A car writer’s year in new vehicles [w/video]




Seyth Miersma

Christmas is only a week away. The New Year is just around the corner. As 2014 draws to a close, I’m not the only one taking stock of the year that’s we’re almost shut of.

Depending on who you are or what you do, the end of the year can bring to mind tax bills, school semesters or scheduling dental appointments. For me, for the last eight or nine years, at least a small part of this transitory time is occupied with recalling the cars I’ve driven over the preceding 12 months.

Since I started writing about and reviewing cars in 2006, I’ve done an uneven job of tracking every vehicle I’ve been in, each year. Last year I made a resolution to be better about it, and the result is a spreadsheet with model names, dates, notes and some basic facts and figures.

Armed with this basic data and a yen for year-end stories, I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I’d never done before. The results are, well, they’re a little bizarre, honestly. And I think they’ll affect how I approach this gig in 2015.

2014 seyth year in cars 20 19 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]2014 seyth year in cars 21 19 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]
b4m2f32cuaalnsg jpg large 19 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]2014 seyth year in cars 07 116 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

My tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015 it’ll be as high as 73.

Let me give you a tiny bit of background about how automotive journalists typically get cars to test. There are basically two pools of vehicles I drive on a regular basis: media fleet vehicles and those available on “first drive” programs.

The latter group is pretty self-explanatory. Journalists are gathered in one location (sometimes local, sometimes far-flung) with a new model(s), there’s usually a day of driving, then we report back to you with our impressions.

Media fleet vehicles are different. These are distributed to publications and individual journalists far and wide, and the test period goes from a few days to a week or more. Whereas first drives almost always result in a piece of review content, fleet loans only sometimes do. Other times they serve to give context about brands, segments, technology and the like, to editors and writers.

So, adding up the loans I’ve had out of the press fleet and things I’ve driven at events, my tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015, it’ll be as high as 73.

2014 seyth year in cars 31 19 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

At one of the buff books like Car and Driver or Motor Trend, reviewers might rotate through five cars a week, or more.

I know that number sounds high, but as best I can tell, it’s pretty average for the full-time professionals in this business. At Autoblog, full-time car reviewers (guys “in the rotation” as we say), typically have loans once per week, per editor. Since we don’t always work out of the same office (some of us never do), that’s a simpler way to do it. At one of the buff books like Car and Driver or Motor Trend, where a lot of the editorial staff is in one place, Monday to Friday, reviewers might rotate through five cars a week, or more. And it’s very common for the in-office Autoblog staff to do the same.

For instance: Jason Cammisa, Senior Editor at Road & Track, keeps a detailed yearly accounting of the cars he’s driven (as well as miles, an idea which I’m going to steal going forward). Cammisa’s total dwarfed mine in 2014, with 179 cars projected in the logbook.

Rotation reviewers that are higher up their respective mastheads might get more cars, or higher-performance, more expensive cars than those on the bottom rungs. People that work at enthusiast-oriented publications may also have results that are skewed towards more-exotic-than-average metal, and location helps, too – guys out in Los Angeles tend to have a more ample supply of high-end metal than we Michiganders do.

Autoblog covers everything, but we lean more enthusiastic than pedestrian, and it’s probably fair to say I’m in the high-middle of the industry in terms of access to vehicles. So, what did my daily driver look like in 2014?

2014 seyth year in cars 25 19 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]
2014 seyth year in cars 02 116 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]2014 seyth year in cars 38 19 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

This is how a brief Vital Stats panel would read for my fleet cars if I average the combined totals with the aggregate number of vehicles.

  • Output: 328 horsepower / 332 pound-feet of torque
  • Miles Per Gallon: 19.8 City / 28.5 Highway
  • Fuel Type: 95.5 Diesel / 0% Hybrid
  • Transmission Type: 80.6 Manual (for simplicity I’m lumping everything without a third pedal into “Automatic” here)
  • Base Price: $63,998
  • As-Tested Price: $73,443

Holy crap. I should note that my as-tested price there is soft; there are lots of cars that I never got official pricing for, so where I lacked the real number I made an informed – if conservative – guess.

For the sake of comparison, I dug around to find the best data available for the average vehicle in the 2014 model year, in the US. For the technical stats, this data comes from preliminary reporting from the EPA, and the sales data (year to date) comes from TrueCar.

