Tag Archives: VW

Diesel hybrid from VW finally on the market (in Europe)

Back in 2011 we posted about this space-agey diesel-electric hybrid concept from Volkswagen dubbed the XL 1. At the time, the XL1 was just a prototype and not strictly “street legal.” However, as reported by Inside Climate News, the auto manufacturer has followed through on its promise to produce a small run of the hyper-efficient two-seaters, and Volkswagen is now selling a limited run of 250 models in Europe.

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Most impressively, the car is still reported to get 260 miles per gallon. According to Inside Climate News:

The XL 1′s fuel economy comes partly from its hybrid engine, and partly from its light and aerodynamic design. The car weighs 1,800 pounds, less than half the typical U.S. car. Its tires were slimmed down and its engine was shrunk and turbocharged to get more power. Even the body paint is extra thin. Like most hybrids, the XL 1 is particularly fuel efficient in stop-and-go or city driving, while its diesel engine excels on highways.

There are some performance tradeoffs to achieve this efficiency—the XL1 doesn’t go faster than 99 mph and is slow to reach highway speeds. (Though lead-foot driving isn’t good for fuel economy or safety. )

The XL1 has a hefty price tag of $150,000, even when compared to Tesla’s Model S, which runs upwards of $100,000. Regardless of cost, we won’t see the VW XL1 for sale in the US anytime soon. Guess we’ll have to stick with the regular ol’ Volkswagen TDIs, but with their great fuel economy and more affordable price, we’re not complaining!

Read more about the XL1 limited release.

Beloved VW Jetta TDI SportWagen, no more.

As of 2015, Volkswagen’s popular and much-loved wagon sedan model, the Jetta TDI  SportWagen will be replaced—or, more accurately, filed under a new genus as the Golf  TDI SportWagen.

Phew. Hope I didn’t have you worried there.

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image: auto blog green

Still in the concept phase, the all-wheel-drive TDI Clean Diesel Golf SportWagen is scheduled to debut in the US at the New York Auto Show later this month:

Volkswagen of America, Inc. will debut a concept version of the latest SportWagen model that features a 4MOTION® all-wheel drive system and the new EA288 TD®I Clean Diesel engine at the New York Auto Show. The concept previews the all-new Golf SportWagen that goes on sale in early 2015. Based on the new MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, the Golf SportWagen will continue the trend introduced by the seventh generation Golf whereby it is lighter, bigger, roomier, more fuel efficient and more powerful than the outgoing SportWagen model.

Just the mention of an all-wheel-drive diesel wagon has me daydreaming of rallying up mountain passes, blasting by chain control, all on one tank of biodiesel. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the SportWagen models bound for the US will feature the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system. More information to come after the New York Auto Show. Stay tuned.

Read more about the Golf SportWagen from Auto Blog Green.
Find more diesel vehicle options.

2014 Geneva Motor Show diesel vehicle round-up

European auto shows tend to deliver on the diesel front, and this year’s Geneva Motor Show was no disappointment. I just hope these models make it to American showrooms in the future!

Below are my favorite diesels from the show. Basic specs and pics courtesy  of Autoblog Green.

Audi TT

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The third generation of this sporty little two-seater was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show with the exciting news that “Audi is offering a trio of engines for the new TT, including a 2.0-liter turbodiesel powerplant that’s good for 184 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque and an excellent 56 miles per gallon.” Unfortunately, the the TDI option is currently unconfirmed for the US market. Here’s hoping!

Volkswagen Multivan Alltrack Concept

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The luxurious VW T5 MultiVan would take the vagabond-travel lifestyle to a whole new, classy level — or at least make hauling kids around in a van more appealing. The “nautical themed” van features an All-Wheel Drive system and a seven-speed transmission powered by a 177-horsepower diesel engine.

BMW X3

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Great news, this diesel will be available in the US! According to the Autoblog report, “in addition to the 2.0-liter turbo-four and 3.0-liter turbo-six, BMW will now offer an X3 xDrive28d, fitted with – you guessed it – the 2.0-liter turbodiesel inline four-cylinder engine found in the 328d sedan. Output for this engine is rated at 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and BMW says this oil-burning mill will help the X3 reach 60 miles per hour in just under eight seconds. The automaker hasn’t released any information about real or predicted fuel economy figures for the diesel X3, as yet.”

