Reader’s Rides: Luis’ 2006 A3 2.0T

Compiled by: AudiWorld Staff This A3 represents a well-done set of modifications which works with the vehicle’s already appealing design rather than trying to overwhelm it. No real performance modifications have been added (yet), but the …

Facts About Audi’s Seventh Le Mans Victory

Many interesting facts and figures concerning Audi’s 2007 win June 17, 2007 Quotes After the Race at Le Mans Team officials and drivers weigh in on the race Audi Stays in the Victory Lane at Le Mans Seventh success for Audi in endurance …

Facts About Audi’s Seventh Le Mans Victory

INGOLSTADT, Germany – Audi prevailed with TDI power for the second year in succession at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. For Audi, it was the seventh win from nine starts in the French long-distance classic. At the same time, Audi presented the …

Volkswagen R32 Sales Already Hit 1/5 of Total Units to be Sold

Volkswagen of America announced that it has already sold almost 1,000 units of its motor-sports inspired 250-horsepower 2008 Volkswagen R32 hatchback. That number of units sold already comprises one-fifth of the allotment of the 5,000 R32s that are bound for the US., noted Volkswagen. And the exciting part is that the Volkswagen R32 hasn’t even arrived in showrooms, and it won’t be for a few more months.

The pre-sale of nearly 1,000 units of the 5,000 coveted cars was the result of an exclusive pre-sale offer to current-model GTI and R32 owners, Volkswagen said. The news is that the R32 will have an MSRP of $32,990 upon arriving it showrooms.

Volkswagen also slipped some details about the launch of their R32 models in US. The car, as usual, will be available in metallic blue, which is its signature color. It will also be in tornado red and come 2008, two new colors will be added, which is candy white and united gray. The launching of Volkswagen’s new model was actually a bit delayed as when they announced the US launch of the R32 during the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, they said it would be on August. However, when asked now about the R32’s launching, they’d just say that it would be on fall.

It could be noted that shortly after the market debut of the 2004 RS, it sold out. The R32 has a 3.2L V6 engine that can deliver 250 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. And Volkswagen is proud to announce that it could accelerate from zero to 60 in 6.4 seconds.

Fed-Ex Laptop Bag

Really, why should I spend tons of money on a laptop bag that has likely been shipped from china, when I could create a low-impact, high-strength, water-proof laptop bag out of shipping materials already arriving on my front doorstep?

Instructables has an awesome tutorial on how to turn three laptop bags a little bit of felt into an awesome, camouflaged, protective case for your laptop. You will, however, need a sewing machine…or just lots of time to sew by hand. So the project is a bit out of reach for me. But I’d almost pay for one of these things. It looks surprisingly cool. Just don’t get it confused with the rest of your shipping.

via LifeHacker and Instructables

See Also
Bagel Spindle

New Shape-Shifting Personal Wind Turbine

Ben Storan just won first prize in BSI’s 2007 Sustainability awards for his design for a shape-shifting, vertical axis personal wind turbine.

The device works very much like the Quiet Revolution wind turbines. The design is less efficient than Quiet Revolution turbines, but much more efficient than other turbines marketed toward homeowners. Plus, this new way of building turbines has other advantages as well.

First, the simplicity of Storan’s design will bring down the costs significantly from other similar personal turbines. Though, were still looking at a fairly expensive energy appliance.

Second, Storan’s turbine can change shape, much like an umbrella, so that it produces the maximum amount of electricity at a wide range of wind speeds and can also be folded up, much like an umbrella, during extremely strong winds. Other turbines have to be locked in place, or even taken down during severe storms.

Beyond Ben’s £3,000 award, we can hope that he’ll begin marketing and selling the design for big bucks in the near future.

Via TreeHugger and BSI

See Also:
Loopwing Personal Wind Turbine
Big Ideas in Small Wind

$1.72 Billion: The Cost of Over-Night Computers

Thirty percent corporate computers are not swtiched off at night. Or so says  a study from 1E, a power management software company.

And the cost of that over-night computing? 14.4 million metric tons of CO2 and $1.72 Billion.

