VW goes greener with electric Beetle, Jetta Hybrid

Volkswagen pushes fuel economy with its new E-Bugster concept and Jetta Hybrid, which launches in North America at the end of 2012.

The E-Bugster concept is powered by a 114-hp (85 kW) electric motor. Tim Hornyak/CNET

DETROIT--If you're a Bug fan, chances are you might dig an electric version.

Volkswagen has been showing off its zero-emission E-Bugster concept at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, as well as a Jetta Hybrid.

The storied Beetle, which recently had an update for the third generation since its launch in 1949, gets a Blue-e-motion drive unit with a 114-horsepower (85 kW) electric motor and 110 miles of range with its lithium-ion battery.

It does 0-60 mph in a laid-back 10.9 seconds.

The Bugster has a low-slung roof like the 2005 Ragster concept and fat, flared fenders. The 176-pound battery is recharged via a plug beneath the hood logo.

Inside, an energy consumption gauge fluctuates with acceleration; there's also a driving range indicator, and a display for battery regeneration intensity.

The Jetta Hybrid drives in pure electric mode up to 44 mph. Tim Hornyak/CNET

The Jetta Hybrid, meanwhile, is being touted as the world's first hybrid that uses a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. It drives electric up to 44 mph and can do 0-60 mph in under 9.0 seconds, according to Volkswagen.

It has a combined fuel economy figure of 45 mpg, making it Volkswagen's most fuel-efficient Jetta.

The 220-volt, 1.1 kWh battery will only power the car for 1.2 miles in pure electric mode. The 1.4-liter, four-cylinder gas engine puts out 150 horsepower and works with the 27-horsepower electric motor.

Volkswagen says the Jetta Hybrid weighs less than 3310 pounds thanks to its 163-pound, seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.

The Jetta will launch in North America at the end of 2012 and will be priced to compete with other compact hybrids, according to VW.

Check out more Volkswagen pics in our gallery.

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