The managerial shift over at Volkswagen HQ hasn’t managed to impede plans for the introduction of a petrol-electric hybrid vehicle from the German carmaker. However, original plans under former CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder’s rule, which would have seen VW release hybrid versions of its compact class of vehicles, have been dropped. Pischetsrieder had wanted hybrid versions of the Golf, Jetta and Touran line of cars. He even announced that VW would introduce a hybrid Jetta in California by 2008.

VW’s new boss Martin Winterkorn considers the original plans as not financially sound, describing the numbers as “far too low.” A VW insider estimates the additional cost of installing a hybrid drivetrain is at least €2,000. This simply wouldn’t work in the price-sensitive compact segment because cheap diesel vehicles already offer equal, if not better, economy and emissions levels.

According to Winterkorn, the current market analysis is in contrast to the earlier plans of Pischetsrieder. Instead, new plans will see VW offer a hybrid version of the Touareg SUV as its first model with the fuel-saving technology according to German publication Automobilwoche. The hybrid drivetrain, which will be sourced from parts supplier Bosch, is also likely to feature in the all-new Porsche Cayenne, which is based on the same platform as the Touareg.

Meanwhile, Porsche boss Wendelin Wiedeking has confirmed the two companies are developing their next generation models of the Touareg and Cayenne with an expected launch date in 2010.