In one more sign that the automotive world is shifting to electric-drive technology, Volkswagen today reconfirmed its commitment to producing a hybrid version of its popular Jetta. A gas-electric Jetta, to debut in 2012, would put another affordable mainstream hybrid option into showrooms.
Affordability is the key word, as hybrids push further into mainstream vehicle lineups. The new (gas-powered) 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, which made its global debut in New York today, is priced at $16,000, about $1,700 less than the current version. �SWith the new Jetta, we�"ve kept everything people liked, but also made the car more accessible to the entry-level buyer in the compact segment,⬝ said Toscan Bennett, a VW product strategist. �SWe want people who had considered Jettas too expensive to put us on their shopping lists.⬝
Later this year, Volkswagen will introduce the Touareg Hybrid SUV, its first hybrid, but it will hardly be affordable. Based on pricing announced in Europe, the Touareg Hybrid could exceed $90,000 in the U.S. Moreover, it will join a crowded field of expensive luxury hybrid SUVs already on the market�and not selling particularly well.
On the other hand, a Jetta Hybrid probably will probably be priced in the low $20,000s, while offering fuel economy numbers in the mid-40 mpg range. It will represent the first time an automaker stacks up a hybrid and clean diesel option in a cost-competitive model.
Read More... [Source: HybridCars.com]