmed for later—by pressing a button next to the charging socket under the ‘fuel cap’ or through an available iPhone® or Android® app.

Innovative driver control 

The e-Golf features two technologies that allow the driver to control the vehicle’s energy use: three driving profiles designed to preserve energy (‘Normal’, ‘Eco’, and ‘Eco+’); and three different levels of regenerative braking (‘D1’, ‘D2’, and ‘D3’/‘B’).

‘Eco’ and ‘Eco+’ driving profiles. The e-Golf has three driving profiles: ‘Normal’, ‘Eco’ and ‘Eco+’. The car automatically defaults to ‘Normal’ mode upon start up. To extend the range, the first option is the ‘Eco’ mode, which pares back the electric motor’s maximum power output to 94 hp and the starting torque to 162 lb-ft. In parallel, the electronics reduce the output of the air conditioning system and modify the response curve of the accelerator pedal. In Eco mode, the e-Golf is limited to a top speed of 72 mph and 0 to 62 mph acceleration is increased to 13.1 seconds.

In ‘Eco+’ mode, the electronics limit the power output to 74 hp and the starting torque to 129 lb-ft, further flatten the accelerator pedal response curve and the air conditioning is switched off. The e-Golf now reaches a top speed of 56 mph and accelerates at a correspondingly slower rate. Nevertheless, full power, maximum torque, and the 87 mph top speed can be obtained if the driver depresses the accelerator pedal fully down in either ‘Eco’ or ‘Eco+’ mode.

Regenerative braking settings. In addition to the driving modes, the regenerative braking system can also be used to manage range. There are three driver-selectable levels available: ‘D1’, D2’, and ‘D3’/‘B’. It works like this: to switch to ‘D1”, ‘D2”, or ‘D3”, the driver taps the “shift” lever to the left once, twice, or three times. Tapping the knob to the right moves sequentially back to ‘D’. If the lever is pushed to the right and briefly held there, the electronics switch straight back to ‘D’. The driver activates regenerative braking level ‘B’, which is the same as ‘D3’, by pulling the lever backwards.

In an electric car this amount of flexibility can lead to a different way of driving. It is possible to use regenerative braking consciously to slow the e-Golf down. Level ‘D1’ regenerates energy and slows down the car the least, while level ‘B’ has the strongest effect. At levels ‘D2’, ‘D3’ and ‘B’, the deceleration via regenerative braking is so strong that the brake lights come on automatically. However, if the battery is fully charged, no energy regeneration takes place.

Aerodynamics 
Volkswagen took very specific measures to lower the e-Golf model’s coefficient of drag (Cd). Among these were: reducing the volume of cooling air via a radiator shutter and partially enclosed radiator grille; new underbody paneling; a rear spoiler and C-pillar air vanes to better manage airflow at the tail of the car; and cleaning up the airflow around the wheels, largely by ensuring they are flush with the wheelarches.

Acoustics
Electric drive systems present an acoustic challenge because the noise from an internal combustion engine is absent and thus different sources of sound become noticeable, while wind and tire noise become even more apparent. In addition, barely perceptible yet very specific electric drivetrain noises are joined by the sounds and vibrations of the electrically powered auxiliary components. To help ensure pedestrians can hear this almost silent vehicle coming, the e-Golf has a low-speed sound system installed.

Volkswagen specifically tailored the acoustics of the e-Golf for an electric vehicle, making it an almost silent cruiser. For instance, the powerplant’s subframe was changed to a pendulum mount: despite the electric motor’s high torque build-up when accelerating, this greatly enhances the acoustics. The motor housing unit was also specifically designed to achieve an extremely low level of noise emission. Finally, the interior uses highly sound-absorbent and yet very lightweight materials to produce a vehicle that is quieter than many luxury cars.