  • Output: 233 Horsepower / Torque Not Listed
  • Miles Per Gallon: 20 City / 29 Highway
  • Fuel Type: 94.5 Diesel / 4% Hybrid
  • Transmission Type: 96.3 Manual
  • Base Price: $34,386
  • Transaction Price: $31,831

2014 seyth year in cars 18 19 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

If you’re like me, the first and most mind-boggling stat in this comparison is the huge price gap. An average of over $70k as-tested is pretty wild, though some of that is down to just a handful of curve-wrecking cars. I tested four cars that go for more than $200k in 2014: both coupe and convertible versions of the Bentley Continental GT V8 S, the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, and the $365k-as-tested Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. (Do I love my job? Yes.)

I probably need to work on my sub-$25k blind spot in the coming year. Progress through data!

When I take those four cars out of the equation, the average MSRP drops to $53,022 and as-tested to $60,486. Still way above the national average, but with a lot less daylight in between.

Obviously I’m driving a lot of premium, luxury vehicles. I think that’s helpful, as I write reviews for quite a number of products in that stratum, too. Still, I’ll admit that I probably need to work on my sub-$25k blind spot in the coming year. Progress through data!

I wasn’t taken aback to see that my average horsepower output is higher than normal (especially considering the money we’re talking about), but I do think that my average torque rating is telling of the era we’re in. Unfortunately, the EPA doesn’t track torque figures, but to see that my typical pounds-feet rating is higher than horsepower – and with less than five percent diesel in the mix – is impressive. The large-scale movement to turbocharging has that torque figure higher than ever, I’d guess.

Turbos (and direct-injection technology) are at the heart of what can only be seen as impressive EPA fuel economy figures, too. My averages practically mirror those of the nation as a whole, despite a much higher average output. Partially that’s down to my having driven just a handful of trucks this year, but it’s also a testament to the increasing ability of automakers to engineer power without compromising frugality.

518345102 1 570 4119 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

Manual transmissions – why are my cars equipped with them at almost five times the rate that they’re produced for sale to Americans?

Finally, manual transmissions – why are my cars equipped with them at almost five times the rate that they’re produced for sale to Americans? First, we, along with a lot of you, love stick shifts, and probably over-report on manual-trans version of cars as a result. Second, automakers know we all love MTs, and probably overrepresent them in the media fleets. Real talk.

Here are some of the superlatives from my 2014 car list:

  • Most Expensive: the previously mentioned 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost, at $286,750 “base” and $365,250 as-tested. For the record, I believe this is also the single most expensive series production car I’ve ever driven.
  • Least Expensive: 2015 Honda Fit 6MT at $15,650 base and $18,225 as-tested (a pretty loaded EX model that, true-to-form, still had the manual trans).
  • Most Powerful: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat at 707 horsepower. Was there ever any doubt? The Huracán is a distant second, almost 100 hp behind.
  • Least Powerful: It’s the Fit again, at 130 hp. And you know what, it’s still fun to drive in traffic.
  • Most Torquey: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG at 664 pound-feet. I wrote at the time that this car was, “the perfect cure for my Mercedes-AMG GT hangover” which was on point.
  • Least Torquey: Honda Fit at 114 lb-ft… did I mention it had a nice six speed?

I’d love to keep you reading for a few thousand more words, diving indulgently into the things that I loved or hated about every car on my list, but the other Autobloggers are looking over my shoulder, so I’ll keep it short.

I’ve uploaded a picture of just about every car that I drove this year – mostly from my own Twitter and Facebook pages, so follow me if you’d like to see more like this in 2015. If you’ve got questions about any of the cars you see therein, write them up and drop them into our Comments section below. I will look forward to answering back just as soon as I read them.

It’s been a fantastic, fascinating and uncanny year in cars. I’m one hell of a lucky guy. Here’s marking up a fresh spreadsheet in 2015, and bringing all the adventures that come along with that, to you.

Source Article from http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/18/car-writers-year-in-cars-video/
A car writer’s year in new vehicles [w/video]
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/18/car-writers-year-in-cars-video/
http://fulltextrssfeed.com/www.autoblog.com/category/volkswagen/rss.xml
Autoblog Volkswagen
Autoblog Volkswagen // via fulltextrssfeed.com
http://o.aolcdn.com/os/autoblog/ab-podcast-itunes.jpg

A car writer’s year in new vehicles [w/video]




Seyth Miersma

Christmas is only a week away. The New Year is just around the corner. As 2014 draws to a close, I’m not the only one taking stock of the year that’s we’re almost shut of.

Depending on who you are or what you do, the end of the year can bring to mind tax bills, school semesters or scheduling dental appointments. For me, for the last eight or nine years, at least a small part of this transitory time is occupied with recalling the cars I’ve driven over the preceding 12 months.

