Archive for September, 2012

Audi testing A1 e-tron Dual-Mode Hybrid concept [w/video]

Small car, many motors.

Audi, which has been testing its A1 e-tron extended-range plug-in around Munich, has started doing the same with a version that has a conventional engine and two electric motors.

Audi’s Dual-Mode Hybrid A1 e-tron concept car has multiple drivetrain modes that let the plug-in hbyrid’s 1.5-liter TFSI internal combustion engine like both a conventional engine and an on-board generator, depending on the car’s speed and other conditions. The engine can also be disengaged from the drivetrain by a claw clutch when needed. This is usually when the car is operating in electric mode, up to speeds of 34 miles per hour. Then there’s serial mode, where “the combustion engine and the alternator … produce electrical energy to support, relieve or substitute the battery should it be discharged.”

There’s a four-minute video floating around that provides some computer-generated images of the car’s exterior and drivetrain system and that lays out how the car operates, complete with cool, mellow electronica music. You can see it below, along with Audi’s too-long press release. The upshot is that the dual-mode e-tron delivers a combined 177 horsepower, can go about 56 miles on battery power alone and gets a whopping 235 miles per gallon equivalent (using an unspecified measuring stick).

Audi has already tested its “regular” A1 e-tron extended-range EV for about 30,000 miles. That concept car combines a rotary-engine range extender with an electric motor to give the vehicle a total range of about 150 miles.

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VW reconfirms Jetta hybrid for 2012, boasts “best-in-class” MPG rating

Reconfirming what we already knew, Volkswagen product strategist Toscan Bennet announced that a hybrid version of the sixth-generation Jetta is definitely on the way and on schedule for a 2012 launch date. Bennet said:

VW as a brand takes the electrification of the automobile very seriously, and we have a longtime strategy for growing that business. The Jetta hybrid is our first entry in that strategy.

During the NYC debut of the new Jetta, Bennet made it clear that the company is shooting for “best-in-class” mileage ratings for the hybrid version of its new sedan. VW doesn’t mean Prius-like numbers here, but beating the Honda Civic Hybrid sounds about right. VW admits that the Prius defines classes and resides alone as the hybrid mileage champ. Rather than aspire to the Prius numbers of 51 miles per gallon city and 48 mpg highway, VW is more conservatively shooting to surpass the marks of 40 mpg city and 45 mpg highway set by the hybrid Civic. Combine the high mileage targets with price cuts found throughout the new Jetta lineup and VW may have a hybrid hit on its hands soon.

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