Design
Visually the e-Golf is distinguished by its energy-efficient LED headlights, used here for the first time on an American Volkswagen model. Compared to Bi-Xenon lights, the LED system produces more light despite consuming less power. Going forward, Volkswagen electric cars will feature a C-shaped LED DRL signature in the redesigned front bumper. The lack of tailpipes at the rear of the car is an obvious clue that this is an EV, along with the badging and blue highlights on the VW logo. Other e-Golf design features include aerodynamically optimized 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with low rolling resistance 205-section tires.

Interior. The e-Golf has an extremely high level of available equipment, starting with a touchscreen navigation system. Other features included are: VW Car-Net™ connected services; Keyless access with push-button start; heatable front seats; a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel; Bluetooth® technology; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; available SiriusXM® Satellite Radio; a rear-view camera; and Park Distance Control. The interior is also enhanced by blue elements, including the decorative seams on the steering wheel and shifter, plus the floor-mat edgings.

In addition, the e-Golf has a new instrument layout. The tachometer, which normally lives on the left-hand-side of the instrument cluster, is replaced by the power display—which indicates if the motor is ready, the battery is being charged via regenerative braking, or power is being drawn off—and an indicator of available output.

To its right, there is a conventional speedometer. The lower section of the speedometer now has an indicator showing the high-voltage battery’s state of charge. The color display between the power gauge and the speedometer now indicates the driving range, the current level of regenerative braking, and the remaining charging time and the type of charging connection. In a separate LED field at the lower segment of the multifunction display, the ‘READY’ message also appears after starting the motor.

The touchscreen in the center console is also equipped with additional functionality, such as:

• Range monitor: this provides a graphic illustration of the vehicle’s current range.
The impact that auxiliary components such as the air conditioning or heater would have on range is also displayed: the driver can gain additional range by switching these off.

• Energy flow indicator: this depicts the energy flow when accelerating (blue arrows) and when regenerative braking is happening (green arrows). Regenerative braking statistics show the amount of energy recovered since the start of the journey.

• e-manager: this enables drivers to pre-program up to three departure and charging times. At the defined time, this helps ensure that the vehicle has the air conditioning level set and the battery charged.

Driver Assistance Systems

The e-Golf features as standard a new assistance system called the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Studies in accident research have shown that about a quarter of accidents that involve personal injury are of the multi-collision type—in other words, there’s a second impact after the initial collision.

The APCBS automatically slows the vehicle when it is involved in an accident in order to significantly reduce its residual kinetic energy. The system is triggered based on detection of a primary collision by the airbag sensors. Vehicle braking by means of the system is limited by the ESC control unit to a maximum rate of 0.6 g.

The driver can ‘override’ the system at any time; for example, if the system recognizes that the driver is accelerating, it gets disabled. The automatic system is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking at an even higher rate of deceleration.

Customer Experience
Volkswagen intends to make the e-Golf ownership experience as seamless as possible. This includes offering a Roadside Assistance Plan that’s designed to take the anxiety out of “range anxiety”. For instance, if the customer runs out of charge and is within 100 miles of their home, Volkswagen’s Roadside Assistance provider will deliver the car to a nearby and convenient source for charging and will even pay for the customer to take a taxi home or to work if they decide not to travel with the car. The plan covers unlimited events.

The e-Golf will have its own dedicated “VW Car-Net e-Remote” app that will allow owners to adjust vehicle settings via a compatible smartphone or the VW Car-Net website. The app will contain the following functions:

• Climate control: Starting and stopping the auxiliary climate control function,
plus a display of the outside temperature and the target temperature for the car’s interior.

• Charging the battery: Starting and stopping the charging process, indicating
charger connection status, charge status, charge progress, charge level, charge start time and range.

• Accessing vehicle data: Information display relating to individual journeys (single
trips or long term), such as miles driven, journey time, electric motor power consumption, power consumption of auxiliary components such as air conditioning and radio, use of regenerative braking.
• Vehicle status queries: Doors and trunk locked, lights (on/off), charging cable plugged in, position where the car was last parked (GPS position on a map).