Since I started writing about and reviewing cars in 2006, I’ve done an uneven job of tracking every vehicle I’ve been in, each year. Last year I made a resolution to be better about it, and the result is a spreadsheet with model names, dates, notes and some basic facts and figures.

Armed with this basic data and a yen for year-end stories, I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I’d never done before. The results are, well, they’re a little bizarre, honestly. And I think they’ll affect how I approach this gig in 2015.

2014 seyth year in cars 20 14 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]2014 seyth year in cars 21 14 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]
b4m2f32cuaalnsg jpg large 14 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]2014 seyth year in cars 07 16 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

My tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015 it’ll be as high as 73.

Let me give you a tiny bit of background about how automotive journalists typically get cars to test. There are basically two pools of vehicles I drive on a regular basis: media fleet vehicles and those available on “first drive” programs.

The latter group is pretty self-explanatory. Journalists are gathered in one location (sometimes local, sometimes far-flung) with a new model(s), there’s usually a day of driving, then we report back to you with our impressions.

Media fleet vehicles are different. These are distributed to publications and individual journalists far and wide, and the test period goes from a few days to a week or more. Whereas first drives almost always result in a piece of review content, fleet loans only sometimes do. Other times they serve to give context about brands, segments, technology and the like, to editors and writers.

So, adding up the loans I’ve had out of the press fleet and things I’ve driven at events, my tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015, it’ll be as high as 73.

2014 seyth year in cars 31 14 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

At one of the buff books like Car and Driver or Motor Trend, reviewers might rotate through five cars a week, or more.

I know that number sounds high, but as best I can tell, it’s pretty average for the full-time professionals in this business. At Autoblog, full-time car reviewers (guys “in the rotation” as we say), typically have loans once per week, per editor. Since we don’t always work out of the same office (some of us never do), that’s a simpler way to do it. At one of the buff books like Car and Driver or Motor Trend, where a lot of the editorial staff is in one place, Monday to Friday, reviewers might rotate through five cars a week, or more. And it’s very common for the in-office Autoblog staff to do the same.

For instance: Jason Cammisa, Senior Editor at Road & Track, keeps a detailed yearly accounting of the cars he’s driven (as well as miles, an idea which I’m going to steal going forward). Cammisa’s total dwarfed mine in 2014, with 179 cars projected in the logbook.

Rotation reviewers that are higher up their respective mastheads might get more cars, or higher-performance, more expensive cars than those on the bottom rungs. People that work at enthusiast-oriented publications may also have results that are skewed towards more-exotic-than-average metal, and location helps, too – guys out in Los Angeles tend to have a more ample supply of high-end metal than we Michiganders do.

Autoblog covers everything, but we lean more enthusiastic than pedestrian, and it’s probably fair to say I’m in the high-middle of the industry in terms of access to vehicles. So, what did my daily driver look like in 2014?

2014 seyth year in cars 25 14 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]
2014 seyth year in cars 02 16 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]2014 seyth year in cars 38 14 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

This is how a brief Vital Stats panel would read for my fleet cars if I average the combined totals with the aggregate number of vehicles.

  • Output: 328 horsepower / 332 pound-feet of torque
  • Miles Per Gallon: 19.8 City / 28.5 Highway
  • Fuel Type: 95.5 Diesel / 0% Hybrid
  • Transmission Type: 80.6 Manual (for simplicity I’m lumping everything without a third pedal into “Automatic” here)
  • Base Price: $63,998
  • As-Tested Price: $73,443

Holy crap. I should note that my as-tested price there is soft; there are lots of cars that I never got official pricing for, so where I lacked the real number I made an informed – if conservative – guess.

For the sake of comparison, I dug around to find the best data available for the average vehicle in the 2014 model year, in the US. For the technical stats, this data comes from preliminary reporting from the EPA, and the sales data (year to date) comes from TrueCar.

  • Output: 233 Horsepower / Torque Not Listed
  • Miles Per Gallon: 20 City / 29 Highway
  • Fuel Type: 94.5 Diesel / 4% Hybrid
  • Transmission Type: 96.3 Manual
  • Base Price: $34,386
  • Transaction Price: $31,831

2014 seyth year in cars 18 14 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

If you’re like me, the first and most mind-boggling stat in this comparison is the huge price gap. An average of over $70k as-tested is pretty wild, though some of that is down to just a handful of curve-wrecking cars. I tested four cars that go for more than $200k in 2014: both coupe and convertible versions of the Bentley Continental GT V8 S, the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, and the $365k-as-tested Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II. (Do I love my job? Yes.)

