Day 1: Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future

Day 1: Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future

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Day 1: Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 04:45 PM PDT

Day 1: Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future

This week, Audi is conducting a 1,000-mile demonstration drive in California featuring two Audi A3 TDI® cars, the reigning 2010 Green Car of the Year®, fueled exclusively with synthetic RenDiesel® produced by Los Angeles-based Rentech Inc. Starting in Eureka, Calif., the journey’s aim is to spread the message that diesel technology has tremendous potential to make future inroads against the challenges of reducing fuel consumption and improving emissions. The trip will include a welcome reception from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger at the State Capitol and a high-level panel discussing diesel’s bright future at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. When it’s all completed, Audi will donate one of the A3 TDI cars to the museum for its alternative vehicles display.

Day 1: Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future

Throughout the Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future tour, we will provide impressions on the journey and the performance of the fuel in this award-winning Audi.

Day One
Todd Kaho, Green Car Journal
“Driving down from Eureka we encountered some pretty steep grades and stop-and-go conditions in some of the smaller towns. It seemed like a good early challenge for the car and the Audi TDI technology. Plus we really wanted to drive the route through the redwoods. What struck me was the fact that you simply couldn’t tell any evidence that this car wasn’t running on standard diesel. We started in fairly cool conditions in Eureka and still managed to average 41.8 mpg in our car. (Note: the EPA highway fuel economy rating for the A3 TDI is 42 mpg).”

Ron Cogan, Editor and Publisher of the Green Car Journal
“So we get to the famous redwoods you can drive through – this one was the Chandelier tree. It’s a tree that’s 2,400 years old, 315 feet high and 21 feet wide. Seemed like a great place for some iconic California photos. We’re taking shots of the A3 TDIs driving through the road that goes right through the Chandelier tree when we notice a large service truck with ladders on top apparently determined to drive through this small opening.
It was a tight fit for the A3s, but the driver had his heart set on trying to make it through. Finally we managed to convince him to drive around the tree and we’d shoot photos of his truck as if he’d driven through this famous location. Score another one for this tour’s goal of helping the environment!”

Day 1: Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future, Chandelier tree

Todd Kaho
“More than halfway through the first day I was amazed at how seamless the driving performance felt. The engineers at Rentech said to expect a 1-2% reduction in fuel economy because this synthetic fuel is less energy dense than traditional diesel. That seemed about right in our early turns behind the wheel. At the same time, the government’s research shows RenDiesel can produce significantly improved emissions in cars like this.”

Ron Cogan
“There seemed to be no difference in the driving. We still got the kick in the pants that helped convince us to name the Audi A3 as the 2010 Green Car of the Year. That’s the kind of experience I’ve come to expect from a well-engineered alternative vehicle – once you settle into driving it you can’t notice any difference from any other driving experience. We got behind the wheel of a clean diesel car like this roaring along on an emerging alternative fuel and the light bulbs just go off. Then the challenge becomes an educational issue, where matters like politics and money come into play. But from a sheer driving standpoint, we’re already seeing convincing arguments for this technology.

- Audi of America

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Urban League awards VW thier Corproate Leadership Award

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 11:41 AM PDT

Volkswagen’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee Celebrates 1st Year

The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga awarded Volkswagen Group of America, Chattanooga Operations their Corporate Leadership Award as a part of the league’s annual Equal Opportunity Day event.

“Volkswagen has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion as a sound and equitable business practice,” said Warren E Logan, Jr., President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. “We hope we can help promote this practice to a larger percentage of the business community,” Logan said.

Volkswagen Chattanooga Operations also celebrated the first year of a productive working relationship with a group of involved citizens from several local organizations that have been advising Volkswagen on matters related to integrating into the Chattanooga community.

The Volkswagen Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, is an advisory body committed to integrating the concept of diversity inclusion in the manufacturing process and assuring equal opportunity for all employees.

Hans-Herbert Jagla, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, and Don Jackson, President of Manufacturing, serve as the executive champions of the council.

“Our diversity vision is to be known as a company that values the contributions of men and women of all backgrounds,” Jagla said. “This is an enormous task, therefore we enlisted the support of a Diversity Advisory Council. We have always believed that our company benefits from a proactive diversity strategy with employees, customers, dealers or our business partners,” Jagla said.

“We value the diversity of the team we are creating here in Chattanooga,” Jackson said. “A diverse team assures us that we have the community’s values included in all that we do, both here at the plant and in the community,” Jackson said.

Members of the advisory council include:

  • Valoria Armstrong, President of the Chattanooga NAACP
  • Dr. Tommie Brown, Tennessee State Representative
  • Dr. James Catanzaro, President Chattanooga State Technical Community College
  • Beverly J. Cosley, Director of the City of Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs
  • Marj Fleming, Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute
  • Sherrie Gilchrist, President of the Tennessee Multicultural Chamber of Commerce
  • Cheri Henderson, President of the Tennessee Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Stacy Johnson, Director of La Paz
  • Deborah Levine, President of the American Diversity Report
  • Warren E. Logan, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga
  • Dr. Warren Mackey, Hamilton County Commissioner
  • Mattie Moran, Director of Workforce Development & Education, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Bryan Samuel, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
  • Dr. Jim Scales, Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools

“When we formed this group, we asked for the involvement of individuals representing groups who have been historically disadvantaged, with the goal of ensuring that all employees are treated with dignity and respect and that all qualified suppliers have access to business opportunities,” said Machelle Williams, Volkswagen’s General Manager of Diversity and Organizational Development.

