By on April 22, 2008

volkswagen_golf_vi_4.jpgAt 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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15 Comments on “VW Diesel Hybrid Kaput; Golf VI Details Revealed...”


  • avatar
    quasimondo

    And so goes the dreams of a triple digit mpg society.

  • avatar
    chinar

    I think VW is doing the right thing. Their vehicles are currently priced out of the market and/or they are making a loss on them in the US

    Extending this theme a bit, I believe there is a market for cheaper (less power, less content, less features) vehicles which still offer the smae reliability

    The sales success of the “new” Focus is just such an example. The Euro Focus, though better, would have been more expensive and may not have sold as well.

    Hyundai/Kia used to occupy this space. But they are moving rapidly upmarket now.

    Maybe this could be the new place for Saturn – cheaper but just as reliable – rather than European tuned Chevy.

  • avatar

    Unless they can improve reliability then its all meaningless for VW here in the states.

  • avatar
    jpc0067

    Unless they can improve their perception of unreliability in the U.S., VW is irrelevant.

  • avatar
    mxfive4

    To give VW some credit – there have been improvements. The new Rabbit and Jetta do well by Consumer Reports.

  • avatar
    crc

    Can VW develop replacements for their suck ass service departments?

  • avatar
    M1EK

    That’s now, what, ten or is it eleven “Prius-killers” that have died on the vine (or even earlier)?

  • avatar
    Bancho

    They could probably start building the original Beetle again. That’s a model that our American pesos could afford. They’ve still got all the tooling somewhere down in Mexico right?

  • avatar
    John Williams

    They could probably start building the original Beetle again. That’s a model that our American pesos could afford. They’ve still got all the tooling somewhere down in Mexico right?

    Current crash safety regs mean NO GO.

  • avatar
    Busbodger

    They’re still building 70’s style VW vans (engine in the back) in South America. Wonder if I could drive mine down and one of the new ones back as if it is my old one… Technically that would be VIN swapping but the Brit sports cars guys do that and the aircraft guys do that and so on….

    Just kidding…

  • avatar
    marc

    Meanwhile as every Prius killer turns out to be nothing more than vaporware, Toyota keeps selling 15-20,000 per month while building the next more efficient model.

    Good thing there was no BirthWatch on this pipedream.

  • avatar
    brettc

    VW sure does like to pussy out on diesel hybrids. They had one in the early 90s as well that they gave up on. Maybe a TSI hybrid would be okay, but I personally think the diesel would be a better long term solution.

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