The German auto magazine Auto Bild reports (German) on Volkswagen’s testing of a prototype hybrid Touran (a compact van, or MPV).
VW built a test hybrid [gasoline-electric; thanks Jamais!] Touran and compared it to the same model with a production diesel powerplant. The results: the diesel delivered better fuel economy: 5.0 liters of fuel/100km to the hybrid’s 6.1 liters/100km. The verdict: VW will not yet put hybrids into quantity production—not until they can improve the fuel economy and the cost. When VW hybrids do show up, they will probably do so first in the US.
“[Hybrids are] an interesting niche. No more, no less,” says Volkswagen developer Ekkehard Pott, who sees the future for hybrids “rather in the USA.”