Monday, November 6, 2017

VW Wants to Ease People Into Electrification with Hybrid Hot Hatches


By: Sebastien Bell
Like hot tubs and leather pants, electric vehicles are something best eased into. Or at least that’s what Volkswagen believes.
Although it’s diving headlong into the electric vehicle market, VW doesn’t think that all drivers will adopt electric vehicles right away, so it wants to ease European fence-sitters into the idea of electric cars with electrified hot hatches, expected to start hitting the streets in 2020.
“We are not just flicking a switch and expecting people to move to fully electric cars,” an unnamed source told Autocar. “It is a process that will take decades, and we must help take people through the transition step by step by showing what the possibilities are.”
That report conforms to comments we’ve heard and in many ways to a trend that has already started. European VW fans are already treated to the Golf GTE, a plug-in hybrid in the very much the same vein as the Golf GTI and GTD.
That trend will reach beyond VW, though, with brands like Skoda and SEAT joining in the hybrid fun. The next hot Skoda Fabia vRS, for instance, would be easier to justify if it got electric help from a hybrid power unit.
Even the GTI, though, could benefit from mild electrification, with rumors abounding that a 48-volt “mild-hybrid” system helping to spin up turbos, boosting power and minimizing lag, could be offered with the next generation.


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