Volkswagen is preparing to give its mid-size sedan a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
“Soon,” the Passat will be offered as a plug-in hybrid, VW chairman of the board of management Martin Winterkorn said in Geneva earlier this month. The move is part of a plan by Volkswagen Group to offer over 40 electrified models over the next few years. The company will also offer plug-in hybrid versions of the Audi A3, Volkswagen GTI (in that case called the GTE) and many others.
Bentley is planning to offer several plug-in hybrid models in the future as a means of coping with increasingly strict fuel consumption rules. The brand is able to develop model variants more quickly and at a lower cost than in the past because of its modular strategy with platforms like MQB, which underpins the Golf, A3 and other models.
“We can offer even greater variety—as well as producing niche models in a profitable way. Our toolkits also mean that we can offer all our innovations and powertrains in all segments and markets within a very short space of time,” Winterkorn said.
Volkswagen is tightening its aim on fuel efficient vehicles with recent debuts including the Passat BlueMotion concept. That car previews possible fuel saving measures that Volkswagen products could use in the future. The gasoline-powered vehicle is supposed to offer 42 mpg on the highway while using a four-cylinder engine with cylinder de-activation technology to run on only two when possible.
The goal to offer a wide variety of efficient vehicles will be especially important for the Volkswagen Group as it continues toward its goal to be the biggest auto maker in the world.
[Source: Green Car Congress]
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