2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Edition Review – V-dub's cup runneth over

Wednesday October 20th, 2010 at 2:1010 PM
Posted by: Derek

By Derek Mau

Props to Volkswagen for trying to inject some fun into a family sedan that would otherwise be more associated with the sober, button-down demeanor of a desk-jockey commuter locked into a 9 -5 job with no hope for advancement beyond his cubicle walls with the neutral tone fabric. Take one tidy sedan powered by a very frugal turbo-diesel and DSG gearbox, dial-in the suspension from the more sporty GLI, dress it up with an aero kit and a shiny set of 18 inch alloy wheels, and the excitement dial gets turned up a couple of notches. Just how exciting is the Jetta TDI Cup Edition? I take the  working man’s coach to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey and push it through the turns to find out if getting 40 mpg and having fun at the same time is possible.

The engine remains standard: It’s VW’s 140-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel four, mated to either a six-speed manual or the undeniably high-tech six-speed direct-shift gearbox automatic. No powertrain changes between the standard Jetta TDI and the Jetta TDI Cup Edition, but it does get a bigger set of binders in addition to the performance mods mentioned above.

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2010 BMW 335d Review – Clean and efficient MPG in the ultimate driving package

Friday June 25th, 2010 at 1:66 PM
Posted by: anson

2010 BMW 335d sedan

>>> Review by Anson Tse | >>> Photographs by Derek Mau

Pros

  • Loads of torque
  • Fantastic handling
  • Clean emissions and great fuel economy

Cons

  • Powertrain lacks responsiveness expected from a BMW
  • It’s just too expensive

The Ultimate Driving Machine. That’s BMW’s tagline that they use to describe the vehicles they make. Clearly this reputation has been well earned over the years and the 3-series always finds itself square in the cross hairs of its competitors. The 335i is a magnificent sport sedan with a very potent twin-turbocharged gasoline powered inline 6.  So what happens when the boys from Bavaria shoe horn a diesel powered twin-turbo 6 cylinder underneath the hood? No black smoke from this one, just a stump pulling 425 pound-feet worth of torque, more than enough to turn those rear tires into piles of molten rubber.

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Gale Banks Has A Go At The VW Jetta TDI

Friday October 9th, 2009 at 7:1010 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Gale Banks

Gale Banks might not be a name that everyone on the street might know, but if you know about diesels, or more specifically high output high performance diesels, then you know about Gales Banks. As far as I know, Banks still holds multiple diesel records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. He has been squeezing more and more performance out of oil burning engines longer than most diesel fans have been alive. And now, it would seem, he has turned his attention towards the Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI. This could get very interesting in a lot of ways.

This is a bit of a departure for Banks. In addition to regular runs on The Salt, his main line of work is working aftermarket tricks on the biggest diesel pickups available in the U.S. and big rig semi-trucks.

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2009 VW Jetta TDI Review – Fuel efficiency for the driving enthusiast

Monday August 31st, 2009 at 10:88 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2009 VW Jetta TDI

By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • 236 lb ft of torque!!
  • Smooth shifting 6 speed manual transmission
  • Perfectly tuned chassis and suspension
  • Outstanding fuel efficiency

Cons:

  • Squeal-happy tires
  • Spartan interior

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2009 BMW X5 xDrive35d Review – Advanced diesel technology meets the luxury SUV

Thursday August 6th, 2009 at 2:88 PM
Posted by: AKramer

2009 BMW X5 xDrive 35d

By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Dual-turbocharged 6 cylinder diesel engine = tons of torque
  • Impressive handling for a 5,100 pound SUV
  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Well-appointed, spacious interior

Cons:

  • Annoying throttle lag, especially at low speeds
  • iDrive interface is still clumsy and confusing
  • Steep $68,000 sticker price

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V-dub Deezul Action

Monday August 3rd, 2009 at 10:88 AM
Posted by: Derek

VW Jetta TDI dieselLast year I totally got onboard the diesel train after driving a new Jetta TDI. Now I appreciate the value of diesel power a whole lot more after recently driving several hybrids in as many weeks. I’ve come to the conclusion that hybrids are as much fun to drive as a shopping cart with a broken wheel. And they require a totally different mindset from what I already have burned into my left hemisphere.

When gas prices were out of control last summer, diesel powered vehicles offered a little relief because more miles per gallon were possible with a gallon of diesel vs. regular petrol, plus they were an attractive alternative to the over-hyped, over-priced hybrids. The Jetta TDI I tested was quiet, drove like a real car, didn’t spew soot all over the rear bumper, and most importantly – didn’t smell like a carton of rotten eggs.

