• Jun 26th 2008 at 1:25PM
  • 6
Click above for high-res gallery of the VW Twin Drive Golf

Details on the new Volkswagen Twin Drive are still sketchy at best, but here's what we know so far: The Golf chassis definitely has two powerplants like any other hybrid, one internal combustion engine along with an electric motor. From what we can tell, the car is likely to use lithium ion batteries stored in the cargo hatch and likely supplied by Sanyo. We don't think that the powerplants are connected in any way, so there would be no charging of the batteries by the engine, but we're waiting for more clarification on the matter. If regenerative braking were employed, this could be the first production through-the-ground hybrid. VeeDub is claiming an electric-only range of about 50 kilometers, or 31 miles if you live here in the U.S. If there is indeed no way to recharge the batteries without plugging in, the 122 horsepower 2.0L turbodiesel engine would completely take over, leaving the 82 hp electric motor along for the ride. There are two separate fuel gauges in the cockpit, one for liquid fuel and the other for battery charge.

Perhaps keeping the two powerplants separate allows for the creation of the hybrid without the licensing of any previously existing technology. Twenty of these Twin Drive Golf's will be tested until 2012 and will be charged using only renewable electricity. That last point is important, considering that much of Germany's power comes from less-than-clean coal. We'll let you know of any additional production plans as soon as we're aware of any.

[Sources: Volkswagen, Earthtimes.org, Autoblog]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It would be incredibly lame to to not take advantage of the Electric and ICE combo for more instantaneous power.

      I can't imagine anyone would bother building a hybrid that allowed either electric or ICE drive, but not combined. It would be a complete waste.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Notice the Power meter goes up to 120 Kw! That's about 168 HP! Sweet!

      Dave: I think you may be right, and the photo of the engine compartment appears to confirm it. A 2 motor/generator design sandwiching the clutch and transmision would be an improvement over the Honda IMA hybrid design, it would provide better regen braking and better EV operation, as well as serial hybrid mode and assist mode.

      Another possibility is that VW may have licensed the Toyota Hybrid Synergy design, as it also has two motor/generators near the engine, with a simple planetary power split replacing the transmission.

      If they are using LiIon batteries in the size shown in the photos, it is likely to be big enough to support plug-in use.
      • 7 Years Ago
      260 kmh (170 mph) seems a little bit optimist! (unless a Twin GTI W12 is under go)
      May be with the added weight going down the hill...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I know for around 8 grand i could convert any small car into a PHEV, where it could cruise around for 30 miles or so under 50 MPH on pure electric.
      Only thing i couldnt do on my own was programming the ECUs to worth together oh well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks like the two powerplants are connected. If you look at their nav screen, you can see there are 2 electric motors one pre, one post the transmission.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Indeed, several other blogs (leftlane news, hugg.com, and others) are confirming that there will be regenerative braking and engine stop-start in the Golf Twin Drive.

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