The Chevy Volt has garnered a lot of attention not because it’s a hybrid, but because it promises the capability to run off of electricity only if need be. So it’s like an electric car, but with a back-up gasoline engine. This has led other automakers to start revealing their take on this idea.
One of those companies is Volkswagen. While the German auto giant has had massive success with its modern turbo-diesels overseas, it still knows that it must explore other areas of clean propulsion. Enter the Golf/Rabbit TwinDrive. Essentially, the TwinDrive is a regular Golf/Rabbit, but with a super-small 1.0-liter three-cylinder 100-hp engine, mated to a plug-in style electric motor. The electric motor is powered by a 350-pound bank of lithium-ion batteries produced by Sanyo. The batteries will effectively give the TwinDrive a range of roughly 30 miles on electric power alone! On top of all this there is almost 40-hp worth of regenerative braking power that can be harnessed and reused.
With the TwinDrive concept, Volkswagen is proving that GM isn’t the only automaker with a plug-in hybrid solution. To top it all off, there is no difference in the TwinDrive from a regular Golf/Rabbit. Both cars share the same interior and cargo space, with the TwinDrive only forgoing its spare tire for the battery space it needs. VW wants to have these things on the road by 2011. At that point it will be based on the sixth generation model which just came out in Europe. Pricing has not been announced but expect it to carry a premium over the regular Golf/Rabbit models.
Source: Motor Trend
Photos: Volkswagen AG
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