Bentley SUV diesel

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Ok, so most of us will never be able to afford a Bentley, let alone a premium diesel model, but it warms my efficiency-loving heart to know that the option will be available for those who can. This wasn’t technically on the floor at the Geneva show, but Autoblog had the inside line from the a convo with the CEO. The luxury SUV is slated for production in 2017 and the possibility of offering a diesel engine option is currently in the works. In addition to the potential diesel option, the vehicle will be designed from the get-go as a plug-in hybrid. Hopefully, this Bentley will get the best of both efficiency worlds.

Volkswagen T-Roc Concept

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Autoblog is confident that VW plans to build a Golf-sized crossover that would nest under the existing, larger Tiguan and it will look something like the T-Roc Concept a “with its flexible new MQB architecture and a diverse family of suitable powertrains that include gas, diesel, compressed natural gas, plug-in hybrid and pure electric models.” Lots of options, that’s what we like to hear. Now just make sure at least the diesel option ends up Stateside.

Ok, you’re probably thinking, enough of the European diesel options. What about some sweet, super efficient diesels I can get in the good ol’ US of A? Look no further than our recent post on the Chicago Auto Show.

World Record for fuel economy goes to a diesel!

Ladies and gentlemen, once again, diesels are cleaning up on the podium. This time it is a Guinness World Record for the best fuel economy. The Volkswagen Passat TDI, driven by a two-man team for 8,122-miles across America, achieved 77.99 miles per gallon. A full 10 miles per gallon better than the previous record! And it flew passed the hybrid record by a whopping 13 miles per gallon.

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Drivers, Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger, purchased only 104.94 gallons of diesel fuel for the entire distance of their tour. The duo used common hyper-miling techniques like steady acceleration after stopping, utilizing momentum, and sticking to the speed limit. Doesn’t sound too tricky! Even without any fancy driving techniques, the Volkswagen Passat TDI is rated an EPA estimated 43 miles per gallon on the highway.

Read more about  record setting VW TDIs  and  history of their awesome fuel economy.

Photo credit: Autoweek.com.

Super Efficient Diesel-Electric Plug-Ins Abuzz at Geneva

To our delight, several manufacturers unveiled diesel-electric hybrid models at the Geneva Autoshow, including Volkswagen’s XL1 diesel-powered plug-in hybrid, touted as the “world’s most efficient car.” Reminiscent of a tictac on wheels, the XLI is a spacey, futuristic-styled two-seater claiming a whopping 261 miles per gallon fuel efficiency.

volkswagen-xl1-geneva-2013No word on how many of these snazzy little diesel-sippers will go into production or what the price tag might be (rumors suggest over six-figures), but we like the direction VW is headed.  For more information, check out autoblog’s report.

Ready for more diesel-electric thrills from Geneva?

Subaru showed off the Viziv diesel hybrid crossover. A concept vehicle that is the poster child for Subaru’s  “Vision for Innovation,” the Viziv offers a glimpse into future design and technological direction for the company.

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Mitsubishi also brought a diesel-hybrid concept to the spotlight in Geneva: the Concept GR-HEV, a Sport Utility Hybrid Truck. According to Autoblog, “the vehicle’s drivetrain is good for CO2 emissions of 149 grams per kilometer. For comparison’s sake, the global 2012 Ford Ranger emits 264 g/km when equipped with the 3.2-liter turbo-diesel engine and a six-speed manual transmission.” Nice.

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Learn more about current diesel vehicle options and cleaner fuels for diesel vehicles at www.propelfuels.com.

Photo Credits — Autoblog.com

Detroit Autoshow. We like what we see.

This year’s Detroit Autoshow boasted plenty of shiny, drool-worthy vehicles, and, as renewable fuel enthusiasts, a couple in particular caught our eye.

Diesel (!) Jeep Grand Cherokee.