About Volkswagen of America, Inc. 
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 630 independent U.S. dealers.Notes:
This press release and images of the e-Golf are available at media.vw.com. Follow us @VWNews

The Volkswagen e-Golf will be available only at participating dealers in select states.

VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF XL1, THE WORLD’S MOST EFFICIENT PRODUCTION CAR

I’m hoping this comes to the US!

[hr]

• Volkswagen to produce XL1 at its Osnabrück plant in Germany, using carbonfiber technology
• The XL1 is the most aerodynamic production car ever, with a Cd of 0.19
• 261 mpg combined fuel consumption was a vision—now it’s a reality

Wolfsburg, Germany –  The XL1 from Volkswagen is the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, with a European combined fuel consumption rating of 261 mpg. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, this two-seat vehicle can also cover up to 32 miles as a zero-emissions vehicle in all-electric mode.The XL1 is an automotive standout that follows pure sports-car design principles: light weight (1753 pounds), exceptional aerodynamics (Cd 0.19), and a low center of gravity. This super-efficient Volkswagen thus has the ability to cruise down the road at a constant 62 mph while using just 8.3 horsepower. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover more than a kilometer.The XL1 emits just 21 g/km of CO2, thanks to its high-tech lightweight design, aerodynamic efficiency, and a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a 47-hp two-cylinder TDI® engine, a 27-hp electric motor, a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a lithium-ion battery. The 261 mpg fuel consumption figure is a record that has not been achieved by any other vehicle to date, showing that Volkswagen is redefining what is technically feasible in the automotive industry. The XL1 also has a top speed of 99 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds.

Conceptually, the XL1 represents the third evolutionary stage of Volkswagen’s 1-liter car strategy. When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, currently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, formulated the visionary goal of putting into production a practical car that had combined fuel consumption of one liter per 100 km (235 mpg). In the two-seat XL1, this vision has become reality.

Despite the tremendous efficiency of the XL1, the engineers and designers successfully came up with a body design which delivers more everyday utility than the two previous prototypes. In the L1, the 1-liter car that was shown in 2002 and 2009, the driver and passenger sat in a tandem arrangement for optimal aerodynamics; in the XL1, the two occupants sit slightly offset, side by side, almost like a conventional vehicle.

The XL1 is 153.1 inches long, 65.6 in wide, and just 45.4 in tall. By comparison, a Volkswagen Polo is slightly longer (156.3 in) and wider (66.2 in), but is significantly taller (57.6 in). Even a purebred sports car like today’s Porsche Boxster is 5.1 inches taller. The XL1 will look spectacular going down the highway—a car of the future, built for today.


About Volkswagen of America, Inc. 

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.Notes:
This press release and images of the XL1 are available at media.vw.com.“DSG”, “TDI”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG.

89mpg Volkswagen 7-Seater SUV

VW News!

VOLKSWAGEN CROSSBLUE MID-SIZE SUV CONCEPT MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

• Six-seater mid-size SUV concept designed (by vw) specifically for North America
• Innovative diesel-electric plug-in-hybrid powertrain offers manufacturer estimated fuel economy rating of 35 mpg combined, 89 mpge in electric mode
• Concept is built off the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) components set
• Range in all-electric mode is up to 14 miles
• 305 horsepower; 516 pound-feet of torque; 0 to 60 mph estimated at 7.2 seconds
• Sophisticated, spacious, flexible, and elegant interior space
• Exterior is a marriage of clean, timeless Volkswagen design language with the masculine character of an American SUV

