Live from Detroit: VW takes on Toyota in the hybrid race

Will Powell



Volkswagen has unveiled a hybrid concept called the Compact Coupe at the Detroit motor show, which it says blends practicality, performance and style with incredibly low CO2 emissions.

The new hybrid system combines VW's award-winning 148bhp 1.4-litre TSI engine with a 25bhp electric motor. Mixing the two has the happy effect of generating impressive performance - 0-62mph takes just 8.6 seconds and top speed is pegged at 141mph.

Driven gently though, VW says the Compact Coupe can run around town on electric power alone and potentially offer a Prius-matching fuel economy of 67.2mpg on a longer journey. That means CO2 emissions of just 98g/km - low enough to qualify for road tax exemption in the UK.