Volkswagen Released a Car that Gets 260 MPG

October 16, 2017 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , ,

Volkswagen is working on new ways to innovate, and in the process of working toward energy efficiency for the masses, the automaker released a highly exclusive car that manages an astonishing 260 miles per gallon. Sure it’s not affordable at around $130K, but it’s truly impressive anyway. This vehicle runs on diesel and it manages fuel efficiency figures that simply can’t be matched by most vehicles today. While 50 MPG is considered very good for a diesel vehicle today, 260 MPG is more than five times that amount and it shows that we can do considerably better when it comes to fuel efficiency, but how the heck did Volkswagen achieve these results?

Volkswagen XL1

Using a Mini Hybrid Engine

In order to get this stellar fuel efficiency level the Volkswagen vehicle uses a turbo-two engine that’s working alongside an electric motor. The whole vehicle is run through a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and the overall output from both motors is 74 HP and 163 lb.-ft. of torque, respectable enough to get the car down the road without too much trouble, especially when you consider that it comes in at just 1,753 lbs. thanks to the judicious use of carbon fiber (part of why this vehicle is so expensive).

Excellent Aerodynamics

On top of the highly efficient motor and the ultra-light body of this VW, the vehicle also has excellent aerodynamics. The rear tires are completely covered over, and the whole body is designed to let air flow as smoothly as possible. Thanks to careful testing this car is extremely efficient when moving down the road and minimizes drag as much as possible.

It Comes with Standard Features

Even though the aim of this Volkswagen vehicle is to be as efficient as humanly possible, it packs quite a few features in anyway. It comes with air conditioning, power steering and satellite navigation. It’s a beautiful car inside and out, which just helps its case even more.

With just 200 of the Volkswagen XL1’s for sale, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever get your hands on one, even if you do live in Europe where they’re being sold, but hopefully this vehicle will help result in more efficient vehicles throughout the VW lineup in the future as well.

What its Like to Drive a Top End Audi SUV

October 13, 2017 lacarguy Audi Tags: , , , ,

There are few people today that own a high-end luxury SUV. They’re very costly, but there’s a lot being offered in these premium packages. Read on to learn exactly what you can expect from a top-end SUV like the 2018 Audi SQ5. This premium SUV packs in the features, giving you the luxurious ride and driving experience, but it all comes at a pretty significant cost.

2018 audi sq5

Driving is Very Fun

First let’s start off by saying that the SQ5 can really go. This high-powered SUV packs in 354 horses in its turbocharged engine and delivers power exactly when you need it. Stomp on the gas pedal and the SUV takes off down the street with confidence. Of course the performance Pirelli P-Zero tires help on that front, and so does the smooth all-wheel drive that delivers maximum traction from the very beginning. Overall, when you want to get going, it’s so easy to do in the SQ5 that you’ll probably end up driving a bit too fast like we did.

Speed isn’t the only thing that this SUV has to offer though. It’s also very easy to handle. The steering is responsive and the moment you turn the wheel you’ll feel the SUV move with you. This makes sharp corners a blast to go around, did I mention that body roll is pretty minimal for an SUV? That’s right, you can whip this SUV around corners comfortably, in fact, it almost seems to enjoy being whipped around. When it’s time to slow down the powerful ceramic brakes do the job just fine and will drop your speed down in a split second.

Gorgeous Inside and Out

Inside the SQ5 strikes a balance between quality materials and top-notch design and flash. Audi works hard to keep the interior as minimalist as possible, and what you get is a very nice-looking interior, with seats coated with quality materials, diamond stitching, soft touch materials throughout, but a pretty simple looking interior. Audi is showing that they have no need to be ostentatious and instead the automaker decides to let the pure quality of the interior show through. The result is a nice-looking interior, but something that isn’t over the top at all.

On the outside, the SQ5 draws stares wherever it goes. It’s edgy, trim and in proportion all over. The rear end is neat and tucked in giving the mid-sized SUV an almost compact footprint, and the front end features a big beastly grille and a chrome finish that looks nice as well. The exterior of the SQ5 is similar to the interior that it’s clearly luxurious, it stands out, but it’s not over the top like some sporty vehicles are.

