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Volkswagon NCC Hybrid Coupe Concept

One problem with hybrid cars is that they look like hybrid cars.  Perhaps something that will help to bridge the aesthetic gap between what is green and what is gas could be the new Volkswagon NCC Hybrid Coupe Concept that was unveiled at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.  This car, although not perfect, helps to shed the “green cars are ugly” image with aggressive styling and smart technology.

The new VW NCC has a 1.4-liter TSI gas engine combined with a 20-kilowatt electric motor powered by a 1.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.  The 1.4-liter engine produces 150 hp and 110 pound-feet of torque, but when combined with the electric motor, the combined total climbs to 177 hp and 177 pound-feet of torque.

In the world of non-sports car hybrids, the VW is relatively fast with a 0-60 time of 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 141 mph.  Combined fuel consumption is 45 mpg and the CO2 emissions are 98 g/km.  This is a very good gas hybrid.  However, the question remains with the advanced diesel technology available to the VW/Audi line why they didn’t put a diesel engine in the hybrid.  It would have surely given the car more torque as well as much better fuel economy.

Another reason the VW gets great gas mileage is due to a trick hyper-milers use.  When the driver completely releases the gas pedal, the car disengages the transmission (the equivalent of putting a car in neutral).  The coasting is also possible at highway speeds, and since drag losses are eliminated, it leads directly to fuel savings.  Don’t be surprised to see this technology pop up in other fuel conscious cars.

via treehugger

images via Michael Graham Richard

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