The group meets quarterly.

Volkswagen Group of America Inc. will invest $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant and create more than 2,000 direct jobs in the region. According to independent studies, the new Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs related to the project. The Chattanooga plant will build a new midsize sedan specially designed for the North American market.

- Volkswagen Group of America

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Prices revealed for New Passat ahead of January launch

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 08:00 AM PDT

7th Generation VW PassatB

Prices for the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat have been revealed and customers will be able to order one from tomorrow.  The new car will cost from £18,470 (RRP on the road) for the saloon and £19,745 for the Estate.

Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show last month, the Passat takes on not only a fresh appearance both inside and out with every panel and glass surface apart from the roof being new, but also adopts the latest technologies and efficiency measures to make it among the most advanced and economical cars in its class.

Every diesel engine is now badged as a BlueMotion Technology product and is equipped with battery regeneration and Stop/Start systems as standard.  The result is that the entry-level 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS is capable of exceeding the economy of the outgoing BlueMotion model with a combined economy of 65.7 mpg and CO2 emissions of 114 g/km.  In turn, the new BlueMotion model, due to go on sale in early 2011, will return 68.8 mpg and emit 109 g/km of CO2.

Upgraded common rail diesel engines and gearboxes also feature, with a six-speed manual gearbox being fitted to the 1.6-litre TDI 105 PS engine for the first time.

Three trim levels will be available: S, SE and Sport.  Additional equipment added to the new Passat over the outgoing model includes an iPod interface and leather multifunction steering wheel for the S model.  The SE trim level gains an eight-speaker digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity and the new driver fatigue detection system; while at the top of the range the new Sport model gains RNS 315 touchscreen satellite navigation.

All Passats will be fitted with six airbags, ABS (anti-lock braking system), ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) and WOKS (whiplash-optimised head restraints) as standard.

In addition, the new Passat promises to be the quietest and most refined iteration yet.  Thicker glass is fitted to the side windows while the windscreen features a thin plastic film sandwiched between two layers of the glass to help reduce noise transmission.  The front bulkhead incorporates increased sound deadening which, combined with the latest generation of common rail diesel and TSI petrol engines, aims to cut the engine noise entering the interior of the new Passat.

The best-selling version of the new Passat is forecast to be the SE 2.0-litre TDI 140 PS model; the Estate is expected to out-sell the saloon for the first time – accounting for around 53 per cent of total volume.

Pricelists for the new Passat saloon and Estate including a full list of specifications can be found at

- Volkswagen UK

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F2 is new sponsor in Scirocco R-Cup

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 07:14 AM PDT

F2 is new sponsor in Scirocco R-Cup

Right in time for the season’s finale at Hockenheim Volkswagen announced a new sponsor for the 2011 Scirocco R-Cup.

Cool, young & sporty – these are the attributes for which the surf and snowboard specialist F2 stands. The sports article producer based in Switzerland will assume a partnership as a car sponsor in the Scirocco R-Cup in the coming season. In addition to the graphics for one of the near-275-hp cars, the development of joint events for a young and dynamic lifestyle target group and the commitment to CO2 reductions and eco-consciousness are focal areas of interest for both partners.

F2 is new sponsor in Scirocco R-Cup

Philipp Schnerr, Head of Sales at F2: “By engaging in this partnership we are creating a link between surfing and motorsport, from Maui to Hockenheim. Volkswagen Motorsport and F2 both stand for innovation, passion and sporting challenges. The Scirocco R-Cup is an ideal communication platform for both of us to present the F2 brand to a young target audience within an attractive environment with sportsmen, stars and legends.”

Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director: “We are delighted to have gained one of the leading lifestyle brands for our Scirocco R-Cup in F2. Furthermore, this partnership continues a long Volkswagen tradition in surfing, which started in the 1960s with the Volkswagen T1 bus and has continued to this day.”

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Audi spotlights bright future for diesel technology in 1,000-mile Green Car of the Year Tour

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 06:55 AM PDT

Audi A3 TDI, 1,000-mile Green Car of the Year Tour

Audi TDI clean diesel technology – with its ability to reduce carbon emissions by 20% and its 30% fuel-economy gains over comparable gasoline engines – has demonstrated it belongs in the conversation surrounding America’s pressing energy concerns.

Validation of that came last year when the Green Car Journal named the Audi A3 TDI as its 2010 Green Car of the Year®, and into this year when U.S. consumer demand for Audi TDI models tripled original expectations.

  • On ‘Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future’ tour, two Audi A3 TDI® cars will cover the length of California on Rentech synthetic diesel
  • Demonstration next week will show how advanced diesel technologies and fuels can answer significant energy challenges soon
  • Event caps successful run for the Audi A3 TDI as the Green Car Journal’s 2010 Green Car of the Year®

And all of that was just the beginning.

