The 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI Clean Diesel, part of the family of vehicles that won the 2015 North American Car of the Year, has set a new Guinness World Record.
The award is for achieving the “lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. contiguous States for a non-hybrid car” with an impressive 81.17 miles per US gallon of diesel (2.89 L/100 kms).
Travelling 13,250.53 kms (8,233.5 miles) around the United States in 16 days on $294.98US of Shell Diesel fuel, the Golf beat the previous mark of 3.01 L/100 kms.
Read: ‘The VW Lineup: Diesel Will Do If a Hybrid Is Too Pricey‘ by Alexandra Straub (Driveway Canada)
“Covering 8,233.5 miles on just 101.43 gallons of Clean Diesel fuel is a remarkable accomplishment, and solid proof of the efficiency and fuel economy of Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel vehicles,” said Michael Horn, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Whether on a long road trip, or even in daily commuting, the great mileage and long range of our TDI models is a pure convenience factor that few other vehicles on sale can match. It’s a simple formula: Less Stop, More Go!”
The record-setting Golf TDI departed from Volkswagen of America’s headquarters in Herndon, Va., and returned there to claim the record.
Wayne Gerdes, automotive journalist and founder of cleanmpg.com, was the primary driver. His co-driver was Bob Winger, an electronics engineer long involved in energy and conservation projects. Gerdes is an expert hypermiler who has set mileage records in more than 100 vehicles. In 2013, Gerdes set the previous record in a 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI.
“Volkswagen’s TDI Clean Diesel engines are just amazing,” said Wayne Gerdes. “I don’t think people realize the potential mileage you can get from them. In our experience, it is possible to get truly impressive mileage results by using just a few simple fuel-saving techniques.”
The 2015 Golf TDI uses Volkswagen’s advanced turbocharged and direct-injection Clean Diesel engine to achieve an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.
For the attempt, the Golf TDI used Shell ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel and Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max tires which feature a fuel-saving tread compound to help increase fuel efficiency and offer confident all-season traction.
Contact the writer at keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca
“The smooth power, along with the good feedback to the driver, plus the well-insulated cabin reminds us why this car has won so many awards…”
The latest seventh generation Volkswagen Golf has been a huge hit, winning the World Car of the Year award, along with the North American Car of the Year and several other titles.
The effort and billions of dollars, VW invested in its small car platform, called MQB, is at the core of this success. This lighter, yet stronger platform is so flexible the Volkswagen Group has plans to use it for dozens of vehicles throughout the many brands it builds. The benefit to the consumer is a vehicle that is lighter, can use a smaller, more efficient engine and, with huge economies of scale, VW can lower the price. The Golf hatchback along with the sportier GTI is available in the market now and very soon the Sportwagon (station wagon), built on the same successful platform, will arrive.
One could be forgiven for not noticing the major changes in this 2015 model but that is the way VW likes to do things– keep the exterior looking familiar, yet radically update the things that are less obvious. The one thing that should get any buyer’s attention is the new starting price of $22,495, which is roughly $1,100 less than the last model. In addition, the base model gets standard 15-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, Bluetooth and a backup camera for a total of $2,000 of additional value. The Sportwagon is sold as the base Trendline, the middle $24,695 Comfortline and the $30,495 Highline, with a $1,400 premium for an automatic transmission and $2,300 more for a TDI diesel engine.
This Sportwagon is a true sport utility vehicle. It has the lower, sportier stance of a car coupled with a huge cargo area that would put most small crossovers to shame. The front seats are heated and the rear seats split and fold. The remainder of the cabin is the same as the regular Golf family, with front and rear passenger dimensions the same except for rear passenger headroom, which makes way for the beautiful panoramic sunroof. The dash has high quality switches and dials and even the base model is fitted with a 14.7cm (5.8-inch) radio screen that doubles as a backup camera. This screen size is a bit on the small side but VW will increase the size slightly when the 2016 model arrives this fall.
What can’t be seen but is instantly obvious when driving is the new 170hp 1.8L turbocharged base engine, that is so much more advanced and responsive, compared to the old, less efficient 5-cylinder in the previous model. This engine has superb mid-range torque and it runs on less expensive regular fuel. It’s efficient too, using 9.5L/100km in the city and 6.6L on the highway. The optional diesel, with 150hp, but more importantly, 236 lb.-ft. of torque is only marginally more efficient, rated at 7.7L city and 5.4L on the highway. Considering this engine is $2,300 more expensive, the new turbo gasoline engine will certainly be a sensible choice for drivers that don’t pile on the kms. The gasoline engine gets a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic; the diesel gets a 6-speed manual or the high-tech duel clutch automatic. It’s too bad both engines are not offered with the TDI’s transmissions. Great news for VW fans, waiting for all wheel drive (AWD), the 2017 model will arrive with AWD in the Sportwagon and that technology should spread to the rest of the Golf line.
