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2012 VW Passat
2012 Passat TDI will be rated at 31 city, 43 highway

Amidst all of this talk of [relatively] low-displacement turbocharged, gasoline-electric hybrid, and fully electric vehicles, the North American car market seems to have forgotten about turbodiesel engines. Diesels are the go-to solution for getting incredible fuel economy in European vehicles, but the North American auto market doesn't have a wide range of diesel vehicles to choose from (unless you want a full-size pickup). 

However, you can always count of the VW Group to embrace turbodiesel technology and the company offers U.S.-spec Audi and Volkswagen branded vehicles with TDI engines. The latest of these vehicles is the new 2012 Passat TDI.

The Passat TDI features a 2.0-liter turbodiesel engine and starts at $25,995. For the enthusiasts out there, the TDI can be paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed DSG dual-clutch unit. 

VW says that the Passat TDI will deliver 43 mpg on the highway, giving it a maximum driving range of 800 miles. City fuel economy is a respectable 31 mpg. For comparison, the Toyota Camry Hybrid ($27,050), Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ($25,795), and Ford Fusion Hybrid ($28,600) are rated at 31/35, 35/40, and 41/36 respectively (city/highway).

"The 2012 Passat is a true Volkswagen, offering German engineering, class-leading standard features, and superior fuel economy, all for a remarkable value," said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. "Demonstrating our commitment to the American market, the car will be produced at one of the newest, most advanced, and environmentally responsible auto assembly plants in the world in Chattanooga, Tennessee."

Interestingly, while VW seems to be embracing diesel engines for its passenger vehicles, Ford has no plans to share its European diesel engines with consumers in the U.S.

"[Ford] could easily bring diesels to the U. S. market," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for global product development, in March. “It doesn’t make sense. We are not going to force it on customers.”



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RE: hybrid?
By zzatz on 6/15/2011 12:59:05 PM , Rating: 4
You'd get an expensive car that got good mileage.

Gasoline engines are cheap to make, but cost more to run. Diesels cost more to make, but cost less to run. Turbocharging adds to the initial cost, but the same power from a smaller, lighter engine reduces operating costs. The same is true for hybrids; more expensive to build, cheaper to operate.

Diesel + direct injection + turbo + hybrid equals an expensive way to make power with a fairly modest improvement in fuel economy. Some of those costs may come down as they are more widely used, but the costs are higher than the benefits today.

We're all tech-heads here, so it's easy to get tunnel-vision and focus only on the technology. But the reason that Diesels are more popular in Europe than in the US isn't technology, it has to do with fuel prices and taxes. The reason that Europe favored small, high revving engines in the past, and the US favored large pushrod engines, is that European countries usually tax cars by displacement, and the US doesn't. Large, slow engines are cheaper and more fuel efficient, but taxes overcome the difference.

We rarely use the best possible technology. We use technology that's good enough but meets the non-technical needs - social, political, economic, whatever. UNIX didn't become the first OS available on hardware from different vendors because it was the best software, it was because it had a better license. And that wasn't a technical choice, it was because AT&T settled anti-trust charges by agreeing to stay out of the computer business, and thus made UNIX available to everyone else. The key point in Microsoft's history isn't that they wrote better code, it isn't that they licensed DOS to IBM, it's that the IBM contract allowed MS to license DOS to others. I'll note that when AT&T was broken up, that allowed them to enter the computer business, and they bombed. They threw away their advantage, the common platform among multiple hardware vendors, by releasing incompatible versions under more restrictive licenses.


RE: hybrid?
By Souka on 6/15/2011 5:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
Great reply, thank you.

I would like to say that people WILL pay a few extra thousand upfront to achive better mileage. If they didn't, the Prius wouldn't sell.

I will also mention that my wife used to drive a 96' 4dr VW Golf. 2L gas engine. I recall when the car was at least 5yrs old the mileage typicaly was low 30's city, 40's highway.

And that's from a non-turbo, non-hybrid, non-diesel, regular gas engine. Of course I'm sure if we threw on all the emission and saftey (weight) the mileage woudl suffer.

I don't know where I"m going with this...just rambling while I sip on my coffee waiting for a VLAN request to be finished.


RE: hybrid?
By Lord 666 on 6/16/2011 10:46:39 AM , Rating: 2
config t
int g5/1
switchpport mode access
switchport mode access vlan 50
switchport voice vlan 60

write mem


RE: hybrid?
By Etsp on 6/16/2011 12:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
Shouldn't that be: do write mem since you're still in config mode?


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