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Auto blogTue, 02 Apr 2013 18:55:00 EST
New York Auto Show, Jim Farley interview, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado fuel economy, Ford fuel economy app challenge
Episode #327 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Zach Bowman and Jeff Ross talk about this year's New York Auto Show, Chevrolet's latest assault in the pickup truck fuel economy battle, and Ford's reward for developing a better fuel economy app. Dan also has an interview with Ford's Jim Farley about the future of Lincoln. We wrap with your questions and emails, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Keep reading for our Q&A module for you to scroll through and follow along, too. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #327:
As Volkswagen prepares for the launch of the seventh-generation Golf, it continues to show off some of the car's different variants. With the standard Golf and the ultra-efficient BlueMotion Concept out of the way, now we're finally starting to see some of the sportier versions planned for the hatchback. Confirmed for a debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen has now given us our first glimpse at the Golf GTD.
Just think of the GTD as a diesel version of the GTI with all the handling and styling upgrades, and then add a torquey engine to the equation. (We had the chance to sample the current GTD over the summer, so click here to read more.) To go with the new body style, VW also gave the GTD a new TDI engine consisting of a similar turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter inline-four layout but with an output of 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque - that's an increase of 14 hp and 22 lb-ft over the current GTD. That's a pretty good oomph, but the GTD won't be setting any acceleration records with VW quoting a 0-62 mile per hour time of 7.5 seconds thanks to the car's 3,036-pound curb weight.
The styling of the MkVII Golf lends itself quite well to the more aggressive body kit found on the GTD (and likely matching the GTI). The new front fascia and blacked-out grille give the GTD a sporty look up front, while 17-inch sport wheels, rocker panel extensions and smoked LED taillights finish off the visual changes. The GTD will only be offered in three exterior colors: Tornado Red, Black and Pure White. As expected, the interior gets the plaid seat inserts and flat-bottomed sport steering wheel, but the car also gets stainless steel pedals, a black headliner, ambient cabin lighting and a specific gauge cluster readout.
World's Most Efficient Car Impresses, Not Without Compromises
Among our many duties at the recent Geneva Motor Show, we were offered a pretty exclusive drive in the new Volkswagen XL1 hyper-efficient plug-in diesel hybrid. There is so much that is interesting about a car like this reaching production from a major automaker that it's tough to know where to begin.
First off, you should know that - at least for this generation - there is absolutely no chance in Albuquerque that this "1-liter vehicle" (i.e. a vehicle that can burn just one liter of fuel to travel 100 kilometers, or 62.1 miles) will ever make it into the hands of North American customers. We, too, were having trouble imagining an XL1 in typical American traffic, surrounded by comparatively massive pickups and SUVs. The driving experience had us recalling a couple of weeks in 1999 when we drove the then-revolutionary Honda Insight hybrid on US roads. We keenly remember the feeling of being very small and vulnerable, even as we felt proudly green in our 61-mpg Tochigi pod. Thing is, the Volkswagen is smaller still, and nearly as light despite its more complex drivetrain and safety features.