Sales of diesels rose 27.4% in 2011

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.

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Questioning the 2011 VW Jetta TDI seats and gearbox

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.

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AWD Volkswagen R-line TDIs could be in your future

VW R in Snow

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.

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Volkswagen issue recall for 2009 - 2012 TDIs

Archiving Volkswagen recall that includes 2009 - 2012 TDIs ... 168,275 vehicles impacted.

Vehicle Make / Model:
Model Year(s):
AUDI / A3 2010-2012
VOLKSWAGEN / GOLF 2010-2012
VOLKSWAGEN / JETTA 2009-2012
VOLKSWAGEN / JETTA SPORTWAGEN 2009-2012

Manufacturer: VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC
Mfr's Report Date: SEP 30, 2011
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 11V490000
NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: FUEL SYSTEM, DIESEL

Rocketchip Performance TDI Tuning Event on Saturday August 20, 2011 @ 8 AM

Attention All TDI Power Enthusiasts:

Jon's Auto LLC is proud to present the return of Jeff from "Rocketchip" (www.rocketchip.com) to their shop in Central Ohio.  Jon Hamilton, BBB-accredited shop owner, 10 year veteran TDI & ASE-certified mechanic, still holds the record for the fastest diesel up Pikes Peak with his 2000 Golf TDI because of Jeff Robertson's custom tune.  With over 25 year of experience in performance tuning, Jeff is a nationally recognized tuner and is well-respected in the TDI community.  Rocketchip has a number of different levels of chip-tuning to suit individual preference and goals. Jon's Auto has hosted this event since 2005 and have received 100% positive feedback with likely gains in fuel economy and definite gains in performance.  This semi-annual event will be held on Saturday August 20 @ 8 AM.  They will be doing chip tuning, injector installs, FREE VAG-COM computer scans, and other minor work if necessary.  Due to space and time constraints, they are reserving this event for individual who wish to be tuned only.  This is a first come, first serve event or you may drop off your TDI Friday evening or Saturday morning to avoid the wait.  Please contact Jon's Auto via e-mail or phone to confirm your attendance, so they may provide Jeff with an approximate tune count.  Jon's Auto appreciates your time.

Here are a few 2012 VW Passats being made in the USA

ja_2012vwpassatsoffassembly

I enjoyed exchanging emails and text messages (and tweets below) with a couple automotive writers touring the newly opened Volkswagen facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee the other day. The photos were great to see (above from Kiplinger’s Jessica Anderson) and the initial opinion regarding the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI exciting to hear as well (below from Nick Kurczewski).

 

TDIFest 2011 in Lexington Ky

TDIFest 2011 registration is now Live 

Information you should know.... 
-Early registration ($25) will last until June 21, then revert to full price of $35. Please plan accordingly. 
-A "companion" registration is available for $15. A companion is defined as family, boyfriend/girlfriend. Period.  If you are a club member, you must pay full registration price. Companion will get nametag, T shirt, and admittance to the pig roast. Pretty good deal. Companion MAY NOT enter a car in the show n shine. That requires a full registration.
-Pig roast. NO ONE eats for free. Only those with full or companion registrations will be allowed to go through the line. This includes kids. Please plan for this. Cutoff date for pig roast registration is noted on the registration site. We probably won't be able to accomodate last minute registrants due to finite amount of prepared food.
-Banquet. For those with special food need, please let us know. We can arrange accomodations if they aren't extensive.
-Vendors are not being charged anything extra to be at TDIFest 2011. However, all members of your party involved with sales must pay full registration. Family members not selling qualify for companion registration. Vendor is responsible for any hotel charges for unusual needs.