I probably need to work on my sub-$25k blind spot in the coming year. Progress through data!

When I take those four cars out of the equation, the average MSRP drops to $53,022 and as-tested to $60,486. Still way above the national average, but with a lot less daylight in between.

Obviously I’m driving a lot of premium, luxury vehicles. I think that’s helpful, as I write reviews for quite a number of products in that stratum, too. Still, I’ll admit that I probably need to work on my sub-$25k blind spot in the coming year. Progress through data!

I wasn’t taken aback to see that my average horsepower output is higher than normal (especially considering the money we’re talking about), but I do think that my average torque rating is telling of the era we’re in. Unfortunately, the EPA doesn’t track torque figures, but to see that my typical pounds-feet rating is higher than horsepower – and with less than five percent diesel in the mix – is impressive. The large-scale movement to turbocharging has that torque figure higher than ever, I’d guess.

Turbos (and direct-injection technology) are at the heart of what can only be seen as impressive EPA fuel economy figures, too. My averages practically mirror those of the nation as a whole, despite a much higher average output. Partially that’s down to my having driven just a handful of trucks this year, but it’s also a testament to the increasing ability of automakers to engineer power without compromising frugality.

518345102 1 570 4114 A car writers year in new vehicles [w/video]

Manual transmissions – why are my cars equipped with them at almost five times the rate that they’re produced for sale to Americans?

Finally, manual transmissions – why are my cars equipped with them at almost five times the rate that they’re produced for sale to Americans? First, we, along with a lot of you, love stick shifts, and probably over-report on manual-trans version of cars as a result. Second, automakers know we all love MTs, and probably overrepresent them in the media fleets. Real talk.

Here are some of the superlatives from my 2014 car list:

  • Most Expensive: the previously mentioned 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost, at $286,750 “base” and $365,250 as-tested. For the record, I believe this is also the single most expensive series production car I’ve ever driven.
  • Least Expensive: 2015 Honda Fit 6MT at $15,650 base and $18,225 as-tested (a pretty loaded EX model that, true-to-form, still had the manual trans).
  • Most Powerful: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat at 707 horsepower. Was there ever any doubt? The Huracán is a distant second, almost 100 hp behind.
  • Least Powerful: It’s the Fit again, at 130 hp. And you know what, it’s still fun to drive in traffic.
  • Most Torquey: 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG at 664 pound-feet. I wrote at the time that this car was, “the perfect cure for my Mercedes-AMG GT hangover” which was on point.
  • Least Torquey: Honda Fit at 114 lb-ft… did I mention it had a nice six speed?

I’d love to keep you reading for a few thousand more words, diving indulgently into the things that I loved or hated about every car on my list, but the other Autobloggers are looking over my shoulder, so I’ll keep it short.

I’ve uploaded a picture of just about every car that I drove this year – mostly from my own Twitter and Facebook pages, so follow me if you’d like to see more like this in 2015. If you’ve got questions about any of the cars you see therein, write them up and drop them into our Comments section below. I will look forward to answering back just as soon as I read them.

It’s been a fantastic, fascinating and uncanny year in cars. I’m one hell of a lucky guy. Here’s marking up a fresh spreadsheet in 2015, and bringing all the adventures that come along with that, to you.

Source Article from http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/18/car-writers-year-in-cars-video/
A car writer’s year in new vehicles [w/video]
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/18/car-writers-year-in-cars-video/
http://fulltextrssfeed.com/www.autoblog.com/category/volkswagen/rss.xml
Autoblog Volkswagen
Autoblog Volkswagen // via fulltextrssfeed.com
http://o.aolcdn.com/os/autoblog/ab-podcast-itunes.jpg

Autoweek dubs GMC Canyon, VW GTI its 2015 ‘Best of the Best’

Autoweek names Best of the Best/Car and Truck for 2015
Volkswagen Golf GTI and GMC Canyon signal a strong year for design, performance and value

DETROIT, Dec. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Autoweek named the Volkswagen Golf GTI as its Best of the Best/Car for 2015, beating a group of finalists that includes the Alfa Romeo 4C, Ford Mustang and Mercedes-Benz C-class; and the GMC Canyon as its Best of the Best/Truck for 2015, besting the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado, Lincoln MKC and Porsche Macan.

Autoweek evaluates every new or significantly updated model throughout the year and begins to identify the standouts. Performance, economy, fit and finish, design, value, significance to the auto industry and personal taste all combine to define the Best of the Best. Four cars and four trucks make the grade, and Autoweek editors put them through rigorous road-handling tests at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. This is where a vehicle transcends the numbers and shows if design, performance and pure driving passion meld into an Autoweek Best of the Best pick.

