Behold the fastest production hybrid in the world. For the second time this year, the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid LSR has moved the terminal-veolcity bar higher by averaging 186.313 mph at Bonneville. That breaks the SCTA's land speed record for production cars with forced induction engines of less than 1.5 liters.
Following the lead of Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota and Nissan, Volkswagen has announced a major deal with Sanyo to produce lithium-ion batteries. The two companies already have ties, as VW uses Sanyo's nickel-metal hydride batteries in its current hybrid vehicles, such as the upcoming Audi Q7 hybrid. Li-ion batteries are the current cream-of-the-crop when it comes to storing electricity and VeeDub has plans to begin offering vehicles with the high-tech copper tops as early as 2009.
It looks like Volkswagen may have hybrid versions of the both the Polo and Golf on the market by 2009. In an interview with German magazine AutoBild, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn seems to indicate that following the introduction of downsized engines like the TSI models and the BlueMotion diesels, they are working on hybrid drivetrains. The Google and BabelFish translations are pretty rough but it appears that both mild and full hybrid versions are under test. It looks like they are taking advantage
Will VW lead the plug-in hybrid pack in the future? The company seems to be giving it a go with the establishment of a donated Chair for Applied Material Sciences for Energy Storage and Energy Conversion at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität in Münster, Germany. The professorship will commence next year and will focus on batteries for hybrid vehicles, specifically lithium-ion batteries. As always, improved performance and reduced costs are the goal. Degussa AG, Chemetall GmbH a