An Enjoyable Tech Experience

Audi put a lot of effort into making a user-friendly but capable techno infotainment system. There’s a heads-up display, there’s a pretty capable nav system built right into the cluster, and the media system is almost entirely customizable. It’s simple to get the features you want to show, while hiding all the rest. Even though the infotainment system packs dozens of cool features, you won’t be overwhelmed by everything that you see while using it, which makes the whole system very user-friendly. The system also makes use of a track-pad as well as a set of buttons to help you navigate the features as fast as possible.

The Audi SQ5 is a true experience and a pleasurable vehicle to own on a daily basis. It’s a bit tight in back and there are only two rows, which might be a downside to customers with large families. The SUV packs plenty of power, it’s nice to look at inside and out and it’s a true user-friendly experience overall, but it’s not cheap. You’ll be spending north of $50,000 and should expect a price closer to 60k once you get the addons that you want. That’s not overpriced for the segment, but it’s certainly not a budget vehicle either.

What’s New for Audi in 2018

October 12, 2017 lacarguy Audi Tags: , , , ,

There’s a lot of new features coming to the Audi lineup in 2018. But instead of digging too deeply into each and every one of them, we’re just going to offer an overview for the different models getting changed up across Audi’s lineup to give you an idea of what’s coming in a broad sense.

2018 Audi

The S4

After being removed for a year the S4 is finally back again. It comes locked and loaded with a 354 HP turbocharged engine along with an eight-speed automatic transmission. There’s no manual transmission option this time because the vehicle comes with auto safety features that don’t work so well with it.

The A5 and S5

Both the A5 and S5 models from Audi are getting another body type for 2018, a Sportback. The A5 will rely on a 252 HP turbo 2.0 liter inline-four while the S5 will get a 354 HP turbo 3.0 liter V6 engine. Each has all wheel drive, though the A5 manages it through a seven-speed dual clutch, while the S5 relies on an eight-speed torque converter style transmission.

The A6

The A6 is just a year away from a complete redesign and it’s using this year as a chance to offer some more unique performance features as addon options. What was part of the Competition model last year, is now available as options for the standard A6. Including special wheels, a special differential with torque vectoring and a stiffer suspension.

The A8

There isn’t much change in the 2018 Audi A8, other than a bit more driver assistance technology and some enhanced safety packages. Other than that, the biggest changes in the A8 are coming in 2019 with things like Level 3 autonomy and some very nice tech features.

Q5

The 2018 Audi Q5 is benefitting from quite a few nice enhancements. It’s getting more power with a boost by 32 HP to 252 overall. It’s also getting enhanced fuel efficiency figures thanks to its more advanced all-wheel drive system. The system can fully decouple the rear axle, allowing the vehicle to drive as a standard two-wheel drive model.

Q8

The Q8 is an all-new addition to the Audi lineup that’s going to serve as an enhancement to the Q7. It’s essentially a coupe style Q7 with less space and a more aggressive stance. It’s going to come with both V6 and V8 engines and maybe a hybrid option as well. It’s also going to be one of the first Audi vehicles that uses the brand new MMI media system layout.

RS3

That’s right, starting next year you’ll be able to purchase the RS3 that was once only available overseas. It doesn’t come as a hot hatch though, but instead a dynamic sedan that can really tear up the roads. It comes with 400 HP with a 2.5 liter in-line five-cylinder engine and it can even be fitted with reverse staggered tires where the front tires are wider than the rear. It’s a cool ride for sure, and will be a solid daily-driver, but it’s not going to be cheap.

What’s New for Toyota in 2018

October 11, 2017 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

We’re fast approaching the end of a model year for Toyota and a new launch of exciting vehicles from the automaker. With 2018 models coming out already, and more still to come, let’s go over what’s new in the 2018 model Toyotas and what buyers have to look forward to when they make the switch to the next version of their favorite model.

2018 Camry

The Mirai

The Mirai was launched as an option to only those living in specific areas of California, but the model is also becoming available in many eastern parts of the United States for the 2018 model year. Buyers in New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts will be able to purchase the vehicle as well thanks to a better refueling infrastructure. The car is going to come with an improved infotainment system as well which is a nice touch.