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First of all, we love our diesels, especially the re-release on American soil of an old favorite like the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Chrysler’s new EcoDiesel V6 powers this off-roading champ. For all the specs and in-depth details, read Autoblog’s review on the Grand Cherokee’s comprehensive update.

Volkswagen CrossBlue Diesel-Hybrid.

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Be still our efficiency-loving hearts! Did you just say DIESEL-HYBRID? Before you get your hopes up too much, for now it’s a concept only. According to Volkswagen, the three-row crossover has an estimated fuel economy of 35 mpg combined and a whopping 89 mpg in electric mode. Get the scoop from Autoblog.

X-Truck Plug-In Hybrid Concept.

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It might be hard to tell but the X-Truck is a suped-up, highly-modified Chevy Silverado by Via Motors. The most obvious addition is the plug-in hybrid powertrain, which enables it to get the touted, but still unofficial, 100 miles per gallon. The truck still uses a 5.3-liter V8 from GM as a gas generator–when the battery is in a low state-of-charge, the generator kicks in and helps power up the battery packs. This begs the question: is the V8 Flex Fuel E85 compatible?! We certainly hope so!

2012 VW Passat TDI ranks #1 for fuel economy over hybrids

Consumers don’t often consider full-size options when on the hunt for fuel efficient vehicles; however, there is a new class of roomy sedans boasting better fuel economy than previous generations. Motor Trend put three of these super efficient sedans in a head-to-head comparison to see which would come out on top in a miles-per-gallon competition.  The three vehicles compared include two hybrids, 2011 Hyundai Sonata and 2012 Toyota Camry, and one diesel, 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI. After comparing road test mileage, driving experience and design, the VW Passat won hands down.

While the article had positive things to say about both the Hyundai and the Toyota, the Passat took first place by a long shot. With a highway rating of 40 mpg, on one tank of fuel the Passat can cruise the interstate for 740 miles without needing a pitstop. Add in a six-speed manual transmission and that range shoots up to 43 miles per gallon and 796 miles per tank. Overall, Motor Trend concludes that the superior trunk space (no pesky batteries infringing on storage capacity), “the first-rate steering and taut, lively suspension deliver a rewarding, responsive drive that can’t be matched in this group.”

Read more from Motor Trend.

The best part about diesel vehicles? You can run clean, American made biodiesel without any conversion. Find a Propel biodiesel location near you.

VW to Offer Beetle TDI for 2012

If you’ve been following news regarding the new 2012 Beetle, you may have already heard rumor that the updated styling will echo that of the first generation “bug.” New to us, however, was learning that this retro-inspired ride will now be available with a 2.0L TDI engine – great news for Beetle bums, MPG mavens (VW is touting an estimated 40 mpg highway!) and biodiesel diehards alike.

Stylewise, the 2012 Beetle doesn’t disappoint. With a lower profile and a front windshield that’s been nudged back a bit, the Beetle does more closely resemble its 1949 predecessor, while a standard rear spolier, split-folding rear seat and slightly larger footprint offer modern day form and function.

As announced at the 2011 New York and Shanghai Auto Shows this week, the 2012  Beetle will be available in the US in September.

For more information, images and video, check out the full story at Insideline.com.

Volkswagen puts diesel in the hybrid mix

Volkswagen recently revieled the XL1 Prototype, a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid with a mind-blowing 261 miles per gallon fuel economy.

The vehicle’s extreme efficiency is achieved using light weight parts, including a small two-cylinder diesel and electric plug-in engine. While VW will only be producing the XL1 for a very limited run, there are reports the manufacturer is working on a producing a slightly bigger, more conventional hybrid, the Up mini-car, which could achieve 95 miles per gallon.

Read more.

Volkswagen BlueMotion vehicles named 2010 World Green Car brand

“The definition of the World Green Car of the Year was expanded a bit today when the World Car of The Year organization named Volkswagen‘s BlueMotion product brand – including the PoloPassat, and Golf models – as the 2010 World Green Car during the 2010 New York Auto Show. The 59-member jury’s statement declaring BlueMotion the winner took a swipe at hybrid technology when is said:

It is not necessary to add an electric motor and a heavy battery pack to achieve class-leading efficiency. Based on Volkswagen’s common-rail diesel engines, the BlueMotion models are among the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market. In fact, the Passat BlueMotion can travel just about 1,000 miles on one tank of fuel in the European cycle. As far as internal combustion engines go today, these models are the ultimate you can get.