Detroit, Mich. –  The versatile CrossBlue SUV concept that is making its global debut at the North American International Auto Show was developed specifically for the U.S. and Canada. If it goes into production, the CrossBlue would flesh out the Volkswagen SUV lineup with a seven-seat midsize crossover that slots in above the Tiguan and below the premium Touareg.The CrossBlue features a highly innovative plug-in hybrid powertrain that mates a TDI® Clean Diesel engine with two electric motors, a DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, and an electric all-wheel-drive system that is dubbed “propshaft by wire.” Volkswagen’s manufacturer estimated fuel economy rating is 89 mpge combined in electric mode and 35 mpg as a hybrid. As well as offering excellent economy for a mid-size crossover SUV, the CrossBlue has impressive performance from a powertrain that produces up to 305 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque: 0 to 60 mph is estimated to take just 7.2 seconds.The CrossBlue runs in zero emissions mode either at the press of a button or automatically. With a fully charged 9.8kWh lithium-ion battery, the CrossBlue can travel a distance of 14 miles in all-electric mode; to achieve optimal driving range, the top speed is reduced from 127 mph to 75 mph. The overall driving range is 661 miles if the 18.5-gallon fuel tank is filled with ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel.The CrossBlue concept, which boasts six individual seats, combines the visual impact of an SUV with the spaciousness and flexibility of a minivan. With a comfortable highway ride, good all-around visibility, and a full raft of safety features that includes up to 12 airbags, the concept car is a spacious and safe cruiser.The CrossBlue was designed in Germany under the leadership of Walter de Silva (Head of Design, Volkswagen Group) and Klaus Bischoff (Head of Design, Volkswagen Brand), in close coordination with Volkswagen of America. The vehicle merges the clean lines of German Volkswagen design DNA with the masculine character of an American SUV. This results in a very realistic vehicle that eschews showcar gaudiness to give a glimpse at a potential new Volkswagen SUV.“The CrossBlue concept is exactly the right type of vehicle for the U.S. market,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “It combines a truly versatile interior layout with sophisticated Volkswagen design, to give a unique and supremely stylish offering in this segment. Moreover, the vehicle showcases our innovative German powertrain engineering and the bandwidth of the new MQB architecture.”A Volkswagen Made for America Painted in “CrossBlue Glass Flake”, the concept is 196.3 inches long, 79.3 inches wide, and 68.2 inches high. It assumes a very confident stance on the road thanks to wide front and rear tracks of 66.4 and 66.8 inches respectively, 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels shod with 235/45 tires, and significantly flared wheelarches.Contrasting with the body color is stainless-steel trim that runs all around the SUV’s lower body section. Developed by a team led by Marc Lichte (Senior Designer, Volkswagen Brand), the CrossBlue features a very prominent and long hood that integrates the engine’s air intakes, a roofline that is also long, and a very short frontal overhang. The vehicle’s silhouette ascends slightly towards the rear, a visual impression that’s reinforced by a widening character line that runs from the headlights back to the taillights. Typically for a Volkswagen, there’s a precisely styled line above this.

The CrossBlue is equipped with two “fuel doors”—the filler neck for the diesel tank is on the passenger side, and engineers integrated two electrical sockets behind the door on the driver’s side. The first socket is used to charge the lithium-ion battery and the second can be used to connect electrical devices such as coolers or camping lights. In this case, the CrossBlue acts as an auxiliary electrical generator.

A key element of Volkswagen design DNA is the predominance of horizontal lines at the front and rear of the vehicle. The Volkswagen design team has further developed this in the CrossBlue. The radiator grille trim, consisting of two solid aluminum struts and a centrally positioned VW logo, is now a three-dimensional element that extends into the headlights and defines the entire front end. The upper aluminum strut frames the dual headlights, while the lower strut transitions into a line that extends across the entire front end and visually lengthens the grille. This gives the CrossBlue the appearance of being wider than it actually is.

The Volkswagen designers attended to even the smallest of details with great care. The air intakes in the bumper are an example. They are trimmed by horizontally mounted, black-painted pieces that are actually three-dimensional honeycomb structures when you examine them closely. Beneath the bumper, the front end is finished by stainless-steel-style trim and integrated underbody protection.

