Volkswagen's Car Sex Commercial is Unsettling in an Unusual Way
Volkswagen USA released an advertisement on YouTube today entitled “Luv Bug,” and it uses the ever-popular growing family angle to appeal to the customer.
Click through to watch this interesting take on in-car entertainment, and see if you spot what’s wrong.
Bi-Curiosities: Volkswagen's Twin-Engine Terrors
Though today’s hybrids have popularized it, the idea of installing more than one engine in a car to supplement power isn’t particularly new or innovative. In fact, it’s almost as old as the automobile itself.
There are plenty of historical examples of multi-engine cars; probably the most notable are absolute land speed record attempts. Just last week, for example, was the 51st anniversary of the American-made Goldenrod’s 409 mph record, set using no less than four 426 Hemi V8s borrowed from Chrysler.
But even further back, Alfa-Romeo had tried to break the stranglehold of the Silver Arrows in Grand Prix racing by utilizing two straight-eights in a P3 Grand Prix chassis. The solution was innovative, if not particularly successful.
But the exploits of sticking multiple motors in a vehicle to boost power and traction were not limited to exotic racers and record setters. In the 1980s, the concept was reintroduced in a few interesting packages. As it became increasingly clear that Audi’s all-wheel drive would revolutionize the world of rally, Volkswagen Motorsport director Klaus-Peter Rosorius felt Volkswagen shouldn’t play second fiddle to the Quattro.
Instead, they’d play with a second engine.
Auf Wiedersehen: Volkswagen Quietly Kills Sole Hybrid Model
If you’ve long since erased the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid from your memory bank, don’t worry. Buyers forgot about it at the same time, and the automaker is prepared to do the same.
When Volkswagen rolled out a list of changes to its 2017 year vehicles today, the Jetta Hybrid was nowhere to be seen. Instead, the automaker placed a note in its empty chair, reading “Jetta Hybrid no longer available.”
It was an undignified (but not unexpected) end for a very unpopular model — one the automaker doesn’t need weighing it down as it tries to streamline its operations in a bid to save cash.
Piston Slap: Time To Pounce on a Jetta TDI?
I’ve toyed with the idea of turbocharging a 2.sl0w just for giggles and TORQUE, but the quest has to make some sense economically, or else the finance minister will not approve. Then it hit me: just how LOW in price have those older dirty diesels gone, anyway? You know, the ones with that lovely 236 pounds-feet of torque.
In other words, can I just get the torque without the spending abyss and busting my knuckles? Small data-set wise, four-cylinder manual Jettas with 64,000 miles average a diesel premium of only $675. At that consideration point, say 2010-ish Jetta, there is no economy for the project and I could jump right into the lovely torque.
So my question to you, on behalf of Torque Lovers Everywhere: is it time to pounce on diesel?
Reader Review: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
(Please give a warm welcome to Ian, who has 40,000 miles on his Jetta GLI! — JB)
About three years ago, I was the owner of a 2004 Ford Focus SVT two door and simultaneously the dad of a one-year-old child. Our family car was a 2008 Saturn Vue. One day I got a call from my wife telling me that the Saturn wasn’t shifting into second anymore. Thankfully the Saturn’s powertrain warranty covered what ended up being a clutch pack failure.
Thanks to the factory warranty, at first it seemed like the biggest hassle of the incident was going to be the sketchy tow truck guy who didn’t have a parking brake on his truck and had to resort to using part of a broom handle wedged against the brake pedal and the truck’s bench seat to keep the truck from moving while the Vue was loaded onto the bed. It turns out this wasn’t the biggest hassle. That was reserved for a week of loading my daughter in and out of a rear facing seat on a two door hatchback.
TTAC News Round-up: Investors Pump the Brakes, Daimler's Dig, and Chapo's Crapwagon
Investors aren’t necessarily drinking automakers’ Kool-Aid that 2016 will be full of beer and Skittles.
That, the China-made Cadillac CT6 that’ll eventually get here, El Chapo’s cheapo getaway car and General Motors’ questions get down and dirty … after the break!
Auction Prices for Volkswagen Diesels Are Dropping
According to Kelley Blue Book, auction prices for Volkswagen’s diesels cars are dropping faster than similar models that are powered by gasoline.
According to auction data gathered before and after news broke that Volkswagen had admitted to federal investigators that their cars illegally polluted, prices for Volkswagen diesel cars dropped 16 percent. Prices for Volkswagen gasoline cars only dipped 2.9 percent over the same period.
According to the car industry site, interest on the Volkswagen diesel models has only declined 2.4 percent.
Volkswagen Spends Its Money On The Wrong Things
There has been a lot of coverage recently devoted to that scandal where Volkswagen revealed that its vehicles have been polluting like a chemical company that dumps out its waste in poor neighborhoods late at night.
