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Auto blogTue, 28 Jan 2014 16:45:00 EST
Episode #366 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Jeff Ross and George Kennedy of Boldride.com talk about the 2015 Lincoln Navigator, Volkswagen's US market woes, and the drama at the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along after the jump with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #366:
LeMons racing is a wonderful example that setting limits can actually breed creativity. The series mandates that all entries must cost $500, not counting safety equipment, and that cap forces teams to be ingenious in how they build a racecar. Take for example this diesel-powered Porsche 911, which its creators have dubbed Ferkel the Nein-11, that will be racing in the Sears Pointless race this weekend in Sonoma, California.
This Frankenstein combines a 911 chassis that was originally bought just for its European powertrain and a Volkswagen TDI diesel engine mounted in the rear. After deciding the shell could still be of some use, the team decided to go racing. "We began brainstorming what replacement drivetrain to use for maximum offense and there was really only one answer: a diesel," said Philipp von Weitershausen, one of the team captains, to Jalopnik. They bought a 1998 Jetta TDI on the cheap and started figuring out a way to hack the engine into the bay. To pay respect to the donor, the VW's trunk was highly modified (and drilled) and grafted onto the back of Ferkel.
This team isn't a newcomer to LeMons. Its last car was a classic VW Beetle with a Subaru engine and dual controls, named Ferdinand the Bug, which could be driven from the left or right side. It's quite a sight.
Volkswagen looks to be getting ready to jump into the large three-row crossover game. The automaker has officially pulled back the curtain on the CrossBlue Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.
Designers and engineers penned the machine specifically for the Canadian and US markets, and with a plug-in diesel electric hybrid drivetrain, the hulking five-door, at least in concept form, should offer substantially better efficiency than anything else on the market. The drivetrain pairs a 2.0-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine with two electric motors for a combined output of 305 horsepower and a ludicrous 516 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch gearbox handles shifting detail, while one electric motor spins the front wheels. The second motor spins the back axle independently, make the CrossBlue a through-the-road hybrid.
As a result, the crossover can pop to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. Perhaps more impressively, the CrossBlue can whir around on all-electric propulsion for up to 14 miles at up to 75 mph. Once the diesel four kicks in, the drivetrain can yield up to 39 mpg, though Volkswagen says the hardware can hit 89 MPGe on a full charge thanks to a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Check out the full press release below for more information.