Even with these critical words, the organization did pick the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight as the Green Car of the Year runners-up. In other World COTY news, the VW Polo won the overall World Car of the Year title.”

Read more from Autoblog Green.

Find out where to fill up your diesel with cleaner burning biodiesel in California and Washington.

VW Diesels take 1-2-3 spots at 2010 Dakar Rally

Volkswagen TDIs, including the Race Touareg prototype, celebrated a one-two-three podium lockout at the finish of the toughest challenge worldwide in motorsport.

Read full article from AutoBlog.com.

Clean Diesel Wins Again for Green Car of the Year

For the second year in a row, clean diesel technology earns the top award from Green Car Journal. The Audi A3 TDI was announced as the 2010 Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Car Show earlier this month.

The diesel hatchback station wagon was select from among an impressive group of fuel-efficient vehicles, including the Honda Insight hybrid, Mercury Milan hybrid, Toyota Prius, and the Volkswagen Golf TDI.

The Audi A3 TDI touts a 42 miles per gallon highway fuel economy, “a 50 percent improvement over the gasoline A3 variant that makes the car very economical to operate with low relative CO2 emissions.” And, to top off the improved efficiency, Audi has approved the use of B5 Biodiesel in the A3 TDI.

Read more about the Audi A3 from Green Car Journal.

VW Stays Focused on Clean Diesel

VW_SportWagen_TDIWhile many auto manufacturers are looking to hybrids and electrics, Volkswagen stays focused on fuel efficient clean diesel passenger vehicles. Currently making up less than 3% market share in the US, J.D. Power forecasts the diesel passenger segment to grow to 8% by 2015. Not even close to the 50% market share seen in Europe, but Volkswagen hopes to own that 8%. Why Diesel? The Volkswagen TDI format improves fuel economy by 30% and puts out 25% less greenhouse gas emissions than what a gasoline engine would.
Read interview Mark Barnes, COO of Volkswagen America.

Eco-conscious car showdown, VW Jetta TDI up against Toyota Prius

Video from Volkswagen’s TDI Blog.

Fuel Efficiency and Performance Drive Diesel Comeback

With revived concern over the cost of gasoline and the desire for increased fuel economy, clean diesels are proving to be a tempting choice for the American consumer.

2010GolfTDIVolkswagen can testify to the selling power of clean diesel vehicles–June brought in the highest sales of TDIs since the release of the current lineup. According to a recent press release, “the Jetta SportWagen once again posted its best sales month ever with sales of 1,982 units. Clean diesel TDI’s accounted for 81 percent of SportWagen sales, 40 percent of Jetta sedan sales, and 29 percent of Touareg sales.” Adding to their fleet of available clean diesels, Volkswagen plans the release of the 2010 Golf TDI this fall.

ThreeJettaFill_SLUPositive sales from Volkswagen may lure more manufacturers to bring diesel technology to the American market. In fact, manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes already offer diesel models.

Volkwagen TDI drivers are often strong supporters of alternatitive fuels. Seen here at the Propel SLU Station is the 2007 and 2004 Jetta TDI, and 2005 Jetta TDI Wagon.

NPR Home PageToday’s clean diesel vehicles are not the smog-belching, clickity-clacking diesel vehicles you may be picturing. New diesels have quieter engines, enhanced performance and reduced emissions. A recent segment on National Public Radio, Diesel Cars Attempt a Comeback with Clean Diesels, reports on the reemergence of diesel vehicles into the American market as a quieter, cleaner next generation.

VW Jetta TDI meets Toyota Prius

Recent commercial from VW featuring the new Jetta TDI and the Toyota Prius. 

At the Pump . . .

Propel community members share their stories.

