Monday, April 30, 2018

Watch: The I.D. R On Track


By: Sebastien Bell
This week was the Volkswagen ID R’s first as a real life and to celebrate it got to stretch its legs at a track on France’s Cevennes mountain range.
The track is in Ales, driver Romain Dumas’ hometown and it’s where the driver trained for his previous Pikes Peak drives.
With an aero package based heavily on Porsche’s erstwhile Le Mans racer (the French connections keep coming), the 919, VW is making the best of its empire. Dumas should also be comfortable with the package since he raced the 919 to victory in 2016.

Pikes Peak is a particularly good place to show off an electric vehicle because the altitude (on top of requiring the massive aero elements) tends to slow down internal combustion cars near the top.
VW faces its own problems getting to the top, though, since electric vehicles require so many batteries to run quickly. If you saw the car’s horsepower figures earlier this week (680 hp, 480 lb-ft of torque) and weren’t quite blown away, that’s as a result of VW’s need to balance the power supply against the weight of the batteries.
Even with power that setup, it weighs in at more than 2,400 lbs, but VW had some tricks up its sleeve. Thanks to its regenerative braking system, it expects the ID R to generate roughly 20% of the energy it uses while going up the course.
Get ready to watch it go up the hill and try for the electric record in June.


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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Next Golf Getting Mild Hybrid


By: Evan Williams
Volkswagen has announced that the hybrids are coming, starting with a new mild hybrid systemfor the new Mk 8 Golf.
VW is calling the new 48-volt mild hybrid system the starting point for the electrification of its conventional vehicles. It uses a 48-volt belt-driven starter generator and a 48V battery. The system lets the car coast with the engine off at certain speeds and conditions, which VW says saves up to 0.3L of fuel per 100 km. that’s about one-tenth of a gallon per 100 miles.
The new hybrid system also allows more intensive use of the start-stop system, and at higher speeds. That saves more fuel. On top of that, the system adds power and torque to the car, making for improved dynamics from a start.
The starter generator feeds the car’s electrical system when the engine is running, but can recover energy using regenerative braking when the car slows.
Dr. Frank Welsch, the Volkswagen board member for technical development said that “this new product strategy will come into play for the first time from 2019 onwards,” meaning that it will likely arrive with the next Golf sometime next year.


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Friday, April 27, 2018

Spied: 2020 R8 Hiding Under Skimpy Cammo


By: Sebastien Bell
Our spy photographers in Ingolstadt have been hot on the case following a new R8 that’s under development with a few tantalizing details.
Sporting some strategic camouflage, Audi is hiding a facelift that we expect to see for the 2020 model year. A revised bumper eschews the vertical winglets on the air intake and adds a little bit of bodywork under the headlights.
The crease under the passenger doors, meanwhile, appears to sharpen a bit over the current model, and out back the diffusor is a little less aggressive, despite the V10 Plus spoiler.
Most intriguingly, this R8 has oval RS tailpipes, which could easily lead you down a path of conjecture and assumption. So let’s head down the path.
The oval tailpipes, along with the less-aggressive diffusor, has led some to suspect that this is the fabled R8 V6Apparently unperturbed by Audi’s consistent denial, the rumors say that this will bear the RS5’s 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 making something like 450 hp or more.
A new twist on the rumor, and one that we hadn’t encountered until now, is that the car may be powered by Audi’s 5-cylinder TT RS engine making more like 400 hp.
The problem with these rumors is that no matter how good those engines are, the people making the claims seem to assume that the R8’s chassis is as flexible as the rest of the Audilineup. Whereas the MQB and MLB platforms are designed to accommodate numerous engines, the R8 was only really designed to fit a V10 (The Huracan has no other engines that I’m aware of), so re-engineering it to fit either of those engines would be expensive.
Seeing as how Audi has shown itself to be unwilling to spend gobs of money on the R8—a third generation, after all, is currently not part of Audi’s future plans—we feel that either option is unlikely.
What this R8 does appear to have that intrigues us are front tires that are narrower than the rears. This, to us, suggests that this oval-piped R8 is part of the RWS series—a line of cars that Audi Sport has expressed a desire to expand.
With the V10 Plus’s rear spoiler, we would hazard to guess that this is an R8 V10 Plus RWS, though, admittedly, the less-aggressive diffusor would be a reasonably strong argument against that, since rear downforce would likely be at a premium.
Whatever the case, despite Audi’s hesitations about the R8, this test car does at least prove that the R8 will be around for a few more years, and that’s something to celebrate.


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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Watch: A VR12 Golf Does Front and then Rear Wheel Burnouts

By: Sebastien Bell

It surely won’t have escaped your notice that Volkswagen is returning to Pikes Peak for the first time in nigh on 30 years—the last run being accomplished by a twin-engine Golf that ultimately couldn’t make it all the way up to the Peak.
I bring this up only to point out how very difficult it is to get two engines to work together and how very impressed we are that someone managed to do it without the financial backing of one of the world’s largest automotive empires.
But that’s exactly what you see in this video from YouTuber SuicideCRX, who talks to the maker of this twin-engine VR12 Golf.
Admittedly, it sounds like the car has been anything but problem-free.

“It breaks the CV joints, it breaks the axles, it breaks the motor mounts, it breaks everything,” says the guy racing the Golf. “I just keep fixing it. You know, playing whack-a-mole with it.”
Kind of sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, doesn’t it? And yet, people keep trying it, and one of the reasons for that is pulling burnouts at different axles at will. Burnouts that only involve one axle are officially old hat.
The trick is accomplished by cutting power to the throttle bodies of the wheels you don’t want spinning. Then dump the clutch and make everyone else look like an amateur.
Also impressive, though, perhaps less surprising is just how much of a rocket this thing is. On the first quarter mile shown in this video, the little green Golf looks glacial after a poor jump off the line. The car in the other lane takes off. Then, though, the power swells, the tires hook up, and it takes off, finishing the failed pass in just 10.077 seconds at 164 mph, passing the other lane’s muscle car in along the way.
When everything comes together in a second pass, the VR12 makes mincemeat of a Corvette, finishing the quarter mile in just 9.63 seconds.


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