Volkswagen held the launch event for this Sportwagon in Texas, hoping for beautiful sunny weather but we were treated to pouring rain. With the wipers plugging away and the radio on, this latest Golf feels all grown up, almost “Audi Light”. The smooth power, along with the good feedback to the driver, plus the well-insulated cabin reminds us why this car has won so many awards. The Sportwagon takes all the goodness of the hatchback and shares it in a slightly longer and more useful package. If you are in the market for a small sport utility, give this truly sporty utility a try.
Power: 1.8L turbo with 170hp, 2.0L diesel turbo with 150hp
Fill-up: 8.5L/6.4L/100km (city/highway)
Sticker price: $22,495-$34,195
“The VW Golf won car of the year, following on the heels of World Car of the Year and Motor trend Car of the Year awards, and the Golf is a finalist for the Canadian Car of the Year…”
There’s a buzz in motor city because the car industry has roared back in the US and 2014 was another record year in Canada.
Ford GT (photos above)
There is no question the Ford GT supercar stole the show at the media preview in Detroit. The mid-engine heart powering this carbon fibre and aluminum 2-door beauty is a new twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with over 600hp. What really stunned the crowd was the fact Ford has already committed to building the GT, it will be for sale late in 2016. The car displayed is essentially a production model, not a far-reaching concept car. The carbon fibre passenger cell and bodywork, along with aluminum suspension components will help return one of the best power to weight rations in the business. The best part is the design that looks fast standing still, thanks to a teardrop shape and aggressive aerodynamics and functional wings and spoilers. Ford is using the GT as a technology test to help implement features like carbon fibre in all new Ford models to come.
Since we love SUVs in North America, it was logical for Audi have the world debut of the three-row Q7 SUV in Detroit. This all-new model is slightly smaller than the outgoing model but it actually offers more interior space for passengers and cargo. The design also makes the Q7 look much less imposing. The biggest news is the reduction in weight; this new Q7 is 325kg lighter than the older model, which is a whopping number, making it roughly 26 percent more efficient. Shortly after the Q7 arrives at dealerships a plug-in diesel hybrid model will be introduced that can deliver the equivalent of 1.7L/100km. Styling is much more sophisticated and the interior has the all-new dash and MMI system that was first introduced in the soon to arrive Audi TT.
Lexus GS F
Another trend at the Detroit show was the introduction or very powerful cars. Lexus introduced the latest “F” performance model called the GS F. Based on the GS mid-sized luxury sedan, the GS F takes things to a much more aggressive level, with a 467hp 5.0L V8 engine pushing all that power through an 8-speed automatic to the rear wheels. Lexus hopes this 1830kg sedan will be lean enough and powerful enough to attract buyers of cars like the BMW M5. With standard 19-inch wheels framing orange Brembo brake calipers and featuring a Torque Vectoring Differential, Lexus thinks this Nurburgring tuned sedan is a more than enough to take on the German dominant brands. Styling is dramatic and functional with a lower and wider stance than the regular model.
The Detroit show always starts with the announcement of the North American Car of the Year. This year the VW Golf won, following on the heels of World Car of the Year and Motor trend Car of the Year awards, and the Golf is a finalist for the Canadian Car of the Year. The Golf is turning heads because of the very refined driving dynamics, class-above interior and powerful and efficient engine choices. The price will also win over buyers, thanks to the production coming out of Mexico; the starting price is $18,995. The Golf features a new 1.8L direct injection and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, an optional TDI diesel or the more powerful GTI and Golf R models. The Golf is on sale now.
2015 Toyota Tacoma
The Detroit-three automakers might have the lion’s share of full size pickup sales but it’s the Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup that rules the road, outselling the competition two-to-one. Announced at the Detroit show is a heavily updated Tacoma with a new 3.5L V6, replacing the old 4.0L V6, plus either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. The engine features direct injection technology and should vastly improve fuel economy. The chassis has been strengthened and the interior updated to today’s standards. The tailgate now has a locking feature and a soft open for easier use, plus the optional cargo bed cover can be secured as well. Also shown was the TRD off-road version, which is a big seller for Toyota and for 2015 it has a crawl feature to aid in off-road adventures, plus a go-pro camera mount to capture all the action. With these updated the latest Tacoma is sure to remain dominant.
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