Bellevue, WA – Factoria Clean Fuel Point – Thursday, April 23rd

On an uncharacteristically sunny spring afternoon in Washington, we met Nicki at the Bellevue/Factoria station. Nicki, proudly displays her son’s 1995 Jetta TDI.nicki

A native of Germany, Nicki is a big fan of the TDI platform, the Jetta is one of three she has at her home in Mercer Island, WA. “I fill all three of them with Propel biodiesel,” she says proudly. We certainly appreciate her love of TDIs and her support of clean fuels!

Factoria Biodiesel Clean Fuel Point Now Open

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In their continuing mission to expand the distribution of biodiesel, Propel Biofuels recently flipped the switch on their Factoria Clean Fuel Point. Propel Clean Fuel Points are a unique tank/dispenser kiosk that can easily be added to the footprint of existing gas stations. Like every Clean Fuel Point, the Factoria station is integrated with CleanDrive emissions reporting. With each fill customers have the ability to see how much they’re reducing their carbon footprint. CleanDrive is available FREE to Propel customers.
CleanDrive reports show criteria like:
- Reductions in CO2 by using biodiesel
- Barrels of oil displaced
- Equivalent annual impact of mature trees

This new Clean Fuel Point, like all Propel locations is open 24/7, takes all major credit cards and serves only the highest quality biodiesel.


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Large Fleets Continue To Flock To Biodiesel

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Just last week news broke that Safeway is switching its trucking fleet to biodiesel. This week Broomfield, Colorado’s Corporate Express has announced a similar move. To help curb harmful greenhouse emissions and enhance the performance of their fleet’s diesel engines, the company is now fueling their 45 trucks with B20.

“Using biodiesel in our trucks will advance our distribution while decreasing emissions and further reducing our Company’s carbon footprint,” said Jay Mutschler, President of Corporate Express US.

This is great news for biodiesel advocates as the use of the clean-burning, renewable fuel by companies dependent on diesel vehicles greatly enhances the fuel’s legitimacy as a mainstream fuel source.

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Algae Realized

We’ve been hearing it for decades: the next breakthrough fuel technology is just around the corner. Hydrogen, electric, fuel cells–all have shown promise to free the world from its dependence on fossil fuels. Yet for one reason or another, we wait and wait for the automakers to catch up or the technology to perfected. Meanwhile, in a relatively short-span, researchers have developed a method of extracting oil from algae and converting it to a viable fuel source. What makes algal biodiesel different from the aforementioned panaceas? Consumers will not need to wait on Detroit to take advantage of it as the current and future fleet of diesel vehicles will be able to use it with no conversion required. More importantly, algae is a rapidly renewable biodiesel feedstock that does not compete with food sources like soy beans or corn. Leading the way is Solazyme, a bioenergy upstart out of San Francisco, in a unique partnership with Chevron. Unique because instead of eschewing the help of big oil, Solazyme founders Jonathan Wilson and Harrison Dillon embraced Chevron’s R&D muscle as way to accelerate algal-biodiesel’s path to widespread commercial use. For more information check out this post from Wired magazine, and be sure to watch the trailer to “Fields of Gold,” the biodiesel documentary produced by biodiesel advocate Josh Tickell.

Safeway Goes Biodiesel

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Safeway has boldly chosen to become one of the nation’s first major retailers to convert its fleet to clean burning biodiesel. No doubt the benefits of biodiesel were hard for the Pleasonton, California-based company to ignore.

In addition to improved engine performance, less harmful emissions, and a fuel source that isn’t tied to the volatility of the Middle East, none of the company’s 1,000 fleet vehicles will require any major mechanical conversion as biodiesel performs exceptionally well in any diesel motor.

For more information click here.

BMW To Introduce New High Performance Diesels In The U.S.

Leading a wave of new clean-burning diesels headed to the states are two offerings from BMW that deliver power and performance with the added benefit of a good carbon-conscience. Take a look at this article describing the BMW 335d sedan and X5 3.0sd SUV.

BMW makes no reference regarding the use of biodiesel in these vehicles, but rest assured we’ll pass along any warranty information or blend recommendations put out from Bavaria.