Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen engineers combine an advanced diesel engine with an electric motor and the very latest generation of seven-speed DSG gearbox. With the diesel market growing around the world especially in the US, concepts like the Golf TDI Hybrid and previous Up! blue are signs of good things to come. As European manufactures like VW, Audi and BMW introduce their diesel lineup to the US in coming years, it will revolutionize the car community on American roads similar to how prevalent diesels are on European soil today.
The Golf TDI Hybrid concept vehicle is capable of achieving 83mpg on the combined cycle and emitting just 89g/km of CO2 - while around town the vehicle reverts to purely electric mode to be emission-free.
At the core of the new Golf TDI Hybrid is a highly-efficient 1.2 liter three-cylinder common rail TDI diesel engine developing 74hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. Working either in tandem with the diesel engine or, if required, on its own, is an electric motor developing 27hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor also replaces the conventional starter motor and alternator to save weight and improve packaging.
It can also operate as a generator, recovering kinetic energy from the car during braking to charge the 220 volt, 45kg nickel metal hydride battery which has a capacity of 1.4kW hours.
In practice the electric motor powers the vehicle from standstill with the diesel engine only engaging should additional acceleration be required or at higher speeds. In these situations the diesel engine takes over with the electric motor only working if required to supplement the combustion engine - for example, during overtaking maneuvers. When at a standstill the diesel engine shuts down completely to conserve fuel and increase efficiency. The energy split is relayed to the driver and passengers through a graphic display accessed through the touch screen satellite navigation screen.
Drive on the concept car is channeled through the new seven-speed DSG twin-clutch gearbox. A pair of dry clutches is used as opposed to the wet clutches and sets newer energy efficiency standard for automatic gearboxes.Visual changes, which differentiate the Golf TDI Hybrid, include a new, unique grille design, smaller front air intakes to reduce aerodynamic drag and subtle `TDI-Hybrid' badge. The Golf TDI Hybrid also sits lower than the standard Golf on revised suspension and adopts the front splitter from the Golf GTI Edition 30 to help further reduce aerodynamic drag. A unique interior further distinguishes the Golf TDI Hybrid from the conventional vehicle.
The Golf TDI Hybrid is currently a concept vehicle, but a version of this vehicle is likely to go into production in the future. Cross your fingers!