For the first time in 2011, the Volkswagen Touareg mid-size SUV will be offered with a hybrid engine. The gas-electric drive hybrid engine was developed jointly between Volkswagen and Porsche to save on production costs. Adapted versions of the engine will be used in the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid and the Audi Q7 SUV.
Volkswagen has long featured efficient diesel engine. 2011 will be its first year offering a hybrid engine option. Volkswagen’s TDI engine is one of the most efficient engines on the road today, allowing buyers to affordably purchase a quality, highly fuel efficient diesel power car. The Volkswagen Jetta TDI gets nearly 40 miles per gallon in combined driving. The Touareg has been offered with a diesel engine for much of the model’s life. For 2011, the Touareg will offer a 3.0-liter diesel V-6, with 225 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The Touareg is also offered with a 3.6 liter V-6 gas engine, which has 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque.
The Touareg’s hybrid engine will be mated to a 333-horsepower, 3.0 liter supercharged V6 engine, which is used in the Audi S4 sedan. In addition to a 47-horsepower electric motor, the Touareg hybrid will have a combined 380 horsepower. It will use an eight-speed transmission. The model is anticipated to get combined mileage of at least 29 miles per gallon. This engine will replace the Touareg’s gas V-8 engine offering.
The vehicle features stop-start functionality, which turns the engine off when stopped instead of idling. Up to a speed of 31 miles per hour, the engine can run on electric power only. Once at road or freeway speeds, the V-6 will shut down and run on electric power only unless acceleration is needed. Once released, the 2011 Touareg should offer one of the best hybrid engines on the road.
Mazda is expanding its line up, bringing its diminutive Mazda2 subcompact to the North American market in time for the 2011 model year. Based on the same architecture powering the all-new Ford Focus, the Mazda2 is its own beast and will likely appeal to Mazda3 enthusiasts, itself by far the best selling model in the Mazda fleet.
In addition to sharing the same platform, the Mazda2 and Ford Fiesta share front and rear wheel bearings, front bumper strut mounts and the front sway bar and links, according to Automotive News. Beyond that, everything in the Mazda2 is unique to that vehicle.
Originally launched in 2007, the Mazda2 has been on sale in Japan, Australia and Europe, winning numerous car of the year awards and accolades since then. Powered by a 100 horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the Mazda2 is available with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
Among the standard features included are 15-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers, all-season tires, matching body color door handles and power mirrors, air conditioning, power windows and locks, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with four speakers, audio auxiliary jack, tilt steering wheel, remote keyless entry system, rear window wiper/washer and 60/40 split fold-down rear seats.
Optionally, customers can add a rear bumper guard, wheel locks with the touring package only, all-s floor mats, cargo net, center console with armrest and auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass. Speaking of the touring model, that car will include upgraded cloth seat fabric, 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, rear roof spoiler, chrome exhaust tip, leather-wrapped steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, trip computer, and an additional two speakers.
Seating is for four passengers, with 100 cubic inches of cabin space, while the cargo area offers 13.3 cubic feet, more than doubled when the rear seat has been folded down. Read the rest of this entry »