The company hopes hybrid hot hatches will convince enthusiasts skeptical about electrification.The Volkswagen Group's recent push towards autonomous electric cars risks leaving enthusiasts behind. The company hopes a series of hybrid hot hatches will convince gearheads to hop on-board the electrification bandwagon. "We are not just flicking a switch and expecting people to move to fully electric cars -- it is a process that will take decades, and we must help take people through the transition step by step by showing what the possibilities are," an inside source told British magazine Autocar.
The insider added Volkswagen's mainstream divisions will use their high-performance lines to promote electrification. For us, that means Audi Sport's RS-badged models and Volkswagen hot hatches like the GTI and the Golf R. For Europeans, the decision also affects cars built by SEAT Cupra and Škoda RS.
Concrete details are still few and far between because the shift won't begin until early next decade. However, Škoda CEO Bernhard Maier hinted the brand could bring back the Fabia RS as its first hybrid hot hatch. It's unclear at this point what kind of hybrid system the model will use.
Škoda has delayed its plans to return to America after decades of absence. Even if the company comes back, we're unlikely to see the Fabia RS here due to its tiny size; it's closely related to the Volkswagen Polo. However, it's no secret that Volkswagen's various divisions share powertrain components, so the Fabia RS' gasoline-electric setup could find its way to our shores under different sheet metal.