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2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan – First Impressions

Friday July 31st, 2009 at 8:77 AM
Posted by: twain

By Twain Mein

Diesel: what’s old is new, only better
I’ve been unintentionally green for a few weeks now; my beloved 2000 Audi A6 is in the shop getting major surgery including a transmission rebuild, new power steering rack, and catalytic converters. So I’ve been cycling and train-riding to work for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, the train station is quite a ways from work, so I’ve been riding a minimum of 9 miles, and sometimes 40 miles a day (if I forego the train). You can imagine there are times I’m pretty tired.

Luckily, my backside got a welcome break with the chance to test the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta. But the “green” didn’t take a break with this frugal VW. It’s a fantastic car that offers plenty of room front and rear, fold down seats to easily fit the bike into the trunk, excellent handling, and a thoroughly entertaining diesel engine. Entertaining? Diesel? Yep-this sucker features a turbocharger that kicks in for some prodigious torque. While the 2.0 liter 4 cylinder has only 140 horsepower, it packs a whopping 236 foot pounds of torque. While it lags a bit off the line, at highway speeds, the torque makes passing a joy. It is an ideal highway cruiser. Even more impressive, despite my notorious lead-footedness (I infamously logged just 22mpg in the ’08 Honda Fit), I averaged a stunning 37.5 mpg!

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Gale Banks The King of Diesel Speaks Out

Thursday July 30th, 2009 at 7:77 AM
Posted by: m35man

Gale Banks

For many years, diesel engines have gotten a bad rap for being smokey and loud, but one man is on a mission to tell people it’s not that way anymore!

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Gale Banks, owner of Gale Banks Engineering. He’s considered by many to be the King of Diesel in the U.S., having designed and raced diesel engines since the late 1950’s.

Banks said he has seen the diesel performance industry evolve at a tremendous rate during his nearly 50 years of building engines. “I sold my first engine in 1958,” he said. “I’ve seen this market change dramatically, and it’s been exciting. The question we need to ask ourselves is how do we work worldwide to make diesel bigger than it is today? The message I want to tell people is that diesel kicks gas, and that’s no smoke. Winning races and setting diesel performance records is the best way to further this industry and to get people really excited about diesel.

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2009 Volkswagen Touareg 3.0 TDI Review – $43K, 30 mpg and 406 lb. ft torque = A No-Brainer.

Tuesday July 21st, 2009 at 9:77 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

By Kurt Gensheimer

Blings:

  • Powerful, Fuel Efficient, Clean and Quiet V6 diesel
  • Off-road prowess
  • Exceptional value
  • Safer than a nuclear fallout shelter

Dings:

  • No 3rd row seating (but this could actually be a bling depending on one’s affinity for hauling bodies)
  • Umm…that’s it, folks!

Ruling: If you want an SUV that can do everything but schlep more than five passengers, stop your search here.

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Next Bentley Arnage To Feature Audi Turbo-Diesel

Wednesday April 1st, 2009 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Bentley Arnage

More news about Bentley being slowly dragged, kicking and screaming, into this whole eco-awareness deal. This time, it seems that the next iteration of their Arnage will be available with a diesel mill under its expansive hood.

It has long been rumored that Bentley is interested in diesel engines. Bentley is caught between a rock and a hard place, engineering-wise. Their cars weigh many, many tons, yet there are increasing environmental demands, which usually means smaller engines. Smaller engines will not do for Bentley, so, enter the diesel. An oil-burner would enable the boys from Crewe to continue offering the kind of performance for which they are known, while improving fuel economy, and also cut down on pollutants with the latest developments in particulate filter technology.

Bentley corporate sibling Audi, which has carved out a nice niche for itself in diesel propulsion, seems to be a match made in motor heaven; just look what Audi did to Help Lambo work out its production & management kinks. So, now reports suggest that at long last, an Audi diesel is set to be installed in the next Arnage sedan.

The rumored diesel is a V12 turbo-diesel used in the current Audi Q7 TDI, cranking out 500 horsepower and a foundation shifting 738 lb-ft of torque, perfect for what Brits call “a big saloon.” Of course if it was up to me, I’d like to see Audi cram that into one of its S3s, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. A diesel V12 of that capability would fit quite nicely under the stylish hood of a Bentley.

Source: AutoBlog

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