Tidbit: For an excellent list of How-To's: See Wingnut's TDIClub Thread.
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"Dumbed down" changes to 2011 VW Jetta might offend some?

Hmm ... I'm not sure all Volkswagen Jetta TDI advocates are going to like some of these 'cost cutting' changes? See James Healy's comments in his USA Today article.

Among changes to keep costs down, items likely to be vilified as evidence Jetta has been "dumbed down" to get more mainstream buyers:

•Rear suspension is a so-called "semi-independent torsion beam" instead of true "multi-link" independent rear suspension on the previous version. The latter is valued because, when properly executed, it improves ride, handling and steering. A GLI sport version due next spring will have independent rear suspension.

•Rear brakes are old-style drums on most models, not the discs of the 2010. (VW insists third-party tests show its drums stop as well as, or better than, rivals' discs.)

•Trip computer, the device that tells you miles per gallon, miles to empty and so on, isn't offered on the lower models, though is standard on the top version.

Algae for biodiesel research continues

For alternatives to petroleum, the hype has recently been about EVs and almost all auto makers are rolling out their electric vehicles, yet for most American automotive owners they are far from practical considering the miles of highway and distances we travel. For that, efficient clean diesels running biodiesel makes a lot of sense ... here's a NYTimes article offering some positive news on this carbon neutral renewable fuel especially if it is produced from genetically engineered algae.

Algae are attracting attention because the strains can potentially produce 10 or more times more fuel per acre than the corn used to make ethanol or the soybeans used to make biodiesel. Moreover, algae might be grown on arid land and brackish water, so that fuel production would not compete with food production. And algae are voracious consumers of carbon dioxide, potentially helping to keep some of this greenhouse gas from contributing to global warming.

Audi turns out the 10,000th TT TDI

Wouldn't it be nice to have this in North America?

After two years in production, Audi has just churned out the 10,000th example of its diesel-powered sports car, the TT TDI. The compression ignition TT is propelled by a higher output version of the Volkswagen Group's 2.0-liter inline four TDI that is also found in the Golf and Jetta sold here in the United States. The version in the TT is rated at 170 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The coupe version is rated 44.4 miles per gallon (U.S.) combined on the EU drive cycle, which would likely be somewhere in the mid- to upper-30s under the EPA's test procedures.


VW Jetta TDI Cup Street Edition in Autoblog's long-term garage

The popular automotive website Autoblog has put the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Street Edition in their long-term garage and will be posting on their findings over the coming months. For those wanting to follow on Twitter, their TheRealAutoblog account will be updating using the hashtag #ablongterm.

Consider the economical 2011 Volkswagen Golf TDI

For many A3 and A4 Volkswagen Golf TDI diesel lovers, it was good to see the TDI badge back on the North American version of their favorite economical and comfortable hatchback -- some are glad to see the Golf badge as well. Boston.com's car reviewer Bill Griffith came to a similar conclusion in his recent review.

2010 VW Golf Rear view

The TDI is rated between 30 miles per gallon (city) and 42 (highway). I carelessly forgot to note the odometer reading with the tank full, but it made four 70-mile roundtrips to Boston from Newburyport, plus a half-dozen other decent-length trips on barely more than half of the 14.5-gallon tank. My Kentucky-windage guess is we got in the 38 mpg range, though the on-board computer was saying 43.2 mpg.

VW officials point out that the TDI emits 25 percent less greenhouse gas and achieves more than 30 percent better fuel economy than comparable gasoline engines. Only a reassuring bit of clatter lets you know this is a diesel.


Review: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Edition

Worth reading for performance enhanced TDI admirers.


Road test car review: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Edition, diesel racer for the road

Race on Sunday, sell on Monday. That's been the motto of many auto manufacturers since the dawn of the automotive age. In fact, the first car race in the United States, in 1895, was staged to encourage domestic manufacture of automobiles. It's no surprise, then, that Volkswagen took the diesel powered Jetta TDI racing, and from there made a streetable replica that VW calls the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Edition.

READ article

Keep the TDI 'clean diesel' tax credit deadlines in mind

Worth mentioning if you're considering a new Volkswagen TDI this year ...

Tax credits for 2010

Waiting for a North American Subaru diesel?

WSJ Q&A on Subaru diesel

If you have been waiting the past couple of years in hopes Subaru brings their boxer diesel engine to North America, some with their ear to the ground don't see it coming any time soon. Of course with demand increasing for oil and renewed concern over offshore drilling safety, prices at the fuel pump could change Subaru's thinking. (Jonathan Welsh WSJ Q & A from May 5, 2010 above)