Update: VW announced this car will not be built because it was deemed “too expensive.” Sorry Folks, VW Diesel Electric Hybrid Not Coming to US.
Toyota may lose its high-mileage stranglehold on the U.S. auto industry, thanks to Volkswagen’s new Golf hybrid-electric diesel. At 69.9 MPG, the new model is a serious contender for high-mileage biodiesel usage with a ridiculously low-emissions profile, especially since it will meet the strictest emissions standards in the world: Europe’s Euro V and America’s Tier II Bin 5.
This makes it likely to be released in California, since the major impediment to U.S. diesel vehicle sales has been emissions technology. But VW doesn’t plan on releasing the vehicle in until Europe late next year, which means we’d optimistically see a U.S. version sometime in 2010.
Now, I don’t know if VW has been keeping track of its competitors, but 2010 could be the year for green auto manufacturing, and the Golf may face some serious competition. 2010 is the year slated for the Chevy Volt’s release (along with a plug-in from Toyota). It may all depend on sticker price, since plug-in hybrids will get unbeatable mileage within the city limits (40-50 miles on pure electricity).
The Golf should have all electric capability at slow speeds, regenerative breaking, and a 7-speed transmission.
VW will release the Golf at the Geneva Motor Show, and they may be considering other hybrid models in the future. Check out the only other diesel-hybrid I’ve heard of: Mercedes 40-MPG Diesel Hybrid: Cleanest SUV on the Planet.
Posts Related to Green Car Tech and Biodiesel:
Germans Release 117 MPG Diesel Sportscar: Biodiesel, Anyone?
Autopia (Feb. 28, 2008): Coming Soon from VW: A 69.9 MPG Diesel Hybrid
Autopia (Mar. 3, 2008): Revealed: Volkswagen’s 69.9 MPG Diesel Hybrid
Photo Credit: Volkswagon