The Volkswagen Jetta is getting a hybrid version. Yes, a hybrid version.

That may not mean much to those gas-guzzling, sports car-driving types, but for those that take pride in alleviating some of Mother Nature’s plights, a green Jetta is just what the doctor ordered.

The Jetta Hybrid, which was launched at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, will provide customers a more economical version for a car that has long been one of Volkswagen’s most popular models.

The hybrid engine doesn’t sound like a world-beater - the lithium-ion battery only produces 1.1 kWh - but it’s still competent enough to allow the car to hit 44 mph. And when you add that to a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that hits a total of 170 horsepower, you have a car that’s fixing to make a lot of Jetta lovers smile from ear to ear.

UPDATE 10/08/2012: Back in August 2012, Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid established an impressive speed record of 185.394 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Just a couple of short months later, the vehicle returned to the scene of the victory to break its own record, and succeeded in doing so! The car averaged 186.313 mph over two runs during the SCTA’s World Finals event, eclipsing the previous record by 18.8 mph. Even more impressive is that, during the first round, it hit a top speed of 187.147 mph.

Find out more about the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid after the jump.

  • 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    turbocharged engine/electric motor
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • MPG(Hwy):
  • Displacement:
    1400 L
  • 0-60 time:
    9 sec.
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior and Interior

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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Aesthetic modifications for the Jetta Hybrid were left to a minimum. Among the modifications are a new front airdam, a rear diffuser, and an integrated rear spoiler. The car also has a special radiator grille that houses the VW logo, which has been integrated on a blue background, as well as Hybrid markings on various parts of the car, including the grille, fenders, and rear deck. Last, the Jetta Hybrid rides on a set of special 15" alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires.


2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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Volkswagen has announced that the Jetta Hybrid will be offered in three different trim levels with all the details set to be announced on a later date. Nevertheless, the car still comes with plenty of standard safety equipment, including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), anti- lock brakes (ABS), and six airbags: driver and front passenger airbags, front side thorax airbags and Side Curtain Protection airbags on both the front and rear.

Other standard features include Bluetooth technology, LED taillights, SiriusXM satellite radio, special 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights, a power driver’s seat, heatable front seats, the RNS 315 navigation system, a rear-view camera and Volkswagen’s exclusive Fender Premium Audio System.


2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid Exterior
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For all intents and purposes, this is where the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid really makes a difference. Utilizing a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline powerplant, the Jetta Hybrid’s engine is capable of generating 150 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque. Then you add a 20kW electric motor with a lithium-ion battery that’s integrated behind the rear bench seat and weighs less than 80 lb. The battery consists of 60 individual cells with a combined energy capacity of 5 Ah.

The frequency of the discharge and charge cycles in hybrid operation requires high- performance battery cooling. To accomplish that, Volkswagen mounted a fan directly on the device. On top of that, the battery also has its own management system that performs safety, diagnostic, and monitoring functions as well as temperature management.

The Jetta’s Hybrid’s entire powertrain system is then mated to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission that sends power to the front wheels and operates automatically and efficiently, while also providing super-fast shifting.

All told, combining the gas engine with the electric motor nets the Jetta Hybrid a peak output of 170 horsepower with a 0-60 mph time of less than nine seconds. Combined fuel economy figure hits an estimated 45 mpg while a pure electric-run mode allows the car to hit a top speed of 44 mph.

Land Speed Record

Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid achieves 185 mph world record at Bonneville Exterior
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In August 2012, the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid achieved a land speed record of its own at the Bonneville Salt Flats. During the Southern California Timing Association’s Speed Week at Bonneville, the Jetta Hybrid was able to record a 185.394 mph top speed, marking the fastest speed ever achieved by a production-based hybrid on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

"Achieving this speed at Bonneville shows that the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class,” said Jonathan Browning, CEO and President, VW Group of America. “As well as being expected to achieve combined fuel economy of 45 mpg, the Jetta Turbo Hybrid also retains the fun-to-drive nature you expect from a Volkswagen in a segment dominated by less exciting vehicles.”

