Volkswagen shows off hybrid Jetta

DETROIT (AP) ? Volkswagen AG on Monday showed off a new hybrid version of its Jetta sedan, designed with the U.S. market in mind and offering an estimated combined 45 mpg.

The hybrid Jetta, which will go on sale in North America before the end of the year, is a key part of Volkswagen’s plan to boost its U.S. sales, company officials told reporters at the North American International Auto Show press days in Detroit. Its North American sales rose 26 percent last year.

The new Jetta is the German automaker’s second hybrid model. It already makes a hybrid version of its Touareg SUV.

Here are the details of the car:

POWER: The car will include Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter turbocharged gas engine, which produces 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

The electric motor will be powered by a 220-volt, 1.1 kilowatt hour battery located under its rear seats. When the battery is charged enough, drivers will be able to go up to 1.2 miles at speeds of up to 44 mph in pure electric mode. The car will also be the first hybrid to come with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the automaker said.

SPEED: Volkswagen boasts that the Jetta will be the fastest hybrid in its segment, going zero to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds.

FUEL ECONOMY: The car will get a combined 45 mpg, consuming 20 percent less fuel than a similar sedan with a traditional gas engine. In city traffic, those improvements rise to 30 percent, Volkswagen said.

LOOKS: The hybrid version includes changes designed to boost its aerodynamics, including a new front airdam, a rear diffuser and an integrated spoiler.

It also includes 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with all-season tires, a special radiator grill featuring the Volkswagen logo on a blue background. “Hybrid” labels are featured on its front, rear and side body panels.

Three trim levels will be offered and standard features include Bluetooth, LED taillights and satellite radio.

PRICING: Not announced, but Volkswagen said the Jetta will be competitively priced with other hybrids.