The GTI is in its seventh generation, but the 2015 model has set a new standard for value, practicality and performance. It’s an incredibly fun car to drive-Autoweek couldn’t keep its editors out of it.

VW’s improved 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine powers the GTI. Featuring a choice of two great gearboxes, the GTI is an approachable, practical performance car-it satisfies on every level. And the new chassis makes it a blast to drive on the track or the street.

The handling is simply superb, with the rear end happily stepping into safe, controllable oversteer. It’s a car any driver can have fun with.

The GTI was also a standout because its price, build quality and utility make it a flexible ride and a great value.

Michael Horn, President and CEO Volkswagen Group of America, commented, “Our team is very excited to be named the Autoweek Best of the Best/Car for 2015. It’s an honor to receive this award from a publication whose readership has the same kind of passion about driving and performance as we have at Volkswagen, exemplified by cars like the Golf GTI.”

The GMC Canyon offers something many thought they’d never see again-a smaller pickup big on utility, usability and refinement.

It has just over a 1,600-pound payload and 7,000 pounds of towing ability, making it practical for most worksites, though it’s quiet and comfortable enough to please commuters.

The truck’s rugged looks and available off-road equipment make it perfect for those with hobbies taking them into the wild but who might not want to drive a full-size pickup truck during the work week.

“We’ve felt all along that the all-new Canyon would appeal to a wide range of customers looking for pickup capabilities with a high level of refinement and connectivity. This recognition from such a respected publication provides key external validation for the team,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president sales, service and marketing for Buick-GMC.

This year’s field-featuring an all-new Mustang, a budget-priced carbon-fiber supercar and a German crossover that drives like a German sports car-goes down as one of the strongest ever; but only the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI and 2015 GMC Canyon have risen to the top to be named Autoweek’s Best of the Best.

Two versions of a video news release and images are available for download here. Full coverage of the 2015 Best of the Best awards can be found at autoweek.com/best or in the Dec. 22 issue of the magazine; also look for #autoweekbest on Twitter.

About Autoweek

The Autoweek Media Group delivers automotive information and insight to car buyers and enthusiasts across multiple platforms, from print, online and mobile to video and television. Its team of car experts shares opinion, insight, news and data that guide buyers and enthusiasts in their automotive quests.

Autoweek is the nation’s only fortnightly enthusiast car magazine that for more than 50 years has tested new vehicles, reported the latest car news and trends, and covered auto racing in all its forms. At autoweek.com, breaking news and fresh content is delivered 24/7.

Follow Autoweek on Facebook (facebook.com/AutoweekUSA) and Twitter (@AutoweekUSA).

Autoweek Media Group is owned by Crain Communications Inc, publisher of leading industry trade publications Advertising Age and Automotive News, among others, and is based in Detroit, Mich.

Source Article from http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/16/autoweek-gmc-canyon-vw-gti-best-of-the-best/
Autoweek dubs GMC Canyon, VW GTI its 2015 ‘Best of the Best’
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/16/autoweek-gmc-canyon-vw-gti-best-of-the-best/
http://fulltextrssfeed.com/www.autoblog.com/category/volkswagen/rss.xml
Autoblog Volkswagen
Autoblog Volkswagen // via fulltextrssfeed.com
http://o.aolcdn.com/os/autoblog/ab-podcast-itunes.jpg

Autoweek dubs GMC Canyon, VW GTI its 2015 ‘Best of the Best’

Autoweek names Best of the Best/Car and Truck for 2015
Volkswagen Golf GTI and GMC Canyon signal a strong year for design, performance and value

DETROIT, Dec. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Autoweek named the Volkswagen Golf GTI as its Best of the Best/Car for 2015, beating a group of finalists that includes the Alfa Romeo 4C, Ford Mustang and Mercedes-Benz C-class; and the GMC Canyon as its Best of the Best/Truck for 2015, besting the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado, Lincoln MKC and Porsche Macan.

Autoweek evaluates every new or significantly updated model throughout the year and begins to identify the standouts. Performance, economy, fit and finish, design, value, significance to the auto industry and personal taste all combine to define the Best of the Best. Four cars and four trucks make the grade, and Autoweek editors put them through rigorous road-handling tests at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. This is where a vehicle transcends the numbers and shows if design, performance and pure driving passion meld into an Autoweek Best of the Best pick.

