The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit Monday. Volkswagen says the new Jetta Hybrid can travel in all-electric mode for up to 1.2 miles at speeds up to 44 mph.

Volkswagen is known for its fuel-efficient diesel engines, and the Jetta Hybrid is only its second hybrid vehicle. “The world debut of the 2013 Jetta hybrid here in Detroit marks a new direction for VW, which has been more conservative than some its rivals in embracing hybrids and battery cars,” The Detroit News reports.

The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta lineup includes a fuel-efficient TDI diesel model, which gets an EPA-estimated 30/42 mpg city/highway, for a combined 34 mpg. Volkswagen says in a statement it expects the Jetta Hybrid to achieve a combined fuel economy rating of 45 mpg.

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid will combine a 1.4-liter turbocharged gas engine that produces 150 horsepower with an electric motor that makes 27 horsepower (20 kW). The Jetta Hybrid will have a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. “As in the Touareg Hybrid SUV, the Jetta Hybrid features a clutch that decouples the gasoline engine from the drivetrain when in pure electric drive or coasting modes,” VW reports.

Volkswagen says the Jetta Hybrid will give buyers fuel efficiency and performance. “But VW isn’t prepared to stop at simply creating a very miserly Jetta,” Car and Driver writes. “No, it aspires to produce the quickest hybrid in its class.” VW says the Jetta Hybrid can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than nine seconds.

A 220-volt lithium-ion battery powers the electric motor, and VW says it’s “disconnected when it’s not in use or if the car is involved in a collision.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating the safety of lithium-ion batteries after a Chevrolet Volt caught fire at its test facility several weeks after being crash tested by the federal agency.

Inside, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid will have standard Bluetooth and satellite radio. Optional features include heated front seats, navigation, a rearview camera and a Fender audio system. The Jetta Hybrid’s standard safety features include six airbags and anti-lock brakes.

Volkswagen says the 2013 Jetta Hybrid will hit dealerships at the end of 2012, but has not released full specifications, features or pricing information yet.

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