The C-HR

Toyota is releasing the C-HR, a brand-new subcompact crossover. It’s equipped with a 144 HP 2.0 liter engine, and it’s a four door vehicle capable of toting around your average family. It’s nice looking and a cool addition to the lineup.

Sequoia

The latest Sequoia model SUVs will get the Toyota P safety tech, including a bunch of autonomous safety features like forward-collision warning and pedestrian detection. The vehicle will also be offered wit the TRD Sport variant, making available retuned anti-roll bars, large black 20-inch wheels, Bilstein dampers and a cool grille in black.

Camry

One of the biggest changes to the 2018 model year is the brand-new Toyota Camry. It’s a full remodel and comes with a bunch of new features. The model gets 3.5 liter V6 engine, a hybrid engine and a couple in-line four-cylinder engines. It also comes with an all-new eight-speed transmission. The car is built on the new TNGA architecture and comes with enhances styling as well to really stand out.

RAV-4

The Rav-4 only gets minor changes for the 2018 model year. It has a slightly thicker body, a 0.4 inch ride height enhancement, and it’s available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive depending on what you prefer.

Tundra

For 2018 Toyota is doing away with the regular cab version of the truck and changing the TRD Pro to the TRD sport. Other than that the truck is staying about the same overall.

Sienna

The 2018 Toyota Sienna receives a slight exterior overhaul while also getting some tech goodies. The front end has a meaner look and the vehicle comes with flared side sills. On the inside the vehicle comes with an Entune 3.0 system with more USB ports, Wi-Fi connectivity and the entertainment system can stream from Android devices. The Sienna also comes standard with all the new Toyota safety goodness for safer driving for everyone without the added cost.

Toyota Unleashes Commercial Hydrogen Fuel Cell Trucks

October 10, 2017 lacarguy Toyota, Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

While other automakers are moving on from the idea of hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles, Toyota is ramping up production and unleashing a fleet of hydrogen-fuel cell trucks on LA and Long Beach. The trucks are a part of a test program by Toyota verifying whether or not the trucks are rugged enough and cut out to the performance tasks required of a commercial truck that’s put through hard use on a daily basis.

hydrogen fuel cell truck

Serious Performance Machines

These commercial-grade trucks from Toyota are designed to stand up to the toughest tasks, and they’re engineered for serious hauling. They each come packed with 670 HP thanks to two Mirai fuel stacks. The trucks utilize a 12 kWh battery as well as an impressive set of motors to generate a whopping 1,325 lbs.-ft. of torque giving them a gross weight capacity of up to 80,000 lbs. for serious hauling.

Why Commercial Vehicles May Benefit more from Hydrogen

Vehicles like the Mirai haven’t taken off in a huge way yet because there is a lack of refueling stations and it’s tough keeping up with the supply necessary to keep the vehicles fueled up. That’s not as much of an issue for commercial vehicles though. Most commercial vehicles have a larger driving range, and they can rely on centralized refueling stations. Commercial vehicles that follow specific routes regularly can keep fueled much more easily even though the stations are limited.

This is good news for Mirai owners and hydrogen-fuel cell proponents, because if Toyota can create good long-term commercial hydrogen-electric trucks, the automaker will refine the technology over time and all those enhancements will be passed onto future versions of the Mirai and other consumer-level hydrogen-fuel cell vehicles as well.

Toyota is starting small with its commercial truck fleet, with lots of short start and stop trips, but the automaker plans to expand its range and take vehicles further and further away over time to really test the long-hauling capabilities of its commercial fleet.

New technologies like electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are quickly becoming more and more advanced and they’re sure to take on a whole new role in the economy in the coming years. Consumers are pushing for these vehicles and governments are making alternative fuel options a priority that makes switching away from fossil fuels an important move for everyone.

The 2018 Porsche Cayenne SE Hybrid is Pure Joy on Wheels

October 9, 2017 lacarguy Porsche Tags:

Porsche has been known for its 911 sports cars since the beginning of time, but today it makes most of its money off of SUVs like the Cayenne and the Macan. Today we’re going to dig into the new 2018 Cayenne S E-Hybrid and what makes the SUV plug-in hybrid so special. It has a lot going for it including space and comfort, but it also packs in some nice performance features, not to mention all the electronic and battery-related goodies.