Now, we should keep in mind that this study was done by a company trying to sell power management software, but these numbers are real, and so is the problem. Though, I will say that, in most places in America, there is excess power being produced at night anyhow, so saying that this resulted in an increase in greenhouse gasses is ultimately incorrect.

However, it has resulted in an almost 2 billion dollar gift to the fossil fuel-based power generation industry.

People see shutting down the PCs, or even putting them into sleep mode, as simply too much trouble. This was something that Vista was supposed to tackle, but it unclear what kind of impact Vista’s new power management features have had.

Of course, 1E also calculated the massive energy savings that could be achieved by installing their software…Up to $75 per PC. We wish that people weren’t so lazy, and that they could hibernate their own machines, but if it takes proprietary power management software to get companies to stop wasting all this energy, then I’m behind 1E in their efforts.

And if you want to save that $75 with some free software, check out CO2Saver.

Via Greener Computing

See Also:
Local Cooling
Snap CO2 Saver

Solar Beach Tote

Looking for some fun in the sun, but can’t bear to leave your Treo behind? The Juice Bag Solar Beach Tote
will soak in the rays and charge your phone, camera, iPod or other
electronic device while you ironically administer your sunscreen. Utilizing the removable 12" x 12" (30 x 30 cm) flexible solar panel will power up any device that can charge through a
"Universal CLA/Car Charger Female Socket" – those things we used to
call "cigarette lighters".

 Power Rating Specifications:

  • Power 6.3 Watts
  • Voltage, 16.6 Volts
  • Current, 0.325 Amps
  • Solar Panel Weight 0.45 lb.
  • Solar Panel Size 12 x 12 x 0.1 inches

Don’t start dreaming about taking your laptop to the beach just
yet – they need about four times as much output to work reliably. If
you’re brilliantly light skinned like most geeks, you might be able to run a 6 watt Linutop by laying next to the bag and using your body as a solar reflector…maybe.

all you early adopters out there, nothing says "Geek Cred" quite like
producing your own electricity while communing with nature. Look for
these to become wildly popular when they cost a lot less than $250.

via BoingBoing

See Also
Solar Powered Back Pack
Solar Powered Briefcase
Solar Messenger Bag

Volkswagen Passat Estate Tops Towcar Awards 2007

The Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 4Motion has been awarded the Overall Winner in the inaugural Towcar Awards 2007. Volkswagen proved itself worthy of the award as it was able to beat 50 other cars that were also tested for the competition. It was voted and judged by experts from What Car?, Practical Caravan, and The Camping and Caravanning Club.

50 cars participated in UK’s biggest and most extensive towcar testing program. These cars were put through their paces for their towing ability and other things as well such as driving performance when not towing, practicality, value for money, and their safety – and these were some of the criteria for the judging process.

Also, these cars were tested to help buyers choose the right match for their caravans or trailers. There were five categories for by kerbweight(the unladen weight with all alowances for a driver and fuel). Those who won in each category are the following:

Category – Model – Retail Price – What Car? – Target Price

Up to 1425 kg – Volkswagen Golf 1.9 TDI Match – £16,067 – £15,168
1425-1574 kg – Volvo V70 D5 SE – £28,815 – £25,931
1575-1724 kg – Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion Estate – £22,337 – £21,256
1725-1900 kg – Audi Allroad 3.0 TDI Quattro Tiptronic – £36,925 – £34,448
Over 1900 kg – Land Rover Discovery TDV6 HSE Auto – £43,812 – £40,890

These cars within their categories were greatly recommended:

Best Budget Buy – Kia Rio 1.5 CRDi LS
Best Compact 4×4 – Land Rover Freelander 2.2 TD4 HSE
Best large MPV – Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi Ghia
Money-no-object – Range Rover TDV8 HSE

Green Award – Kia Cee’d 1.6 CRDi LS

“After five days of intensive testing, the Volkswagen Passat Estate emerged as a clear winner. It makes great sense whatever you’re towing, but just as crucial are its abilities in everyday driving and the fact that it’s a sound ownership proposition,” said Steve Fowler, Editor of What Car?