As at the front end, the designers accentuated the sculpted LED taillights with aluminum elements as well. From a styling perspective, the taillights are designed in the form of an “E” that opens towards the vehicle centerline. In the inner area, the contours of these two “Es” are trimmed in aluminum. The prominent tailpipes have a stainless-steel look and are integrated in a trim panel that features underbody protection.

Ample Space and Maximum Comfort
The interior is a key part of any crossover utility vehicle and the CrossBlue’s is ultra-stylish, luxurious, and versatile. The team headed by Tomasz Bachorsky (Lead Designer, Volkswagen Brand) equipped the concept car with six individual seats in three rows. In a production version, the second row would have the option of three seats to make it a full seven seater. Although the third row features stadium-style seating, which children will appreciate, headroom is excellent throughout the vehicle: 42.4 inches up front, 40.2 inches in the middle, and 37.6 inches in the rear. Legroom is ample, too, with 37.3 inches in the second row and 36.1 inches in the third row. Convenient access to the rear seats is assured by sliding second-row seats that can be managed with a single hand movement.

Behind the third seating row is a spacious cargo area. With the third row folded, load length is 48.8 inches, a figure that increases to 83.5 inches with the second row stowed. A fully folding front passenger seat means that objects up to 118 inches long can be accommodated inside the CrossBlue, perfect for the weekend run to the home improvement store.
The CrossBlue is not only an extremely spacious and comfortable SUV; it is also a very sophisticated one from the point of view of its materials and its precise styling and form language. In the process, the designers and engineers created an interior that will likely set new standards for this class.

As soon as the driver starts the SUV, the round-shaped controls for the lights, climate control, and the four-wheel-drive system emerge from their flush resting positions. The controls have rugged aluminum surrounds: aluminum is one of the predominant materials in the interior and is used for the air vent surrounds and the array of switches as well as for such features as the steering wheel spokes.

Leather and wood are also used to finish the interior. Oona Scheepers, Head of Color & Trim, decided to use especially distinctive dark stained banana tree wood accents. The lines of these wood accents “flow” from the sporty gearshift area and ascend the center console and across the lower instrument panel to the door trim, playing a large role in defining the interior space in the front of the vehicle. Above these wood accents and around the two-part center armrest, dark “Marble Gray” leather is used, with light beige “St Tropez” leather, trim pieces, and fabrics used beneath the wood accents and on the seats.

Contemporary technologies are integrated with these refined materials to make a clear design statement. Positioned centrally on the center console is a 10.2-inch touchscreen that is framed by an aluminum surround and central air vents. The large touchscreen is not only used to control all infotainment functions, but also to access the status of the hybrid system. Another new feature is a 3D display of either the navigation route or the contents of the media center. All the important switches in the passenger compartment—except for the hazard flasher switch—are soft-touch components that have a similar feel to using a touchscreen.

The instruments are also high-tech. The instrument cluster is designed to be user programmable, offering a wide variety of functions and displays. For example, the CrossBlue can be driven in different powertrain modes: information related to the “Eco” mode is shown with a blue background, while the “Sport” setting is shown in red.

The on-board entertainment system is as cool as it gets. To ensure that second- and third-row passengers can fully enjoy audio, video, and online entertainment, iPad® mini devices are integrated as monitors in the front-row head restraints. A Fender® Premium Audio System ensures concert-hall-quality sound throughout the vehicle. Second- and third-row occupants also have full control over the climate-control system in their part of the vehicle.

Drivetrain Combines Efficiency and Fun
The CrossBlue is based on Volkswagen’s new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) components set. This vehicle brings together MQB elements that could underpin a future generation of SUVs, such as the front and rear suspensions, the 190-horsepower TDI Clean Diesel engine from the new EA288 family, and a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. These components are combined with electrical parts that are also “made by Volkswagen,” such as the lithium-ion battery in the center tunnel and the 54-hp front and 114-hp rear electric motors. The Cross Coupé compact SUV concept—also being shown for the first time in the U.S. in Detroit—uses a similar powertrain concept, showing the extent of the MQB‘s modularity.