2018 Porsche Cayenne

More Significant Electric Power

The 2018 Cayenne S E-Hybrid still comes packed with the same powerful 333 HP V6 engine, but it comes with a more potent 95 HP and 229 ft.-lb. torque electric motor attached to a more significant 10.8 kWh battery bank at the rear of the vehicle. This enhanced power lets the Cayenne do some pretty impressive stuff, like drive like it’s a high powered sports car, rather than a mid-sized SUV.

Always on All-Wheel Drive

Like most of the capable Cayenne lineup, this hybrid model gets a very effective all-wheel drive system. Just like all the others, power is routed to both the rear and front wheels of the SUV using a limited-slip differential. The Cayenne doesn’t split power from the electric motor to one set of wheels and the gas motor to the other, and this creates more even and effective driving performance that can adapt depending on the driving conditions. Naturally more power is routed to the rear wheels, but the power distribution can be adjusted between front and rear wheels as needed while driving around.

It Has Serious Speed

Even though the Cayenne comes in at 5,300 lbs. which is signficiantly more than any other Porsche vehicle, it still manages to be very fast. IT can do 0 to 60 MPH in just 5.4 seconds and speeds all the way up to 100 in 13 seconds. The SUV can handle a quarter mile at 103 MPH, and manages to offer decent speeds even when using just the electric motor or gas motor as well. It’s a power machine and a lot of fun to drive, and Porsche manages to give the SUV excellent driving mechanics as well, which makes things even more enjoyable.

Full Electric Driving

While the driving range of a maximum of 14 miles on a full battery charge isn’t going to take you very far, it could be enough for a stop to the grocery store or a short commute with a charger available at your place of work. Not only that, but it’s a relaxing way to drive around and an option that wasn’t really available in the older plugin hybrid Cayenne option from 2015. While driving around on just electric power the SUV is whisper quiet and you have the satisfaction of knowing that you aren’t burning fuel.

Fast Charging

Since this SUV doesn’t pack a monstrous battery pack it’s possible to bring it up to a full charge when plugged in for just 2.7 hours as long as you’re relying on a 240v power source. It’s even possible to charge faster than that if you have a specialized 7.2 kW charger and you can top up the SUV in just 1.3 hours. However, if you’re stuck with a standard 110v plug, charging can take up to 11 hours from a depleted battery.

Highly Capable Interior

Of course on the inside of this SUV you get beautiful and comfortable seats, soft-touch materials throughout and an excellent suite of tech features that will keep you busy learning what all the buttons do for weeks after your purchase. The SUV doesn’t really leave out anything when it comes to features, which means that you’ll enjoy all the connectivity features, interior comfort controls, safety features and media features that you would expect out of a hybrid SUV of the Cayenne’s stature, and that’s fine with us.

Overall the Hybrid Cayenne packs in a whole lot of performance without really costing you anything except more money at the time of purchase. If you decide to opt for this SUV you’ll have to pay around $80,000 to get it at the base level, but for all the enhancements that you’re getting it might just be worth the added cost.

What the 2019 Porsche Cayenne Brings

October 7, 2017 lacarguy Porsche Tags: , , ,

Porsche had big plans when it first unveiled the original Cayenne, and it’s got major plans for the 2019 version of the vehicle as well. The automaker has gone all in to make the next Cayenne the best that it’s ever offered and that means a whole lot of improvements coming your way.

Porsche Cayenne S

Less Weight More Power

In an effort to make the 2019 Cayenne faster than ever before Porsche shaved weight off the vehicle while adding power to it and it did all this while making the model more efficient. That’s a huge enhancement that’s impressive and shows that Porsche engineers have been working overtime. Each of the three models, the Cayenne, the Cayenne S and the Cayenne Turbo are all going to come packed with more power than ever before.

Enhanced Brake System

The latest Porsche model is going to come with standard rotors coated in an attractive tungsten-carbide that polishes to a near chrome finish when driving around. Not only do the rotors look really nice during driving, they also help the brakes last about 30 percent longer, which should save a lot of maintenance costs.