But this scandal seems to have taken our eye off the Volkswagen ball. I say this because the whole “cheating on diesel” thing is not Volkswagen’s only issue. It is merely one of a myriad of problems that has launched the brand into the mediocre, also-ran position where they find themselves in America today. And right now, I’m here to remind you of the largest of these problems: that they spend their money on absolutely the wrong things.
TFLCar's Jetta Dyno Test Doesn't Show Us "Test Mode"
Volkswagen is working on a fix to bring their “defeat device” equipped cars back into EPA compliance. The SCR upgrade option is very costly and another possibility is a software fix. The latter option would likely come in the form of an ECM calibration that would work similar to “test mode” at all times, possibly robbing power and fuel economy.
The crew over at TFLCar attempted to emulate this test mode on a dyno but fell short of collecting reliable results.
While I applaud the idea of finding an affected car and trying to generate real-world test results, the tests and analysis in the video do not correlate to an actual EPA test.
Portlandian Plants "Nazi" Note On Dirty Diesel VW
It is no surprise that environmental activists are staging protests in reaction to the Volkswagen emission scandal. Members of Greenpeace marched last week outside the VW plant in Wolfsburg, Germany. Somewhere in America, we are sure someone will print off one of those red and white pro-union banners saying “Shame on XYZ Volkswagen” and plant themselves in front of a VW dealership.
But to shame a TDI owner who is possibly already miffed knowing his car may be dropping in value — and possibly gas mileage and torque after the emission fix?
Volkswagen Pulled Cheap $51.35 Million Bar Trick in 2009 Based on False Emissions Data
According to the LA Times, Volkswagen’s falsified emissions data made certain 2009 model year vehicles eligible for a $1,300 green car subsidy. That subsidy, applicable to 39,500 Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen units sold, equated to a total of $51.35 million available to buyers from the government.
The LA Times used Internal Revenue Service data and Motor Intelligence, an automotive industry research body, to calculate the numbers.
The $51 million in total tax credits is just another case of automakers leveraging dumb government money to incentivize consumers to buy their vehicles.
Here's What It Might Cost To Fix Each 2.0 TDI Volkswagen
In all reality, Volkswagen probably won’t pay $37,500 for each car that cheated its way through U.S. emissions standards, but the German automaker will probably pay thousands for each car to fit a device that would clean up their acts.
The presumed fix would come by retrofitting a Selective Catalytic Reduction (Adblue or urea) system although that wouldn’t be the only fix necessary. Researchers discovered that the Passat TDI that they tested, fitted with the SCR system, was 5 to 20 times over the NO limit — less than the 10 to 40 times by the lean NO filter cars, but still illegal.
The long list of items needed to fit models of the Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Beetle and Audi A3 doesn’t include the engineering needed to retrofit the cars and the costs to crash test the models after the significant modifications. That’ll add hundreds of millions to the bottom line.
VW, Audi in Canada Halting Sales of TDI Cars Following US Inquiry
Volkswagen in Canada will suspend sales of its Volkswagen Passat, Golf, Jetta, Beetle and Audi A3 cars after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the engines in those cars had an illegal device that “cheated” emissions tests.
“We will work with our colleagues at Volkswagen of America as well as our parent company in Germany to resolve this matter in the most timely fashion,” Volkswagen Canada spokesman Thomas Tetzlaff said in a statement.
Audi Canada has also issued a stop-sale of the Audi A3 TDI, stated Audi Canada spokesman Cort Nielson. No details were available regarding Audi’s plan for continued availability of the A3 TDI.
VW hasn’t announced a timeline for fixing its cars and resuming sales. Over the weekend, VW’s CEO Martin Winterkorn apologized for the scandal.
Suzuki Wanted to Sell Re-badged Jetta Hybrid in the US
In a detailed report on the failed alliance between Suzuki and Volkswagen, Automotive News reports that the Japanese automaker wanted to re-badge and sell Volkswagen Jetta Hybrids in the U.S. before the company eventually decided to close up its local sales arm.
The report, which came out on Monday, is a play-by-play of what happened from the time Suzuki CEO Osamu Suzuki and Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn first shook hands in 2009, to when Suzuki announced it was cutting its losses, up to today as the automakers struggle over VW’s 19.9-percent ownership of the Japanese automaker.
Goodbye, Volkswagen 2.Slow; Oh, Hello New 1.4T
Volkswagen just took the wrapper off its 1.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder that will replace the 2-liter naturally aspirated noise machine in most of its Jettas, the automaker announced today.
The engine will produce 150 horsepower (vs. 115 hp in the outgoing model) and will produce 184 pound-feet of torque (vs. 125 in the old engine) and highway fuel economy is expected to reach 39 mpg, the automaker said.
The engine uses a small, single-scroll compressor for its turbocharger and an integrated intercooler. The engine can be mated to either a five-speed manual (!) or six-speed automatic.