Volkswagen's Hackenberg Welcomes GM's Diesel Cars To America

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
volkswagen s hackenberg welcomes gm s diesel cars to america

Hackenberg talks to reporters from SAE Magazine and Fortune …

“It is good for the future of diesel in the USA that a domestic producer also uses a diesel engine,” said Volkswagen’s R&D Chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg today. “If the volume of diesel engines is increasing, then it makes sense to produce diesel engines in the U.S.A. That would be great for us and the customer,” Hackenberg said.

… while the social media reporters peruse social media, or food, or nurture their jetlag.

Hackenberg spoke to a group of U.S. bloggers and traditional media reporters today in Wolfsburg.

Chevrolet puts a turbo diesel into a Chevrolet Cruze sold in America. The engine is used by Opel in Europe and is imported just like Volkswagen’s diesel engines.

Around 20 percent of Volkswagen cars sold in the US already have diesel engines. “With the Jetta Sportwagon, that rate is up to 80 percent.” At those volumes, it is beginning to make sense to buy components from a domestic supplier,” Hackenberg said. He thinks that adoption of diesel technologies by U.S. manufacturers would be positive for all involved.

Hackenberg is about to take the reins of Audi’s R&D. Hackenberg will also be chief R&D coordinator of the Volkswagen Group.

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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jun 26, 2013

    I've had two of the early VW diesels...slow, smoky, clattery. My 2012 Golf TDi is none of those. At 25k miles, the inside of the exhaust pipe is cleaner than a gas car. There is zero soot or oil on the back of the hatch...that slime every diesel car used to have is gone. Diesel fuel varies a lot in price, more than gas, but can be had for the price of mid-grade in most areas. Torque...ahhh, torque. The TDi is like an old school two barrel V8. Massive pull off the line, runs out of steam up top. Short shift and plan in advance. It's not slow, like the old cars, just has everything at the bottom. I drove a 335d, and the seven (eight ?) speed autobox short shifted it like a motocross bike up and over the torque plateau. 100 mph and I never saw 4300 rpm ! I drove a Peugeot Diesel in Germany recently as well. Much the same as my TDi. A Diesel beats a hybrid for rural and suburban driving, which is 90% of the USA. I have 2000 rpm at 80 mph, and net 40 mpg.....

    • Justgregit Justgregit on Jun 26, 2013

      Regarding rural and suburban driving, the pull from the torque will get you 30 or 45 not much behind faster cars as well, because it takes a gas engine time to get up to peak horsepower as the engine has to be revving pretty high. If you look at the numbers comparing the TDI with the GTI in the US, it isn't very far behind to 30 or 45. 0-60 it gets killed though once the GTI can get fully revved up. I think for the average driver, in a lot of ways a TDI will "feel" much more powerful than many cars with higher HP just because of the types of driving they are doing, and the fact that they rarely get the engine up to the 5,000 RPM's (or whatever) necessary to maximize HP.

  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Jun 27, 2013

    What Hackenburg doesn't understand is that diesels makes no sense in small cars in the US. Completely pointless. Put a 4 cylinder diesel in a 1/2 ton PU or Tahoe, something that can actually do some work towing/hauling and then you have something.

    • Corntrollio Corntrollio on Jun 27, 2013

      ::Put a 4 cylinder diesel in a 1/2 ton PU or Tahoe, something that can actually do some work towing/hauling and then you have something.:: The Germans have already been doing this, albeit with 6-cylinders. For example, the Audi Q7 and the Mercedes GL have had V6 diesels for a while. Oddly, Audi only had diesels available in the smallest (A3) and largest cars in the US, but now they're filtering the diesels into the rest of the product line.

  • KOKing Actually a place called Sector111 in Temecula, CA was importing them for sale in the US starting around 2012. A friend had a shop right next door, and I recall seeing the very first one the owner imported for himself, and would bring it out to promote at various local events. Also shows this thing's been around for a while.
  • KevinB A $300 fine for me would be an "ouch". For someone else it may mean the electric bill doesn't get paid and there won't be enough gas to get to work.
  • Ajla I think a few of you guys need to try meditation or something.
  • SCE to AUX Historically, the Land Cruiser sold ~3000 units annually in the US for its last 15 years, so the answer is no.
  • Theflyersfan Oh boy - the sequential manual transmission. Otherwise known as "Your 16 year old driving stick the first time is smoother" transmission. I know automakers were trying new things out around this time and seeing what would stick (hint: the dual clutches won out), but even in testing, the Toyota engineers should have said いいえ、ジャンクです。(No. It's a piece of junk.) Is this seller going to get $8500? Doubt it. Way too much interior work is needed and it just looks worn out in there. St. Petersburg - salt air year round can do some wonders under the cover as well. But the exterior still looks good which makes me thing it was garage kept. So, for $8,500 - no chance. But for maybe $5,500 to $6,000 and the buyer doesn't mind some extra work to clean up the interior, maybe a decent top down sun down fun car. Just hope the transmission holds up.