Off-Road Prowess

In order to make the SUV more well-rounded, Porsche has taken several steps to make it more capable off-roading. The SUV comes with protective stainless steel skid plates. It’s also got steering and power management features that will help you get the best traction and control while off-roading. While you probably don’t want to take your very expensive investment out into the Arizona desert, it would likely handle the trip just fine.

Top Tech Features

This latest SUV comes packed with just about every single tech feature that you can imagine. Even if you don’t get all the features as standard, many of the coolest are optional and you can add them on for a price if you want them bad enough. While driving the SUV around you’ll be able to tell it “I am cold” and it will turn the heat up for you. There are even cutting-edge features like night vision if you want to add them to the vehicle.

Porsche’s latest SUV is going to stand out among all the others because of the sheer effort that the automaker put into making it the very best out there. It’s purportedly one of the first true race-cards in SUV form, and it packs in so much more than just excellent performance that it’s sure to be a true pleasure to own.

The Bigger and Better 2018 Tiguan

October 6, 2017 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , ,

Well, the 2018 Tiguan is finally out and available and there are a lot of things to take in about the SUV. The first is that it’s probably no longer a compact SUV at all, and more of a mid-sized or full-sized model thanks to some dimension changes. Not only that, but it’s handling and performance is a bit different now. Read on to learn all about what the 2018 Tiguan has to offer in its bigger and more imposing size, and find out whether or not it’s a vehicle that you’ll want to take on.

2018 VW Tiguan

The Larger Tiguan

The 2018 Tiguan is significantly larger than its predecessor, and it needs to be because it’s cramming in another whole row. You can enjoy third-row seating in the vehicle and room for up to seven. The Tiguan has a wheelbase that’s grown by 7.3 inches, and an overall length increase of 10.6 inches. This creates the seating space necessary to fit in more passengers, and also takes the once compact Tiguan and pushes it up toward Toyota Highlander proportions. The upsize also adds weight to the Tiguan. There’s an increase in weight by about 373 lbs. which doesn’t help make the SUV feel any more speedy.

Excellent Transmission

Volkswagen was wise to equip the 2018 Tiguan with their highly refined eight-speed transmission. This little beauty works wonders on the Tiguan and helps take the somewhat underpowered four-cylinder turbo engine and makes it feel good at the low end. Thanks to short gearing on the lowest gears and careful power distribution, the Tiguan can travel from 0 to 60 in just 8.6 seconds. It does so comfortably and never feels real sluggish, though once you climb past 45 things begin to slow down a bit. Overall the transmission feels very smooth, there isn’t much slipping going on and driving is significantly more enjoyable in the Tiguan for this reason.

Refined At Speed

Though the Tiguan is a bit rough when going over significant bumps, it offers a refined and quiet ride at top speeds. If you frequently travel along freeways that will take you to 70 or 80 MPH, you’ll enjoy the quiet and smooth ride that this SUV has to offer. The turbo four engine will take a bit of time to get you up to those speeds though, so patience is a must.

Solid Poor Weather Performance

Drivers that plan on taking their Tiguan through off the road much, or through snowy driving conditions should consider adding on 4-Motion all-wheel drive. Once added to the vehicle, it handles poor driving conditions exceptionally well. It won’t lose traction much even when traveling through mud or gravel, and can handle snowy roads with confidence that will let you travel even when the weather would keep other drivers indoors. That’s a major benefit of the Tiguan when outfitted properly.

Comfortable and Capable Inside

While the Tiguan looks nice on the outside, and its performance is at least decent for its price range, the inside is a breathe of fresh air. It looks well put-together and almost luxurious with the careful details added in here and there. The SUV is outfitted with mostly plastics and some metals here and there to create a stylish interior, and it feels a bit hard on many surfaces, but it still looks very nice. The seats are comfortable, lumbar support is decent, though it wouldn’t stand up to luxury standards. The infotainment system is also very nice. It looks like a low-cost version of Audi’s virtual cockpit, and manages to give quick and easy access to most of the functions. Overall the interior of the 2018 Tiguan is solid and makes riding in the SUV enjoyable, even if the folks in row three are decidedly cramped.

The 2018 Tiguan comes with some nice improvements. It’s a bit more sluggish than its predecessor, but that’s because it’s larger and offers more seating capacity. It’s a tradeoff that many buyers will be happy to take. If you need added seating space, and you don’t mind sacrificing a bit of performance, the Tiguan is a solid SUV that’s actually pretty enjoyable to use.

