Geneva Auto Show: The VW Golf Diesel Hybrid

Posted By on March 4, 2008

VW diesel hybrid frt
I’m slow in mentioning Volkswagen’s Geneva Auto Show announcement of a Diesel/Hybrid hatchback. I’ve been waiting for a more definitive news from Volkswagen and how North America fits in to their plan. Nevertheless, enough time has passed that I should a least say something … and I’ll say what most TDI owners are thinking, “what has taken a company so long to market a diesel hybrid?”

VW diesel hybrid rear
The new VW diesel hybrid is a familiar looking car — in fact it is the ‘über’ successful Golf model. This new vehicle will use the 1.4 liter 74 HP three-cylinder TDI engine found in the Polo BlueMotion, according to the German automotive news publication Auto Bild. For the hybrid electric side it will mate with a 27 HP electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery in the rear. The computer management circuitry will also employ regenerative braking and start/stop engine capability seen in other hybrid vehicles. Unique to Volkswagen though, is how this diesel/electric power is delivered to the wheels. VW will used their 7–speed DSG gearbox rather than a CVT transmission in many hybrids. An impressive “energy monitor” will be on the instrument panel and will display exactly how the power is being produced and used. According to the press information, this VW TDI Hybrid will return nearly 70 MPG (69.9MPG), and it CO2 emission a small 90 g/km.

There is no news about ‘if’ or ‘when’ it will show up in the U.S., but according to a European report it will head to the UK late in 2009.

VW monitor


  • A bit of confusion here. Is the electric motor in the rear? Or does it drive the rear wheels? or ???

    That second picture adds to the confusion. Is this an all wheel drive car?

  • Battery in the rear although I don’t know if the motor is located ‘centerline’ as the display indicates or toward the front or rear. No mention of ‘4 Motion’ (VW’s all-wheel drive), but I suspect that the regenerative braking would capture energy from the rear wheels.

    Great question. (I’ll keep digging … and if you find out please leave a comment)

  • jb

    This looks like the kind of car I’d be interested in owning. I wonder it it will have a substantially higher price or how easy it will be to justify the added cost vs. fuel saving from a 45mpg straight diesel?

  • Ralf

    Hi over there!

    Both motors (diesel and e) are in the front. And drive the front.

    The motor should be the _1.2_ tdi which was only marketed in the volkswagen lupo (sub-polo).

  • Thanks for the update from “over there.” So … the new VW diesel hybrid uses the 1.2 Liter TDI and has the diesel, hybrid electric motor and DSG tranmission delivering the power to the front wheels. Great update.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.