The GTI is in its seventh generation, but the 2015 model has set a new standard for value, practicality and performance. It’s an incredibly fun car to drive-Autoweek couldn’t keep its editors out of it.

VW’s improved 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine powers the GTI. Featuring a choice of two great gearboxes, the GTI is an approachable, practical performance car-it satisfies on every level. And the new chassis makes it a blast to drive on the track or the street.

The handling is simply superb, with the rear end happily stepping into safe, controllable oversteer. It’s a car any driver can have fun with.

The GTI was also a standout because its price, build quality and utility make it a flexible ride and a great value.

Michael Horn, President and CEO Volkswagen Group of America, commented, “Our team is very excited to be named the Autoweek Best of the Best/Car for 2015. It’s an honor to receive this award from a publication whose readership has the same kind of passion about driving and performance as we have at Volkswagen, exemplified by cars like the Golf GTI.”

The GMC Canyon offers something many thought they’d never see again-a smaller pickup big on utility, usability and refinement.

It has just over a 1,600-pound payload and 7,000 pounds of towing ability, making it practical for most worksites, though it’s quiet and comfortable enough to please commuters.

The truck’s rugged looks and available off-road equipment make it perfect for those with hobbies taking them into the wild but who might not want to drive a full-size pickup truck during the work week.

“We’ve felt all along that the all-new Canyon would appeal to a wide range of customers looking for pickup capabilities with a high level of refinement and connectivity. This recognition from such a respected publication provides key external validation for the team,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president sales, service and marketing for Buick-GMC.

This year’s field-featuring an all-new Mustang, a budget-priced carbon-fiber supercar and a German crossover that drives like a German sports car-goes down as one of the strongest ever; but only the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI and 2015 GMC Canyon have risen to the top to be named Autoweek’s Best of the Best.

Two versions of a video news release and images are available for download here. Full coverage of the 2015 Best of the Best awards can be found at autoweek.com/best or in the Dec. 22 issue of the magazine; also look for #autoweekbest on Twitter.

About Autoweek

The Autoweek Media Group delivers automotive information and insight to car buyers and enthusiasts across multiple platforms, from print, online and mobile to video and television. Its team of car experts shares opinion, insight, news and data that guide buyers and enthusiasts in their automotive quests.

Autoweek is the nation’s only fortnightly enthusiast car magazine that for more than 50 years has tested new vehicles, reported the latest car news and trends, and covered auto racing in all its forms. At autoweek.com, breaking news and fresh content is delivered 24/7.

Follow Autoweek on Facebook (facebook.com/AutoweekUSA) and Twitter (@AutoweekUSA).

Autoweek Media Group is owned by Crain Communications Inc, publisher of leading industry trade publications Advertising Age and Automotive News, among others, and is based in Detroit, Mich.

Source Article from http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/16/autoweek-gmc-canyon-vw-gti-best-of-the-best/
Autoweek dubs GMC Canyon, VW GTI its 2015 ‘Best of the Best’
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/12/16/autoweek-gmc-canyon-vw-gti-best-of-the-best/
http://fulltextrssfeed.com/www.autoblog.com/category/volkswagen/rss.xml
Autoblog Volkswagen
Autoblog Volkswagen // via fulltextrssfeed.com
http://o.aolcdn.com/os/autoblog/ab-podcast-itunes.jpg

VW readying two-row CUV concept for Detroit

01 volkswagen crossblue concept detroit VW readying two row CUV concept for Detroit

We’re likely getting yet another glimpse of Volkswagen’s future crossover at the upcoming 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in January. According to Automotive News, two anonymous sources within the automaker indicate a CUV concept will be shown there. The concept is said to be a five-passenger preview of the brand’s future seven-seat model.

Previous versions of the crossover have carried the name CrossBlue (pictured above), but there was no indication whether or not that would continue. The original three-row concept debuted at the 2013 auto show in Detroit, and VW followed it up with the CrossBlue Coupe Concept in Shanghai later that year.

In early 2014, the company announced the CUV would go into production sometime in 2016, along with plans to invest $7 billion in North America over the next five years. During the summer, the automaker made things even more official when it declared plans to invest $900 million to build a 538,000-square-foot expansion into its Chattanooga, TN, factory to assemble the new model. Production of the crossover was slated to begin by the end of 2016, at the time.

According to Automotive News, even more changes in VW’s CUV lineup are on the way. The Tiguan is reportedly getting an update next year that could be joined by coupe and long-wheelbase variants, as well.

