A handful of CinciTDI friends gathered on Saturday at Roosters in Fairfield Ohio with our Volkswagen TDIs and stayed warm inside most of the time for just a social get together (GTG). That's not to say a few cars didn't need a bit of "wrenching," but the temperature and wind chill would not have have made that a pleasant task – besides we only intended to talk and eat.
Volkswagen is showing off a new DSG all wheel drive Diesel Hybrid this year at the 2013 auto shows and getting a fair amount of praise and criticism -- it is hard to make everybody happy. Some chastise the hybrid concept and others the unglamorous styling. Others see it as the SUV that they've been waiting for, but are doubtful that the price will be affordable. Who knows if VW will build it with the listed specs ... or whittle it down a bit to offer price point closer to "a people's car" (doubt that's even possible). Volkswagen suggests that this is a "serious" concept and says that “if it goes into production, the CrossBlue would flesh out the Volkswagen SUV lineup with a seven-seat midsize crossover that slots in above the Tiguan and below the premium Touareg.”
Here are a few specs to spark your interest:
- VW's TDI clean diesel engine with two electric motors
- DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission
- Unique electric All-Wheel-Drive called "propshaft by wire"
- Questionable 89 MPGe or 35 MPG as a hybrid fuel economy
- Combined power is up to 305 horsepower with 516 lb-ft of torque
- Estimated 7.2 second 0 to 60 times
- Manual or automatic mode capable of running 14 miles on the plug-in chargeable 9.8kWh lithium-ion battery
- Range is 661 miles on 18.5 gallons of diesel ... plus battery
- Seats six in 3 rows with 12 airbags
- 10.2 in touchscreen interface with user programmable instrument cluster
The popular automotive site, Autoblog, wasn't overly complementary when it came to parting with a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI after a 12 month 20,000 plus mile test drive. This current and slightly larger body style has been widely criticized for its "cheapened" feel and less than European driving characteristics. Autoblog drivers did however say positive things about the little diesel's fuel economy:
... we added up all of the fuel economy records in our logbook, divided by the number of fill-ups and came to this final observed number: 42.1 mpg. That's right, our average just narrowly bested the claimed highway economy number. And, to be honest, we could have done better if we actually tried. Many drivers noted fuel economy of over 50 mpg, with Editor Korzeniewski taking the cake with one 53.8-mpg run, which he achieved without even trying.
Although old man winter hasn't arrived yet this year, here's something from IDParts.com for those of you who prefer more than a piece of cardboard behind the grill of your VW TDI.
If you're thinking about a new midsize 4 door car ... be sure to test drive the new Volkswagen Passat TDI.
Our mileage has been pretty remarkable -- so far we're averaging just shy of 46 MPG, with a one-day high of 50.2 MPG (moderate speeds and only a few steep hills to climb) and a low of 42.6 MPG (low speeds, lots of hills). Based on what I've seen, I have no doubt that we could top 55 MPG on a long, level road with a 65 MPH speed limit...
LINK for the full story
Adding a nice summary by Doogie from the Yahoo List (below), but for some great How-To detail regarding the Lower Contol Arm work, check this LINK.
Thanks Tim. Wow, those LCA’s on your car were for sure worn out, but the sway bar bushings you could see daylight through them! J I bet after your alignment it felt like a new car! Your aluminum skid plate makes me feel like I should bite the bullet and get one asap! Btw, I like getting dirty! Makes me feel like I’m doing something!
Thanks to Eric for the quick ride down to the hardware store to get a replacement bolt. For those of you who didn’t make it, Tim’s mega-muscle strong-arm approach to removing the bolt that holds the torsion-bar dog-arm-to-LCA was too much for the 10 year old bolt, and it snapped off after about ½ inch removal.(He’s such a BRUT!) Thankfully we didn’t have to deal with removing the remaining bolt, as it was stuck in the old LCA, which he had purchased a new one. So, all we needed was a replacement bolt.
Eric took us down to the local hardware store, where a misplaced broken curb jumped out in front of us, and POP! Busted a tire on his spanking clean 2012 Passat L Tim and I were amazed at how much room that thing has, and were quit envious of it. Feeling bad about the tire pop, we jumped right on it like an Indy 500 pit crew, and had it swapped out before Eric could say “WOW! Now I’m Glad I got the Road Hazard warranty!” His beautiful little (big?) Passat only has 3000 miles on it! Quite a little thing it is!
Being slightly bias toward diversifying our petroleum use and encouraging U.S. based "grown" clean fuels, I do struggle with saving taxpayers of Ohio money too. It's a challenging call particularly when budgets are tight. On one hand, Ohio farms grow soybeans (offsetting the burning of hydrocarbons), industries hire people to produce biodiesel and offset a few barrels of imported petroleum ... on the other hand, market forces keep biodiesel prices higher than using oil.
The Ohio Department of Transportation spent an extra $3.3 million during the last four years on biofuels, according to a state auditor’s report, but clean fuel advocates say the benefits far outweigh higher prices at the pump.
Since July 2006, ODOT and other state agencies have been required to fill their vehicles with blended biodiesel when available. Blended biodiesel is a diesel replacement fuel made with plant materials, usually soybean and corn. Last year, choosing biofuels over regular diesel cost on average an extra 36 cents per gallon, according to the report.
Ohio Auditor Dave Yost suggested state lawmakers loosen the requirement or scrap the mandate, which would save ODOT an estimated $800,000 per year, he said.