Toyota Releases an Exciting New Transmission Concept

October 5, 2017 lacarguy Toyota of Hollywood, Toyota Santa Monica Tags: , ,

The Toyota GR HV concept vehicle, which is really a Frankenstein version of a few really popular Toyota vehicles, is showing off a very cool transmission setup that you probably haven’t seen before in the past. It’s essentially an automatic transmission that behaves like it is a manual transmission. No, I’m not talking about a basic paddle shifter that comes on so many vehicles today. This is something more. It behaves much like a manual and will give you that exciting manual feel as well.

Toyota GR HV Shifter
Digging into this Transmission

The transmission has the standard automatic that you would expect on a modern Toyota vehicle, but it also has an H-gate manual shift stick. You shift through the gears with the stick much like you would a traditional manual and the vehicle responds accordingly. The only real difference between the vehicle and an actual manual transmission car is that it doesn’t have a clutch. You shift gears and the car responds, but you don’t have to operate a clutch pedal. Shifting is intuitive to anyone familiar with a manual transmission and frankly it’s a lot of fun.

The GR HV sports concept car looks a lot like the GT 86. But it borrows from other vehicles and has wider dimensions and a different back end. The vehicle is pretty cool looking, but it’s the transmission that’s most interesting. If you’re interested in having a manual feel in your next vehicle, you’ll have to hope that Toyota brings this transmission to more of its offerings. It’s an exciting idea and certainly something to look out for.

With how natural the shifting action is in the vehicle it’s something that would sell to many drivers around the world. The vehicle keeps the benefits of an automatic transmission but takes on the exciting feel of a manual so drivers can get the best of both worlds. It’s similar to a paddle shifter, but definitely a step up according to us.

Toyota buyers interested in a better shifting experience will have to keep their eyes on the GR HV sports concept and what becomes of the shifting tech. We bet that it’s going to find its way onto additional vehicles in the future like all good ideas demonstrated on concept cars.

Volkswagen Decides to Improve 2018 Model Warranties

October 4, 2017 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , ,

Volkswagen is working hard to build up its base of users by offering a larger lineup of SUV vehicles and trying to appeal to what American buyers want more, but it’s also working to add more value alongside its vehicles. One of the ways the automaker is doing this is by expanding its warranty program. When you buy one of the 2018 model Volkswagen vehicles in the future, you’ll enjoy a longer and more comprehensive warranty than what comes with past models. That’s an exciting reason to head over to Volkswagen Dealership Lots

2018 volkswagen jetta

What You Get with the New Warranty

Volkswagen is going to offer a 6-year 72,000 mile warranty on all its 2018 model year vehicles other than the e-Golf model. That’s more than double what many of the automakers are offering today and an exceptional warranty by any standards. Volkswagen claims that the new warranty is designed to protect buyers that are relying on longer and longer auto loans to purchase their vehicles. If they’re buying a vehicle with a 6-year loan, it’s nice to have warranty coverage throughout that loan period. That’s something that Volkswagen buyers can now enjoy.

e-Golf Buyers Make out Even Better

The 2018 Volkswagen e-Golf comes with a very similar warranty offer, but the battery on the vehicle is covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. That’s even better coverage and ensures that drivers get a long lifespan out of the vehicle without running into any serious problems. As the owner of the e-Golf, you’ll be able to rely on Volkswagen to make sure that your EV is running properly. The e-Golf is one of the most popular EVs on the market today, mostly because of its excellent 100+ mile range, and this offering will just help to make it even more popular in the future.

More Volkswagen Models as Well

On top of the new warranty enhancements, Volkswagen is hard at work releasing additional models as well. VW said that it will focus on the SUV side of the market more, because that’s what Americans want, but the automaker is also going to release two new vehicle models every single year from now on for many years to come. The automaker already announced a new Jetta for next year, and there are going to be plenty of additions to follow as well.

Overall Volkswagen is really stepping up its game and many new buyers are going to be heading over to a nearby Volkswagen dealership in order to take advantage of the very generous warranty program the automaker is now making available.