Following the earlier debut of the Golf R Variant, Volkswagen went in a completely different direction with another Golf wagon at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show: the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen HyMotion.

The vehicle is a fuel cell concept meant to show the flexibility of the Golf's MQB platform in accommodating alternative powertrains. Its hydrogen fuel is stored in four carbon fiber tanks, which have enough capacity for 310 miles of range, or about the same as that as Toyota's Mirai. Two of the tanks are located under the rear seat, with the other two installed under the cargo floor in an arrangement the automaker says preserves interior space.

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The HyMotion is also equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack that stores energy recovered through regenerative braking, which is used to help start the fuel cell and for an extra boost of power under certain driving conditions.

Like all fuel cell vehicles, the HyMotion is essentially an electric car that uses a hydrogen-oxygen reaction to generate electricity instead of storing it in batteries. In fact, the concept shares its electric motor and other components with the production Volkswagen e-Golf. That motor sends 100 kilowatts (134 horsepower) to the front wheels through a single-speed transmission. Volkswagen estimates a 0-62 mph time of 10 seconds flat.

VW hasn't discussed plans to sell a production version of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion but is currently testing Passat HyMotion fuel cell prototypes in California. Some components from these test vehicles were used in the Golf concept.

If Volkswagen does decide to put a hydrogen Golf into production, it will have a fairly comprehensive catalog of alternative powertrains. In addition to the electric e-Golf, VW currently offers the Golf TDI diesel and the GTE plug-in hybrid, although the latter isn't available in the U.S.


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