‘Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future’ tour

Starting Monday, Audi will demonstrate that the time is quickly approaching for diesel technology to provide a whole new level of solutions for the environment and America’s oil appetite.

Starting Monday, two Audi A3 TDI test cars will begin a 1,000-mile journey the length of California using only 100% low-carbon RenDiesel®. The demonstration drive will be called ‘Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future’ when it kicks off early Monday morning in Eureka, Calif., as the final leg of Green Car Journal’s inaugural Green Car of the Year Tour.

The advanced synthetic fuel produced by Rentech Inc. of Los Angeles provides a viable alternative that can be deployed today to minimize the emissions footprint of the transportation sector.

“Significant progress can be made in addressing the challenges of oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Johan de Nysschen, President, Audi of America. “The answer that Audi TDI technology provides is ready now and future advances in fuels, such as RenDiesel, will only make the case for diesel more compelling. With TDI we can make an impact now and a bigger impact in the near-term.”

Benefits of synthetic diesel technology

RenDiesel can be produced using a variety of sources, ranging from biomass to natural gas. Rentech has proposed development of a renewable energy center in Rialto, Calif., which could produce about 640 barrels a day of synthetic fuels and 35 MW of renewable electric power from urban green waste diverted from landfills. The renewable RenDiesel produced from the Rialto facility promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 97% when compared to conventional clean diesel fuel and by a comparable amount over electric vehicles.

RenDiesel also produces emissions lower in particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx) and carbon dioxide (CO²). And RenDiesel produces fewer volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than ethanol or traditional clean diesel. It is already being used as an ultra-clean synthetic jet fuel and has the potential be twice as fuel efficient as a car running on ethanol.

“Diesel vehicles such as the Audi A3 TDI and synthetic drop-in fuels such as renewable RenDiesel provide powerful solutions to reducing tailpipe and greenhouse gas emissions as well as the need for domestically produced fuels,” said D. Hunt Ramsbottom, President and CEO of Rentech. “These solutions are magnified when renewable RenDiesel powers an A3 TDI, making it one of the most viable and near-term means for emissions reductions,” Mr. Ramsbottom added.

Implications for passenger vehicles

Audi has long supported synthetic diesel fuels to complement the TDI technology used in its exceptional passenger vehicles and its championship Le Mans racing program alike. Diesel engines are a core competence for Audi, which celebrated the 20th anniversary of TDI last year.

Since then, the Audi brand’s engineering advances have propelled diesel engines to an undreamed-of technological boom and overwhelming market success. The TDI from Audi had put an end once and for all to the old diesel image as “loud, and dirty” and turned it into the opposite.

Audi only permits the use of 5% biodiesel blends under the warranties on its TDI vehicles, largely due to inconsistent standards for alternative fuels globally. Research also needs to explore the long-term viability of fuels, such as RenDiesel in passenger car applications. But the advances in the fuel are promising.

That’s why Audi is ready to demonstrate that RenDiesel, for one, can work with existing diesel engines. The awareness-building drive through the nation’s more environmentally aware state will show that today’s Audi TDI technology can achieve its customary performance using an emerging fuel.

The 1,000-mile journey also serves as the capstone for the 2010 Audi A3 TDI as the Green Car of the Year. The model introduced last fall continues to register the top fuel-economy number of all luxury vehicles sold in the U.S., with an EPA-rated 42 mpg in highway driving. Consumers resonated to that mix of efficiency and progressive refinements typical of Audi models. With the addition of the clean diesel model, A3 sales increased 72% through September 2010. TDI models constituted up to 60% of all A3 sales in some months– significantly above the brand’s initial expectations of an 18-20% TDI mix.

- Audi

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The SEAT IBE received the RTL and Auto Plus Award

Posted: 19 Oct 2010 06:19 AM PDT

The SEAT IBE received the RTL and Auto Plus Award

Within the framework of the Paris Motorshow 2010, RTL, in partnership with the magazine Auto Plus, conducted a poll to reward the most beautiful cars exhibited at the fair. Three categories were in the running: the best production car, the best green car and the best concept-car. For each of them, ten cars were selected by the journalists of RTL and Auto Plus and subjected to the votes of their listeners and readers.

  • The “best concept-car  award” of the Paris Motor Show organized by RTL and Auto Plus was given to the SEAT IBE
  • After two weeks of voting, these three awards were given to the winners by Christopher Baldelli, President of the RTL Management Board and by Ernesto Mauri, President of Mondadori France, on Friday, October 15th at the RTL stand.

    The SEAT IBE distinguished itself during this awards ceremony by receiving the prize of the “best concept-car”. It outdistanced its competitors, Renault DeZir, Citroën Lacoste, Peugeot EX1, thanks to the success of the alliance of a dynamic design, compact sportiness, exceptional utility and a zero emission drive.

    “The IBE is a summary of the future aesthetic DNA of the brand”, underlined Marc de Laitre,  Managing Director of SEAT France.

    The IBE proves that for SEAT, driving pleasure goes along perfectly with ecology. It will still be fun to drive, even in the era of the electric motor car – at least in a SEAT.

    - SEAT

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