The CrossBlue is as efficient as it is sporty. As already noted, Volkswagen estimates 89 mpge in electric mode and 35 mpg combined running as a hybrid, as well as a 0 to 60 mph time of just 7.2 seconds. Although the combined power output of 305 hp is impressive, the torque characteristics are amazing. The TDI Clean Diesel engine makes 295 lb-ft from just 1750 rpm, while the electric motors produce their torque—133 lb-ft at the front wheels and 199 lb-ft at the rear—immediately. Combined, the system can produce up to 516 lb-ft, a stout number.

Different Operating Modes: The CrossBlue’s default mode is as a classic hybrid. The electric motor is used for propulsive power as often as possible in this situation. The driver can also switch to “Eco” or “Sport” modes by pressing a button to the right of the shift lever. In Eco mode, parameters such as the throttle map and air conditioning are controlled for minimal fuel and electrical consumption. In Sport mode, the drive system’s maximum power potential is exploited. Other available modes are: offroad, where all-wheel-drive is permanently engaged; charging; and EV mode, where it drives as an electric vehicle.

Powered by its lithium-ion battery, the CrossBlue can cover a distance of up to 14 miles as an EV, although top speed is reduced from 127 mph to 75 mph. In E-mode, only the 114-hp rear electric motor propels the vehicle and the TDI engine is shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain. Even at speeds of up to 75 mph, the internal combustion engine is not engaged as long as the battery has sufficient charge. As soon as there is a need for TDI power, it is coupled to the drivetrain again, jolt-free, within fractions of a second.

The CrossBlue’s lithium-ion battery has an energy capacity of 9.8 kWh and is housed in the center tunnel. The power electronics unit integrated in the engine compartment operates at a level of around 370V and manages the flow of high-voltage energy to and from the battery and the electric motors. A DC/DC converter supplies the vehicle’s electrical system with the 12-volt power it needs. The battery can be charged either by external power sources or by the TDI engine while the vehicle is in motion.

The driver can intentionally switch over to a charging mode by pressing another button on the center console. The TDI engine charges the battery while driving in order to store enough electrical energy for EV operation later in the journey—for instance, in an urban area.

There are also a number of other specific modes that automatically come into play, depending on the circumstances.

Coasting: As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the engine and electric motors are decoupled from the drivetrain and the engine is shut off, provided that the battery is sufficiently charged. This is referred to as “coasting.” No emissions are generated.

Battery regeneration: Whenever the driver releases the accelerator pedal or applies the brakes, and the battery is insufficiently charged, the two electric motors act as generators and feed energy recovered from the brakes into the lithium-ion battery. In this case, the TDI engine is also shut off and decoupled from the drivetrain to ensure maximum regeneration.

Boosting: When very sporty performance is required, the electric motors form an alliance with the TDI engine known as “boosting”: in this mode, all four wheels are driven.

Offroad (“propshaft by wire”): All four wheels are also driven whenever offroad mode is intentionally activated. In this case, however, the front electric motor—which is now supplied with energy by the TDI engine—operates exclusively as a generator and a power source for the electric motor at the rear. Since the energy for driving the rear wheels is electrical rather than mechanical, this is referred to as “propshaft by wire”. Because the TDI engine drives the front wheels in off¬road mode, the four-wheel-drive system is still operational even when the battery doesn’t have much charge.

TDI only: When the TDI engine is the sole source for propulsive power, the CrossBlue is a pure front-wheel-drive vehicle. Thanks to the efficient turbocharged, common-rail, direct fuel-injection diesel engine, the concept car is still very fuel-efficient. Based on manufacturer estimates, the CrossBlue would attain 37 mpg highway and 33 mpg city, values that a gasoline-engined SUV would find hard to match.