Editor of Practical Caravan, Carl Rodgerson said, “Choosing the right towcar is a tricky business as a car dealer is hardly going to pop a towball on the back so that you can go for a spin with your caravan or trailer. These Awards are designed to remove that uncertainty by putting all the leading models through Britain’s most comprehensive towcar test programme. An excellent car doesn’t automatically make a great towcar but you can be confident that the winners of the Towcar Awards are brilliant all-rounders that offer value, practicality and economy as well as superb towing ability.”

Cars that earned a thumbs up from the road testers from What Car? are the only ones who were selected for the week-long test program. As much as they are good with towing, these cars also got to be good to drive solo and to live with.

These vehicles were put through a series of devised tests for acceleration and braking, hill start, maneuverability, practicality, and stability and these tests all took place at the Motor Industry Research Center(MIRA) in Warwickshire.

Director for Marketing and Communications for The Camping and Caravanning said, “It is essential that consumers have all the relevant information at their fingertips in order to make an informed decision about the purchase of a new vehicle, especially when a considerable amount of money is at stake. This awards programme is the largest of its kind and is instrumental in opening up the minefield of information about not only the best cars for towing but also the best all round vehicles. The Club welcomes the results and is thrilled to be part of these awards.”

Volkswagen Transmission in China Awards Timken

Volkswagen Transmission Shanghai Co. Ltd. awarded the Timken Company the 2006 Excellent Supplier Award for their supply of needle roller bearings to Volkswagen Transmission. Timken is proud to receive that as there were only two suppliers to win the award.

Timken’s Wuxi plant in China began to work with Volkswagen in 2003 and its business with Shanghai has grown fast with their annual sales doubling between 2005 and 2006. “From the beginning, Timken has been dedicated to serving Volkswagen globally, including in growth markets like China,” said Kevin Raketich, general manager of Timken’s Asian automotive business. “Timken engineering, sales and manufacturing teams are positioned throughout the world to meet the needs of our global customers wherever they operate,” Raketich added.

The Timken Company also supplies the German-based Volkswagen AG with their products such as needle and tapered bearings for transmissions and needle bearings for finger followers, which are engine valve train components, aside from its business with Volkswagen Transmission.

Volkswagen Transmission asked for assistance in the reduction of bearing noises which were caused by another supplier’s products, and it was the engineers from the Timken Company who helped formulate a solution. Timken serves their customer’s local operations with much attention to service and this was what made Volkswagen system performance improve. Also, as part of their commitment to helping Volkswagen, they held annual evaluations in their Wuxi plant to hear the suggestion made by Volkswagen. The suggestions were mostly about service improvements and products. The plant also takes part in the customer quality improvement programs.

The Timken Company first had its advanced technology and innovation in China in the year 1992. They established their Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai and also developed a network of sales offices for the majority of the China region for them to serve local and international customers. Their offices could be found in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenyang, Wuxi, Chengdu, Hong Kong, and Taipei.

They also invested in large scale manufacturing sites in Yantai, Chengdu and three other sites in Wuxi. They were also able to establish logistics and industrial service centers for them to meet the needs of Chinese customers. Asides from these ventures they made, they also opened a specialist engineering training facility for the owners and engineers in China. Its goal was also to share technology and knowledge with their Chinese customers.

Volkswagen Transmission in Shanghai is a joint project between Volkswagen AG and two other leading China car manufacturers – Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation and First Auto Works. This venture manufactures the transmission for a number of well-known models of Volkswagen in China, including Bora, Golf, Polo, and Octavia.

Audi Goes Green with A2

I have been thinking about investing in a hybrid because I do quite a bit of traveling and the Toyota Prius was one of the options. However, I just read via eGMCarTech that Audi is coming out with a more fuel-efficient A2 and will unveil it in 2009. Pretty exciting news for Audi enthusiasts – especially those of us who are following this “green” movement, eh?

Of course, it’s not as glamorous as the A8 that I have my heart set on, but nonetheless it’s still a cute car and won’t chug-a-lug all that gas!

Read more about the A2 over at Motor Trend…