Volkswagen Goes Beyond The Battery
Volkswagen has shown that there's more to improving the hybrid vehicle than advancements in battery technology. Last fall the company introduced the 2013 Jetta Hybrid, which features a 2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that flattens the conventional hybrid torque curve. An advantage of the electric motor is immediate and continuous torque from 0 MPH to its peak speed. "And when that peaks, the turbo has already spun up and takes over with no lag," said a spokesman. "So the turbo feels like a normally aspirated motor because there's no turbo lag." The all-new hybrid engine (shown) decouples from the drivetrain at high speeds and while coasting to achieve zero emissions. A version of Volkswagen's TDI design, the gas engine produces a peak horsepower of 170, compared with the Prius gas engine, which generates 98 horsepower.