VW claims best highway fuel efficiency

VOLKSWAGEN CLAIMS BEST HIGHWAY FUEL EFFICIENCY, WITH SEVEN MODELS THAT ACHIEVE MORE THAN 40 MPG

New Jetta Hybrid earns EPA fuel economy rating of up to 48 mpg; the first compact hybrid available with a turbocharged engine

VW Jetta Hybrid, Orange County VW
Herndon, VA –  With EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 48 mpg on the highway, 42 mpg in the city, and a combined rating of 45 mpg, the Jetta Hybrid becomes the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the Volkswagen lineup and the seventh model capable of more than 40 mpg on the highway. With sales of the Jetta Hybrid beginning later this month, Volkswagen will offer more products that achieve this benchmark fuel economy figure than any other automotive manufacturer in the United States.

The other models to achieve more than 40 mpg are in the TDI® Clean Diesel family: Beetle TDI (manual); Beetle Convertible TDI (manual); Golf TDI (manual and automatic); Jetta TDI (manual and automatic); Jetta SportWagen TDI (manual); and Passat TDI (manual and automatic).

The Jetta Hybrid is Volkswagen’s second hybrid vehicle to go on sale in the U.S. and its first in the compact hybrid sedan segment. It uses a four-cylinder,1.4-liter, turbocharged and direct-injected TSI® engine that is mated to an electric motor and a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, a unique powertrain in the class. The combined rating of the powertrain is 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

The Jetta Hybrid goes on sale at the end of 2012, priced from $24,995. The entry-level Hybrid S has standard 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Bluetooth® technology, Climatronic® temperature control, a six-speaker sound system, and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel. The SE model, starting at $26,990, adds LED taillights, MDI interface with iPod® cable, the Premium VIII touchscreen radio with SD memory card reader, and keyless access with push-button start.

The Hybrid SEL costs $29,325 and adds 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; a power tilt-and-slide sunroof; the RNS 315 touchscreen radio and navigation system; heatable seats; and a six-way power driver’s seat. The topline Hybrid SEL Premium costs $31,180. This comes standard with 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and the Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), front foglights with cornering lights, the Fender® Premium Audio System, and a rearview camera.

Jetta Hybrid: First Impression

Jetta Hybrid: First Impression

I’ve always described hybrid vehicles as “Sewing machines on wheels.”  Until now, there has never been a hybrid built that proved my wrong in that description.  Well, I got to play with the new 2013 Jetta Hybrid yesterday and I was very pleasantly surprised!

VW Jetta Hybrid

The 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid is fun to drive and gets a combined 45mpg average!

Style-wise, its a Jetta, with some subtle tweaks to set it apart from its non-hybrid siblings.  An updated front grill with blue-trimmed Hybrid badges, side and rear diffusers and front and rear spoilers to help with aerodynamics add a lot to the styling, along with the new wheel options.

For performance, it does not disappoint at all!  The one thing I can see being a negative is owners will get carried away by the performance and drive it around like its a GTI, then say, “what happened to my fuel economy?”  It is a blast to drive when you want power and performance, and a wonderfully frugal fuel-sipper when you ask that of it.  I got 43.9mpg on one all-city drive around Anaheim, and 46.8 mpg on another drive!  Obviously I was trying my best, but with practice and getting used to the throttle I’m confident I could do even better.

The only real negative is trunk space.  Its the only hybrid sedan in its class with 60/40 split folding seats though, so that makes up for the smallish trunk size due to the hybrid battery placement.  The only hybrid that really has an advantage over the Jetta here is the Prius hatchback, but then again, you’d have to drive a Prius, and that would take you right back to the worst of the sewing machines on wheels!  There was an electric skateboard at the training, and it actually beat the Prius in a short drag race!

The Jetta is the fastest Hybrid, has better fuel economy than the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Honda Civic Hybrid, and is most importantly FUN TO DRIVE!  Owning a Volkswagen should be something to smile about, and is with the new Jetta Hybrid.

The 2013 Jetta Hybrid will be arriving in showrooms in about a month, so contact me here if you’re interested in taking a look at them when they arrive!