• VW debuts its Jetta Hybrid at the this year's Detroit Auto Show
  • The Jetta Hybrid to go on sale in late 2012 as a 2013 model
  • Will be the quickest hybrid available

Volkswagen's sporty new compact hybrid sedan, the Jetta Hybrid, made its debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 20kW (27 horsepower) electric motor, the Jetta Hybrid hits 60 MPH from a dead stop in 9 second making it the quickest hybrid.

With the Jetta Hybrid, VW focused on space-saving technology. Instead of a standard automatic transmission, VW fitted the Jetta Hybrid with a lightweight and compact, seven-speed DSG, dual-clutch transmission. This fast-shifting transmission not only saves on space, it also saves on weight. The Jetta Hybrid is only 163-pounds heavier than the standard Jetta. Weighing in at 3310-pounds, the Jetta Hybrid is extremely lightweight for a hybrid.

VW has also updated the aerodynamics of the Jetta Hybrid. It has a new front airdam, a rear diffuser, integrated rear spoiler, and 15-inch alloy wheels with all season tires that have been optimized for limiting rolling resistance. VW has of course also included Hybrid signature badges on the grille, front fenders, and rear trunk lid.

For those of you who wish to have a fuel-efficient hybrid but aren't keen on sacrificing sportiness, VW has given the Jetta Hybrid an "S" position on the automatic gear shifter. The "S" mode generates the maximum amount of propulsion power, utilizing all 170 horsepower that the drive train has to offer.

Volkswagen has stated it will begin selling the Jetta Hybrid in the last quarter of 2012 in showrooms nation-wide.

What it means to you: Drivers who want would like a hybrid but prefer the style of European compact sedan need look no further.

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Nick Jaynes developed a passion for writing about cars working his way through Journalism School as a Volvo mechanic. When he's not writing, Nick can be seen hosting the popular automotive web-show DownForce Motoring. In his free-time, Nick collects vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

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