VW to jump on the hybrid bandwagon by 2009

Volkswagen may have come a long way since the original Beetle, but in at least one way it still is very much the People's Car, giving the market their own versions of some of the most popular trends in the industry. Despite their pioneering the Microbus decades earlier, Volkswagen managed to skip the minivan craze, but has jumped on the biggest ones since. With the Touareg, VW joined the SUV boom. With the Eos, it got on the coupe-cabrio elevator closer to ground floor. The next big thing is hybrids, and Wolfsburg's not about to be left holding their hats. To that effect, Volkswagen is tipped to release a hybrid Jetta in two years.

The hybrid wars that have been waging between VW's Japanese rivals, Honda and Toyota, have had the two taking opposing strategies, the latter opting to shoehorn hybrid powerplants into existing models (sans Insight), while the latter primarily prefers to produce more recognizable and distinct models. With a Jetta hybrid, Volkswagen will join others (like Ford) in Honda's camp. That also means it's entirely possible the Jetta's gasoline-electric drivetrain could find its way into other small cars in the German carmaker's stable, like the Golf and the aforementioned Eos, though larger models like the Passat and Touareg would need larger adaptations of the theme.

Volkswagen TDIs have already been giving hybrids a run for their money (and hybrid cynics ammunition), so we'd expect a VW hybrid to shame the Prius green.

[Source: eGM Car Tech]

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