I am at training this week for the new VW Jetta hybrid. Since the car is not actually release yet. I need to be kind of careful about the information I post. That will be really easy because we don’t have much information about the car yet. Well, it is there, but all in German. HA
What is a Hybrid
I know that everyone has heard the term “Hybrid Car”. There are a
couple of car companies that have been making hybrid cars for years now. But what is a hybrid. The easiest way to understand it is, a car with a gas engine AND an electric motor. There are several different hybrid setups. The way they work all depends on the car.
VW uses a gas engine mated to an electric motor. The motor lives between the engine and the transmission. That motor is called the EMachine. The Jetta can run off the gas engine, it can run off the EMachine, and it can run off BOTH! The EMachine gives the Jetta an extra 20HP(approximately)
Like I said, the Jetta can run in 3 different modes. The mode all depends on what the driver wants, and what the car needs.
- Gas Engine
The Jetta can run solely off the 1.4l TSI engine. It is a small 4
cylinder turbo charged gas engine. It will run off the gas engine when the battery needs to be charged, and when the driver demands heavy acceleration.
The EMachine is what makes the Jetta a hybrid. In certain driving conditions, the car can run off the EMachine, and function like an electric car. There is also an “Emode” that the driver can select. This will tell the car to use the EMachine as much as possible
- Boost Mode
This is when both the gas engine and the EMachine are powering the car. This only happens at full throttle, and only for ~8 seconds. That is basically full power AKA fun mode.
Driving the Jetta Hybrid
I have to be very honest. I am not a huge fan of hybrids. I think the technology is amazing. But I have not really enjoyed the drive. To be fair, I have not driven every hybrid out there. The few I have driven were we boring.
The Jetta drive exactly like a Jetta. Big surprise right. The power the car has is great. The 1.4TSI is a slightly tamer version of the 2.0TSI. The gas engine accounts for 150hp of the 170hp the car is rated for.
The transmission is a 7 speed DSG. I think this transmission feels great. The shifts are fast and smooth. It doesn’t have that weird lag when you take off from a stop like the older DSG does. It really feels like a normal automatic transmission. This is one spot the hybrid blows the TDI out of the water.(did I just say that yikes)
If you have never driven a hybrid there is a little learning curve. The brakes on this car are strange.
The best way I can describe them is VERY touchy. The EMachine will actually slow the car down. This is how it charges the big battery in the trunk. The feeling is a little strange at first, but something you get use to very quickly.
As you might expect, VW does not play around with safety. The high volt system in this car is 220v and more than enough amps to kill someone faster than you can blink. There are several procedures for De-energizing the HV system. The HV system is indicated by BIG ORANGE cables. The rule is “DON’T TOUCH THE ORANGE”.
The system must be de-energized by a certified HVT or High Voltage Technician. Our VW scan tool There is also safety built in for non-technicians. On top of big bright cable, ALL hybrids are must be marked “HYBRID” on all four sides of the car. This way a first responder will know it has a HV system. not only that, the cables are ran on the floor of the car. If a first responder needs to extract someone, they can cut the roof worry free.
All in all I think this will be a good car for us. It will be a good alternative to the TDI. I think that is will be a different driving experience for VW drivers. This car makes weird noises from the engine transmission area. It will also do what it needs to do to keep the battery charged, and the car running properly. I feel like I will be telling customers,
I am not sure why it does that, or when it does that. The car will do what it has to do. You might lose your mind trying to figure is out. If the car has an issue, you will know it. 😉
When the car comes out, and more information is available, I will post more about it. I will also find some videos to share that explain how hybrids work. To really understand it, you need to see it in action.
So what do you guys think? Is bringing a hybrid a good move for VW, or a slap in the face to their diesel history? Sound off in the comments, I really want to know what you think.
I also have one more thing to ask. If you are on the email list, have you been getting email updates? I didn’t get mine the other day. If you did or didn’t will you please let me know. I have been thinking about changing my email service and this will make my decision much easier.