At the Geneva Auto Show, VW showed off its 70mpg diesel-hybrid Golf Concept. The German automaker promised that "the model wouldn't just stay a show car". According to the in-depth preview of the Golf VI in the March 27 issue of Auto, Motor und Sport (print edition only), the "forward-looking diesel-hybrid is already a thing of the past." The culprit (once again): it's too expensive. "Eventually" there will be a hybrid Golf, but it will be a gasser, using the 1.4 TSI engine. In the shorter term, VW will rely on further engine downsizing and an optional start-stop system to meet efficiency targets. The Golf VI, which hits European streets this fall, will never see the USA anyway (except in GTI form, perhaps). In a contrast to the platform-globalization programs of the most other big manufacturers, VW is developing lower-cost replacements for the Rabbit and Passat to be produced in their future US plant. The current Passat costs $4k more than the (Camcord) competition, according to VW. Look to a return of twist-beam rear axles.
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