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diesel

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VW TDI

The push for more diesel vehicles in North America is finally starting to pick up momentum from non-German automakers like Volkswagen is attempting to get government officials to help level the playing field and even create incentives to promote diesel vehicles.

Aside from trying to get the federal diesel fuel tax lowered, VW is looking to get additional credits for diesel vehicles in the stricter Comments

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Diesel

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

2015 Volkswagen GTD

Back in 2010, we attended the launch for the sixth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTD, an event set on the scenic roads of the cult car’s natural habitat – southern Bavarian curving two-lanes complete with shocking views of the majestic Alps. We’ve now returned to the exact same location for the Mk7 GTD that will come to North America in – brace yourselves – mid-2015 as a 2016 model. It’s like anticipation gone bad in light of the spoiled immediacy of today’s Internet Age.

On the very positive side, while the US never got the last GTD, at least we are assured of getting this one. And it’s a better car than its predecessor, and better is better in our book, so the wait may be worth it depending on how rabid you are for a hot diesel Golf. Will our GTD be built in Puebla, Mexico, along with all other Mk7 Golf models bound for North America? That’s a question VW experts couldn’t yet answer for us.

At our first opportunity, we jumped in this Tornado Red GTD equipped with the optional 18-inch Nogaro wheels that come with the optional Sport & Sound package. (Europe’s standard wheel is the 17-inch Curitiba). Plunking down in the standard, GTI-style, Clark tartan-clad sport seats, gripping the sport steering wheel and palming the heritage golf-ball manual shift knob all seemed very familiar, as the appointments Comments

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2014 Volkswagen Golf GTD - commercial screencap, front three-quarter view

The flurry of Mk VII Golf GTD television ads by Golf performance model to go from 0-62 miles per hour in about 7.5 seconds.

Volkswagen’s performance-first approach in its ads for the economical GTD is refreshing, and it reminds us of another commercial from Chevrolet. Do we see a trend starting here?

The saddest part is that we will likely have to Comments

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Each year, the Vienna International Motor Symposium showcases some of the up-and-coming technologies automakers are engineering for the use in passenger cars, and Martin Winterkorn revealed some big developments VW is working on for its future products. Winterkorn discussed a multi-faceted approach that VW is looking to reduce its fleet fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

Some of the bigger news he discussed included a “high-performance” diesel engine that will produce 134 horsepower per liter and a 10-speed DSG automatic transmission. While no specific applications were mentioned, we can only hope this is for the Audi R4 we keep hearing about.

Another topic he touched on that caused us to perk up our ears was had to do with VW’s plug-in hybrid technology. While we know the PHEV versions of the Comments

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A couple weeks ago, we watched a TDI.

Now, on paper, putting the Duramax V8’s 365 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque up against the V10’s 310 hp and 553 lb-ft looks like an easy win for the Bowtie, but unfortunately, this battle has a similar result as the Dodge versus Chevy video with the Silverado smoking its tires trying to move forward as it gets pulled backward. Put another way: YouTube 2, Chevy Silverado 0.

It just goes to show, though, that big tires, tacky fender flares and goofy smoke stacks don’t improve your towing abilities. Besides, what did the Silverado driver expect since the Touareg V10 TDI has towed a Boeing 747 in the past.

Comments

409

Diesel

Top Down In North America’s Only Diesel Convertible

2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI Convertible

Want proof that diesel is finally taking hold in North America? Look no further than this 2013 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible. For a while now, it’s become easier to understand why more automakers are opting to pair their large-volume models with diesel, but it’s only when a given technology or feature starts to infiltrate the industry’s smaller segments that we can argue that something has truly taken hold. After an agonizingly slow buildup, we’re prepared to say that the high-mileage fuel has finally come of age here, and the evidence is right under this VW’s bulbous hood.

Consider this: Diesel has become so viable that it’s trickled down to this car, a niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche model. Niche number one? The Beetle is a retro-styled spinoff of VW’s volume hatchback, the TDI power, but its convertible variant never was. We’ve watched for years as Europe has played host to a whole mess of diesel droptops, but we simply can’t remember the last time one was offered here.

That Comments

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Earlier this year, we caught the limited numbers by next year.

Looking very much like the Volkswagen listed the concept’s drag coefficient at just 0.186. This car is also missing the full rear-wheel covers that will give the car optimal aerodynamics.

With the gullwing-like doors open, we can also see some of the interior, which has a very similar appearance as the concept including the large gauge cluster, navigation screen, shift lever and center stack controls. The instrument panel and A-pillar look to made from carbon fiber. One thing we can’t see from this shot is the arrangement of the passenger seats. The concept car featured an offset seating configuration, and it isn’t clear if this will carry over to the production design.

From these shots we can also see into the rear engine compartment showing a large cooling fan over what is expected to be a small, two-cylinder diesel engine. This efficient engine combined with a 27-horsepower electric motor and seven-speed Comments

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Cars need fuel. Everyone knows that, but how many people know the damage that is caused when a car is filled up with the...