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What you missed on 12.5.14

u turn banner 22 What you missed on 12.5.14

2015 vw touareg 628 What you missed on 12.5.14We drive the facelifted 2015 VW Touareg SUV

Volkswagen’s Touareg has always straddled the line between the mainstream and luxury SUV segments, but the second-generation model has fallen a bit off the premium pace, having been in production since 2010 without major changes. For 2015, the Touareg gets a streamlined freshened look and a lot of optional new active safety technology. Is it enough to keep it in the hunt? Our man Seyth Miersma drives it and finds out.

7974251769 30fd946ebe What you missed on 12.5.14Montana lawmakers want 85 mph speed limit

Back in the day, Montana’s freeway speed limit on certain vast, empty sections was simply listed as “reasonable and prudent.” In other words, it was our version of the Autobahn. That didn’t last due to legal challenges, sadly, but now some lawmakers in the state are pushing hard for an 85-mph limit. A number of other neighboring states have adopted 80-mph limits, will Montana do them five better?

ferrari sergio 03 What you missed on 12.5.14Gorgeous production Ferrari Sergio revealed

Listen, we know that gushing over Ferraris isn’t exactly an uncommon thing, but we’re going to go ahead all the same and express our ardor for this 1 of 6 Ferrari Sergio, a Pininfarina-designed future Pebble Beach Concours winner if we’ve ever seen one. Ferrari has announced that the first of these half-dozen 458 Spider-based coupes has already been delivered. To the Middle East, where else?

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Translogic 164: Driving the fuel cell vehicles of the 2014 LA Auto Show

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Translogic 164: Driving the fuel cell vehicles of the 2014 LA Auto Show
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Volkswagen HyMotion says hi in the SportWagen and Passat in LA

GOLF SPORTWAGEN HYMOTION MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE 2015 LOS ANGELES AUTO SHOW

Volkswagen transfers fuel cell technology to high-volume production: Golf is the first car to offer all forms of currently available powertrains

? Golf SportWagen HyMotion is first fuel cell vehicle based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB)

? Concept car showcases versatility of the MQB architecture

? Estimated range of 310 miles of zero-emissions driving

? All drive components are VW developments; electric motor and transmission
shared with e-Golf

? Fuel cell was developed at VW’s Technology Center for Electric Traction

? Total system power of 136 PS, 0 to 62 mph in estimated 10.0 seconds

Wolfsburg/Los Angeles – At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Volkswagen is presenting the world premiere of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion-a research vehicle with a fuel cell

powertrain. For this particular power source of the future, hydrogen and oxygen are combined in the fuel cell to form pure water. Energy is released in this “cold combustion” process, energy that is used to power a zero emissions electric motor.

The front-wheel-drive Golf SportWagen HyMotion accelerates from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 10.0 seconds. The hydrogen is stored safely in four high-tech carbonfiber tanks, which are located in the underbody, where they do not impede on interior space. Their fuel capacity enables a driving range of 310 miles (500 km), and they can be refilled in about three minutes. Unlike many of its competitors, Volkswagen is following the strategy of placing alternative drivetrains in high-volume production vehicles. Just like the all-electric e-Golf and the plug-in hybrid Golf GTE, the SportWagen HyMotion shows how fuel cells could be integrated into a well-engineered, usable, and attractively priced vehicle.

Several research vehicles have been built based on the U.S. version of the Passat, using the same drive components as fitted in the Golf SportWagen HyMotion. The fleet of Passat HyMotion vehicles is currently being tested on the streets of California.

Drive components

The key drive components of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion were developed by Volkswagen Group Research in Germany. The fuel cell system conceptualized at the Volkswagen Technology Center for Electric Traction has a system power of 100 kW or 136 PS. In addition, the concept car has a high-voltage lithium-ion battery, which stores the kinetic energy recovered from regenerative braking, assists in the starting phase of the fuel cell and adds a dynamic boost to the maximum acceleration of the Golf SportWagen. The fuel cell and battery power an electric motor that has been adapted from the e-Golf.

The mechanical underpinnings for this innovative car are based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) that was developed by Volkswagen and is used throughout the Group. Thanks to use of the MQB, the current Golf and the new Golf SportWagen have advanced to become the world’s first vehicle model series that can host all conceivable drive types.

Today, the Golf is already offered with gasoline engines (TSI®), diesel engines (TDI®), an electric drive (e-Golf) and, in some markets outside the U.S., natural gas and plug-in hybrid drivetrains. No other car offers such a variety of drive types. Volkswagen is showing the Golf SportWagen HyMotion to demonstrate for the first time how a hydrogen fuel cell could be implemented in an MQB-based vehicle. Before the market launch, a hydrogen infrastructure would have to be created: not only a broad network of hydrogen fuel stations, but also the production of the hydrogen itself. Hydrogen only makes sense as a fuel if the primary energy used to produce it comes from renewable sources.

