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Golf TDI Hybrid is a VGA pipe dream

Electric diesel: VW says the hybrid-TDI Golf will extend its diesel reach.

VW is keen on the diesel-electric Golf TDI Hybrid, but it's at least two years away

24 Apr 2008

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia (VGA) desperately wants the Golf TDI Hybrid as part of its range here, where it says the diesel-electric Golf would fit neatly into its ‘diesel strategy’.

When asked when VGA may have such a hybrid on sale here, VGA managing director Jutta Dierks said: “I would love to say ‘tomorrow’.

“When I was in Geneva, I saw the Golf TDI Hybrid and I thought ‘I would love to have it [here]’.”

3 center imageThe Golf TDI Hybrid, shown at the Geneva show in March as a concept car, is a parallel hybrid running a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo-diesel engine producing 100kW/180Nm, alongside a 20kW/140Nm electric motor and Volkswagen’s new seven-speed DSG transmission.

The concept car consumes 3.4L/100km and has tailpipe emissions of 89g/km. The electric motor, which can power the TDI Hybrid exclusively in urban running, replaces the diesel engine’s alternator and starter motor and can be charged via regenerative braking.

Volkswagen started heavily promoting its diesel cars three years ago, putting emphasis on the efficiency and torque of the diesel engine option, which is available in all model ranges.

That diesel strategy pursued by Mrs Dierks and her team at VGA has been very successful. Currently 40 per cent of VGA sales are diesel vehicles, and in particular models the mix is quite high.

“We have had times where 60 per cent of our model mix has been going into diesel for the Jetta,” says Ms Dierks. She believes the TDI Hybrid would dovetail nicely into the range.

“It would help us again, because with diesel we have already established that people already know what we stand for, and then if we add a hybrid to that, people will hopefully realise that we really do care about the environment.” Unlike other car company executives keen to jump onto the green bandwagon, Ms Dierks is quite frank about Volkswagen’s role in environmental issues.

“Don’t get me wrong: we sell cars, we will never be a green company, but we should think about concepts that don’t really damage the environment, or do it less than others.

“So for us [the Golf TDI Hybrid] would be a perfect fit. It would be basically the next step from our diesel strategy it would work perfectly.” Meanwhile, VGA will have to sit on its hands waiting for the arrival of its first hybrid, which is rumoured to be unlikely to enter production before 2010.

In fact, Ms Dierks says that the hybrid shown at Geneva was so new that she had never heard of it.

“I have heard nothing at all. I haven’t even seen it internally - which is usually the case - so it obviously is brand-new.”

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