Volkswagen has revealed its intentions to enter the race to build and market ultra-efficient plug-in hybrid vehicles with the unveiling today of the new Golf Twin Drive. The new concept car receives its name from its twin powerplant design, which features an electric motor designed for city driving and an internal combustion engine for longer trips.
The electric motor in the Twin Drive produces a peak output of 82hp (61kW) and allows the Golf to reach a top speed of 120km/h. The motor runs on an array of fast-charging lithium-ion batteries that can be charged from a regular household power outlet. On electric power alone the car can travel up to 50km, enough for most daily trips, but once the batteries are depleted a 122hp (91kW) 2.0L turbodiesel engine takes over.
To boost its range further, the car also features engine stop-start technology and regenerative brakes.
Volkswagen will trial a fleet of 20 Twin Drive Golfs in 2010 together with the German government under a new scheme investigating the future of personal mobility. To ensure the cars are true zero-emissions vehicles, the electrical energy required to charge the batteries under the trial will be generated from renewable resources such as wind and hydro power.