According to the blogs, VW is test driving their XL1 Volkswagen TDI around Europe. Most reports are that while it is sporting looking and thrifty on fuel, it is a dog when it comes to acceleration. Something grandmothers might like -- 11.9 second to get to 60 mph.
The technical data Volkswagen released only allowed for speculation – catching the car during its road tests allows for a more concrete idea of what’s going on. The car has high-tech construction to remain super light, excellent aerodynamics, and a plug-in hybrid system. It’s got a two-cylinder TDI engine, an electric motor, a 7-gear clutch, and a lithium ion battery pack. All of this brings its fuel consumption down to 0.99 liters per 100km – a whopping 237 mpg – and its CO2 output is only 24 g/km (remember the EU guidelines for the next few years – 124 g/km for all new cars is the goal). Even though its fuel tank holds barely over a gallon of gas, it’ll still go 340 miles on a full tank.
One would think that with the shrinking gasoline engines, direct injection and thinner steel, alloys and plastic being use in the tin boxes today that the fuel efficiency list would hinder Volkswagen TDIs and their small diesels. Nope ... the TDI is still the best way to have a solid car and avoid the complexity of adding amp hours of batteries and electric motors -- EV or hybrid.
The 10 most fuel-efficient non-electrified cars you can buy
1. Scion iQ 37 mpg
2. Smart fortwo 36 mpg
3. Volkswagen Passat TDI (manual) 35 mpg
4. Audi A3 TDI 34 mpg
(tie) Hyundai Accent (manual) 34 mpg
(tie) Kia Rio (manual) 34 mpg
(tie) Kia Rio Eco (automatic) 34 mpg
(tie) Volkswagen Golf TDI 34 mpg
(tie) Volkswagen Jetta TDI 34 mpg (sedan and SportWagen)
(tie) Volkswagen Passat TDI (automatic) 34 mpg
Using passenger vehicles to tow is commonplace in Europe, and thus most Volkswagen vehicles are especially adept at pulling an extra load. Bosal, a well known European high manufacturer, makes the OEM hitches for VW. These hitches, along with those made by Westphalia, are considered the best in the world. Their no-drill, bolt-on-frame design gives most VW passenger vehicles towing capacity over 3,000 lbs. The Bosal Hitch for MkVI Jetta and Golf is available from our partner, IDParts.com.
The second challenge is wiring. Most VW models to date use a European style wiring for the rear tail lights where the blinker, brake and running light are on separate circuits. US trailers, however, use an arrangement that puts all those things into one bulb. Hooking your Volkswagen to a US trailer requires an adapter to switch from the EU style circuit to the US style circuit.
Luckily for us many VW models include open plugs on the backside of the tail light specifically for trailer wiring. This article will show you the parts you need to make an easy-to-find wiring adapter work with the OEM trailer wiring connections on your A4 platform VW, otherwise known as the MkIV Golf and Jetta…
Looking at a diesel vehicle has never made more sense as Americans ... and automotive manufacturers selling cars in the U.S. ... are coming around to what VW TDI owners already know -- they are efficient, clean, long lasting and enjoyable to drive. There currently is not a better technology for the American road period.
Sales of diesels rose 27.4 percent in 2011, according to numbers from HybridCars.com and market researchers Baum and Associates.
The Diesel Technology Forum pegs the overall market growth in 2011 at 10.2 percent, putting diesels' increase considerably ahead of the curve. Interestingly enough, the group says hybrid sales were down 2.2 percent.
In Autoblog's 2011 VW Jetta TDI longterm update there were a couple less than flattering comments about the VW's comfort and the manual gearbox. Besides disliking the firm Volkswagen seats, the follow up was that the 2011 TDI had a "much-disliked" and "tricky" gearbox. Having driven a variety of manual transmission cars and owning two A4 TDIs with 5-speeds, I'm puzzled of the disappointment in the new 6-speed manual. Any thoughts from owners or those who may have test driven 2011 or 2012 manual transmission TDIs?
... the interior seems to be more broken-in, though it isn't showing any noticeable signs of wear. That said, it still isn't a very pleasant place to be. I didn't love it on my cross-country journey a few months ago, and while it's more comfortable now that more butts have been in the driver's seat, there simply isn't anything to rave about.
Fuel economy, however, is as great as ever – I commonly see numbers over 40 mpg. The car's much-disliked gearbox is still tricky, and we broke a sweat trying not to stall while starting out on some of those steep San Francisco hills (especially when cars were behind us). But with some serious concentration, we managed with minimal problems.
Could you be tempted by an AWD "performance" version of your favorite Volkswagen model ... IF it was available with a diesel? According to recent comments at the LA Auto Show VW could be offering their "R" line in all-wheel drive with a TDI ... and in more than the hatchback.
"The future is diesel and all-wheel-drive," Richter told us on the floor of last week's LA Auto Show. That could mean that the next great performance offering from VW R could come in the form of an AWD diesel hatch – essentially an oil-burning Golf R. Further, Richter contends that he can make an R version of any vehicle in the VW stable, so don't be surprised to see a Passat R in the coming years and the Beetle R getting the green light.
Postings to CinciTDI have been rather thin so here's an interesting TDI conversion project that many of us have thought about over the years. Travis Gossman from South Carolina converted his family Chrysler minivan to a 5-speed manual TDI diesel. We should invite him up for a show n share!
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