Breaks its own land speed world record set just a months prior on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Oct. 8, 2012
2013 VW Jetta Hybrid - $24,995 to start and a 45 mpgUS combined rating.
First a short intro about the Jetta hybrid from the folks at Volkswagen.
The downsized direct injected and turbocharged 1.4L I4 develops 150 HP and 184 lb-feet of torque delivered from just 1400 rpm. Combined with a 27 HP electric motor, the system output of 170 HP ensures that the new Jetta Hybrid can “giddy up and go”. Meaning < 9 seconds to 60 mph.
Just like the Touareg Hybrid SUV, the Jetta Hybrid features a clutch that decouples the gasoline engine from the drivetrain when in pure electric drive or gliding modes. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal at speeds of up to 84 mph, the 1.4L shuts down and is decoupled from the drivetrain to eliminate driveline drag and the effects of the engine’s torque. This results in further fuel savings.
A smallish air cooled 1.1 kWh Li-Ion battery stores and supplies the energy to the electric motor.
The dual-clutch AT -- Power is taken to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission that operates automatically and efficiently, as well as providing super-fast shifting. Downsizing was achieved here, too: at 163 lb, the DSG transmission weighs significantly less than a conventional automatic and is also much more compact in its construction. Thanks to its lightweight drive components, the weight of the Jetta Hybrid was only increased by 221 lb despite the addition of a battery system. The car weighs in at less than 3310 lb.
The Jetta Hybrid works as an electric vehicle up to 37 mph if the electric motor is engaged automatically or up to 44 mph if the driver presses the E-mode button to the right of the shift lever. About a third of the potential fuel savings in the Jetta Hybrid comes through electric driving.
Regenerative braking, with a wrinkle: Like other hybrid vehicles, the Jetta Hybrid uses regenerative braking, feeding kinetic energy into the battery to be stored as electrical energy that can be used in the electric drive mode or for boosting the powertrain’s overall performance. In the Jetta Hybrid, this is achieved more efficiently because when the driver releases the gas pedal prior to braking; the decoupling clutch disengages the engine. When the driver begins to slow down the car, all the deceleration is done by the brakes rather than a combination of the brakes, drivetrain drag, and engine torque. This means that more kinetic energy can be recovered back into the Li-Ion battery.
And because it is an advanced hybrid, the heating, A/C and electrically operated comfort and convenience features, such as the audio system, continue to operate like normal given the large energy storage from the Li-Io pack.
2013 VW Jetta Hybrid and the latest Bonneville Salt Flats exploits
After becoming the world’s fastest hybrid at Bonneville in August, VW released yet another chart topper with the fact the VW Jetta Hybrid LSR returned to the Salt Flats on October 5th to break the Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) H/PS land speed record. The class is for production cars with engines of less than 1.5L that uses forced induction.
A MT Editor averaged 186.313 mph over two runs during the SCTA’s World Finals event, eclipsing the previous record by 18.8 mph. In the course of making his second run, Lago averaged 187.147 mph for the last mile, besting the 300 km/h mark. This is also the fastest run recorded by a hybrid, beating the 185.394 mph set by the same exact car back in August.
Because the Jetta Hybrid runs in a production-car class, modifications are strictly controlled by the SCTA. The suspension was lowered, special Salt Flat wheels and tires fitted, and the interior was stripped and outfitted with full safety equipment, including a rollcage, racing seat and harness, and a full fire suppression system. The powertrain is the area with the most freedom under the rules and was modified by Volkswagen R&D in Wolfsburg, Germany, in order to make the kind of horsepower needed to run at such high speeds at Bonneville. VW stated it has somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 HP, almost double its stock 170 total system HP output.
If the Wolfsburg boys can almost double the performance of the Jetta Hybrid, I also wonder if they could double the fuel economy? Good question is it not?
More on the upcoming 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid can be found at the following:
2013 VW Jetta Hybrid at 45 mpgUS combined = “Nuff Said”
2013 Jetta Hybrid Pricing Plus a Whole Lot More