Volkswagen has integrated the drive components of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion in the front of the car. The battery is housed above the rear suspension, and the tanks are mounted in the vehicle floor. Thus, the interior of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion offers the same amount of space as in all other versions of the model. This optimal space utilization was possible because provisions were included for all technically feasible drivetrains and body versions in the planning of the MQB architecture.

In the Golf SportWagen HyMotion, the components from high-volume production vehicles were merged with entirely new engineering. As noted, the electric motor was adapted from the new e-Golf, and the motor and coaxial two-stage 1-speed transmission are located at the front of the engine compartment; both components were developed by Volkswagen. Also arranged in the engine compartment are the stacks of the hydrogen fuel cell; the cooling system; a tri-port converter that regulates the voltage between the electric motor, the fuel cell and the lithium-ion battery; and the turbo compressor. The latter ensures that oxygen from the surrounding air flows into the fuel cell.

The power electronics are located in the center tunnel area; they convert the direct current (DC) into three-phase alternating current (AC) which is used to drive the motor. The power electronics also integrate a DC/DC converter, which converts energy from the high-voltage battery to 12 volts to supply the 12-volt electrical system.

The high-voltage lithium-ion battery is mounted close to the trunk and rear suspension. The 12-volt battery is also mounted at the rear. Two of the total of four carbonfiber composite hydrogen tanks are housed compactly under the rear seat and the other two in the luggage compartment floor. The hydrogen is stored in the tanks at a pressure of 700 bar (10,150 psi). As in all other Volkswagen vehicles, the tank filler neck is located on the right side at the back of the car.

The lithium-ion battery is the second powerplant in the vehicle, and it plays an important role in the drive system. As mentioned, it stores the energy recovered during regenerative braking. It is also an important component in all phases during which the chemical reaction needs to be initiated by feeding oxygen and hydrogen to the fuel cell (the latter via the turbo compressor), such as when driving off from a start. At this point in time, the fuel cell has not built up enough electrical power to drive the motor by itself. In these phases, the lithium-ion battery jumps into action and supplies energy to the electric motor. The high-voltage battery also operates like a turbocharger during fast acceleration and while accelerating to top speed. In what is referred to as boosting, the fuel cell and battery work in an alliance to supply overall system power of 100 kW or 136 PS.

Functional principle of the fuel cell

Volkswagen Group Research is utilizing the company’s fourth-generation fuel cell in the Golf SportWagen HyMotion Concept-and simultaneously in a research vehicle based on the U.S. Passat. Group brand Audi is also presenting the same fuel cell at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show in an A7. All three fuel cells are based on the LT PEM fuel cell stack developed in Germany. LT stands for the type of fuel cell: Low Temperature. PEM stands for Proton Exchange Membrane. The key element of each individual fuel cell-many of which are combined to form a stack-is the proton-conducting membrane (PEM). Each membrane is located between an anode and a cathode in the fuel cell. Hydrogen flows into the cell at the anode end and oxygen at the cathode end. The hydrogen and oxygen react and combine to form water at the cathode end. Energy is released in this process.

At the anode, the hydrogen is split into electrons and protons. The positively charged protons “migrate” through the membrane to the cathode. The negatively charged electrons flow to the cathode via the external electrical circuit. This flow of current supplies electrical energy. At the cathode, the protons react with the inflowing oxygen and the electrons to produce “process water”, most of which escapes via the exhaust system. Around 60 percent of the energy input in the form of hydrogen is converted to electricity. The fuel cell converts the chemical energy of an oxidation process called “cold combustion” directly into electrical energy. The “exhaust gas” is nothing other than clean water vapor.

Technology Center for Electric Traction

Since the 1990s, Volkswagen has been researching the potential of hydrogen fuel cells and transferring this drive technology to production cars. At the end of the past decade Volkswagen decided to build a dedicated Technology Center for Electric Traction near its headquarters in Wolfsburg, to further advance its capabilities in fuel cell development. The Isenbüttel site was chosen for this center and construction of a special research center for electric drivetrains began in 2001. The infrastructure of the technology center includes a dedicated hydrogen fuel station. Volkswagen produces the hydrogen for the pressure tank station from renewable solar-generated electricity. A photovoltaic array was installed at the site for this purpose.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 649 independent U.S. dealers.

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