In Europe, Volkswagen offers a couple of plug-in hybrid models such as the Golf GTE. But don't expect any those plug-in hybrids to come to the U.S.
"It's a bridging technology," between internal-combustion and full-electric cars, said Matthew Renna, Volkswagen North America Region's vice president of e-mobility yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show.
"It's very cost-prohibitive to have two different powertrains on one platform."
Volkswagen has made no secret about their electric car ambitions, with plans to launch a full lineup within the next few years. While Europe will get a small hatchback based on I.D. Concept, the U.S. will get a production version of the Crozz concept. Volkswagen is also planning on selling their upcoming EVs in all 50 states, not only in those that require automakers to sell certain number of EVs.
"The plan is to sell nationwide. The goal is a nationwide roll-out ASAP," said Renna.
Next year will see Volkswagen unveil the next-generation Golf GTI. It was reported that the model would utilize a mild-hybrid setup to boost fuel economy and improve low-end response. This decision was made under the leadership of former Volkswagen chairman Matthias Müller and would have become the flagship model for a new range of mild-hybrid models badged as IQ. But a new report from Autocar says the new chairman, Herbert Diess has canned the powertrain.
No reason was given as to why this decision was reversed. Volkswagen is still planning to do mild-hybrid versions of the standard Golf that will utilize a 48-Volt electrical system.
Autocar says the next-generation GTI will use an updated version of the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing either 252 or 286 horsepower. The current model in the U.S. punches out 227 horsepower. A six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch will be the available transmissions.