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid that achieved the record was able to do so with a few modifications to its hybrid setup. Volkswagen R&D in Wolfsburg, Germany modified the engine to provide a few more ponies, while A-Salt Racing and Advanced Product Engineering, based in Camarillo, California, provided project integration and other modifications. Everything was finalized with an engine calibration and a once-over by the folks at the Volkswagen Test Center California in Oxnard, CA


There’s no word on the pricing for the Jetta Hybrid yet, but we expect it to slot right in and around the $25,000 range, which is what the Jetta GLI is selling for these days.


2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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There are a number of vehicles in the market today that can compete with the Jetta Hybrid. One that comes to mind is the Kia Optima Hybrid, which is a pretty good comp for the Volkswagen given that they have pretty much similar numbers.

To be fair, the latter posts better powertrain numbers - 206.2 horsepower and 195.4 pound-feet of torque when in hybrid mode - than the Jetta Hybrid. On the flip side, the Korean hybrid’s 2.4-liter GDI engine means that it drinks up more fuel than the German Jetta, which then results in a more efficient car for the Volkswagen, compared to the Optima’s estimated 40 mpg fuel efficiency numbers.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid High Resolution Exterior
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  • Leave it
    • Not a lot of styling changes
    • Other options are available
What do you think?
Show Comments


  (467) posted on 02.22.2012

It’s very neat on the body paint, and it is more fuel efficient to use. It’s nice to know that this model has fresh new technological features, which brought this as a good production.

  (296) posted on 02.16.2012

I like the neatness of this vehicle. It appeals so gentle and classy. However, I don’t like Hybrid cars.

  (570) posted on 02.13.2012

Jetta Hybrids always come with fresh and new technological features. This 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is more fuel-efficient. I love the luxurious and elegant look of this sedan.

  (399) posted on 02.10.2012

What’s more awesome with this model is that it features fresh new technology and has a more fuel efficient. I love the video; very refreshing to look at.

  (429) posted on 01.30.2012

I like the fresh new technology features of the vehicle. The Jetta is more fuel efficient and have a good engine performance.

  (530) posted on 01.30.2012

At least, Volkswagen has already their version of Hybrid. Since they’ve come up with this idea, we are assured that this car is an upcoming success. I want to hear more from this.

  (473) posted on 01.26.2012

Finally they have the Hybrid version. So this year will be the most numbered of cars that is Hybrid. Thanks to new technology for the cars are now more competitive than last decades.

  (595) posted on 01.24.2012

This car is now enjoyable for it offers more convenience and more economical because it’s a hybrid car. Top speed is fine with 44mph. It has its lithium-ion battery that creates 1.1kwh.

  (442) posted on 01.19.2012

It looks similar with other cars and too bad that this is a Hybrid car. Though I am not that impressed on its engine performance, the technology of it is pretty outstanding.

  (384) posted on 01.16.2012

It looks very shiny and elegant. It’s such a great idea in manufacturing and designing new car concept. I think this type of car is very popular that can never be lose in a fashion style of auto cars and I am sure that it has a lot more to offer by all the buyers out there.

  (242) posted on 01.16.2012

I have to agree that this is one of the most plain-designed cars that I have ever seen. But I have to compromise that the simplicity of this car is the thing that made it unique and something we’ll wish to see on our garage someday.

  (296) posted on 01.13.2012

Volkswagen is truly good in terms of manufacturing and designing new car concept. And I am hoping for this one not to be a waste which means that I am going to wait for its production day. On my opinion, $25,000 is too cheap for this vehicle.

  (238) posted on 01.12.2012

This car is simple. No additional design or any unique to the eye concepts but its outer look so neat. This type of cars are very popular that can never be lose in a fashion style of auto cars.

  (446) posted on 01.12.2012

Well, not to say too much abuch about the design of this car but it is oozing with simplicity. On the other hand, I am sure that it has a lot more to offer, many changes can still be done on this and that’s what we have to wait.

  (194) posted on 01.12.2012

$25,000? Hmm.. I am thinking of having one now. smiley Anyway, I love the simplicity of this car. Though it is painted in white, it looks luxurious on that. Not to mention for the styling changes, I adore its technological features.

  (419) posted on 01.11.2012

I find this car simple. No additional design or any unique to the eye concepts but its outer appearance looks so neat. Impressive new technological features but i guess there are lot better than this one.

  (463) posted on 01.11.2012

A white color is quietly elegant, this type of cars are very popular that can never be lose in a fashion style of auto cars. But the capability and speed are still in improving in this way many customer still in favored with.

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