Episode 1076 – Connected Car Threat, Audi’s Plug-In Hybrid, VW’s Hot Hatch Diesel

February 21st, 2013 at 11:27am

Runtime: 8:11

The FCC is considering selling off more of the Wi-Fi spectrum in the United States and that has automakers worried. Audi will be pulling the wraps off its version of a plug-in hybrid next month at the Geneva Motor Show. The Golf lineup just got a little bigger with the introduction of Volkswagen’s Golf GTD. The D stands for diesel. All that and more, plus Autoline Daily correspondent Sean McElroy takes a ride in Acura’s replacement for the RL.

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. Coming up later in the show we have the results of our latest poll where you tell us about what you can and cannot live without in your car. But first let’s get to the news.

TESLA REPORTS EARNINGS
Tesla reported its fourth quarter earnings for last year. It sold 2,400 cars and took in $306 million. But not all that income came from selling the Model S. Tesla says $12 million came from work it’s doing for Mercedes-Benz, and an undisclosed amount came from Toyota since Tesla is making electric versions of the RAV4 for Toyota. Tesla lost $90 million for the quarter, and Wall Street doesn’t seem to know what to do with the company. Tesla’s stock is up 16 percent so far this year, but Merrill Lynch just downgraded it from neutral to underperform.

CONNECTED CAR THREAT
The Federal Communications Commission is considering selling off more of the Wi-Fi spectrum in the United States and that has automakers worried. That part of the spectrum, the 5 GHz band, is the part that automakers want to use for vehicle-to-vehicle communication. The connected car, as it’s commonly known, offers to dramatically improve automotive safety by making it almost impossible for cars to crash into each other. The FCC is aware of automakers’ concerns but says it wants to expand Wi-Fi technology and increase Wi-Fi speed.

AUDI UNVEILS PLUG-IN HYBRID
Audi will be pulling the wraps off its version of a plug-in hybrid, the A3 e-tron next month when it makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. It uses a 1.4-liter gasoline engine that puts out 150 horsepower mated to a 75 kW electric motor that pushes it to 60 MPH in 7.6 seconds. The e-tron version really looks no different from the gasoline A3, a sporty looking 4-door hatch. Audi currently has no plans to build the A3 e-tron, but is clearly testing the market. Plug-in hybrids have a bad rap right now for having a higher price tag and not delivering enough fuel savings to justify that higher price. And you can be sure an Audi version would not be cheap.

VW’S HOT HATCH DIESEL
The Golf lineup just got a little bigger with the introduction of Volkswagen’s Golf GTD. The D stands for diesel. It is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out 184 horsepower and 280 foot-pounds of torque capable of propelling the Golf to 60 MPH in 7.5 seconds with the standard 6-speed manual transmission, a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. The sporty hatch looks like it is the diesel version of its gasoline-powered counterpart, the GTI. We here at Autoline think the GTD would look great rolling down any street in America, but unfortunately there are no current plans to release it here. The GTD will get its first public showing at the Geneva Motor Show next month and should hit European showrooms by June.

IT’S THE WEI WANG 360!
There sure are a lot of people with a lot of knowledge in the Autoline audience. Two days ago we showed you this picture of a dinky microvan that was shot on a trailer in Michigan. We had no idea what it is. But Tman knew. He told us that this is an extended version of the Wei Wang 306. It’s made by BAIC, which claims it can seat up to 8 people and is powered by a 1.3-liter engine. Thank you Tman for telling us what is is, but I sure would love to find out who brought it to Michigan (probably some automotive supplier) and what they’re doing with it.

Speaking of how smart you all are, we’ve got the results of our latest poll, and boy did it generate a lot of attention! We asked you to choose what feature in your car you could live without if you had to choose between the heater, the air conditioning or the radio/sound system. Only 9 percent of you said they could live without the heater. 25 percent of you said you could get by without any air conditioning. And 66 percent of you said they would give up the radio or the sound system. I’m amazed. I did not expect these results. I thought most people would get rid of the air conditioning.

Coming up next, we’re going to take a look at the all new Acura RLX.

2014 ACURA RLX
(Video and interviews for the Acura RLX can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

Thanks for that report, Sean.

Before we go don’t forget to tune in to Autoline After Hours tonight where our guest will be Charlie Hughes, the former head of Land Rover North America who has an extensive automotive background. We’ll be talking all about branding and who’s doing a good job with it as well as those who are not. Join me and the Autoextremist Peter De Lorenzo for the best insider opinions in the business.

And that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

64 Comments to “Episode 1076 – Connected Car Threat, Audi’s Plug-In Hybrid, VW’s Hot Hatch Diesel”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Damn,that VW GTD looks great.Too bad it won’t be available here (so what else is new).Kit,that is just what your wanting isn’t it?

    John,us regulars on here will keep surprising you,so keep coming up with the polls.

  2. ColoradoKid Says:

    A bit of Thursday Morning pleasantries ;

    A well written essay on the effect architect Frank Lloyd Wright had on the future of the automobile in his day along with mention of the cars he owned/drove

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/automobiles/09wright.html?pagewanted=all

    ———-

    TESLA – Honestly at this point Marchionne almost looks good in comparison to the Paranoid Android delusional Elon Musk . And thats a frightening thought . Celebrating LOSING $90 million saying much about Elon’s lack of grip on reality.

  3. Bradley Says:

    Acura, I have hard time getting excited. Simply because the Integra and TSX were very popular cars. Their formulas were simple, but Acura killed each.

    Yes, I know there is a current TSX, but it is too big.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #1,
    Yep, I’m sure I would like the GTD. It would be a lot of fun, and should get good mpg, even with the 2.0 TDI that is hopped up compared to the 140 hp sold here now.

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Had the current poll been regionalized, I’m guessing the results would have been quite different (at the differently polled regions). When I lived in N.J. I’d have probably chosen to give up the A/C; in S.C., no way.

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Kit: Even I would drive the hell out of that sexy looking VW.What a great design.You see it here fist my friends,FINALLY a CAR that makes me drool.Oh hell yeah….

    PS: Is a roll cage on the option list? Just wonderin’..

  7. ColoradoKid Says:

    G.A.

    Yeah that GTD does look the business on paper … but don’t go getting your shorts up in a knot over it as like my dreamboat … the 2004 Chevy Nomad concept coming into being …. well …. there’s nary a Bats Chance in Parma ( Ohio ) of either ever happening ;-)

    And lest we forget in our excitement . The GTD is still a VW … with all of VW’s multitude of problems and foibles as part of the package .

    btw ; Yes a roll cage can be had for the Golf via VW- Motorsports

  8. Lex Says:

    @ #3 – Bradley, I agree with you about Acura.
    I love the current MDX, however the MDX Concept shown at the 2013 NAIAS looks simply like the current RDX on Steroids. The current RDX is getting mediocre reviews from the automotive press and Consumer Reports. Bring back the RSX or add a ILX coupe. Acura styling is becoming more blander based upon these new products.
    I am not a fan of the RLX headlights at all!

  9. HtG Says:

    2 It’s utterly impossible to overestimate FLW, except in the vertical axis.

    Charlie Hughes tonight? Dear GOD, what will I wear? That guy knows from marketing.

  10. Lex Says:

    Speaking about EV’s and Hybrids, I would lease a Chevy Volt at $250 per month especially since I have a 30 mile round trip daily commute to work. I just can not justify anymore than that a month based upon pure economics. If Boeing is having trouble with it’s battery packs how safe would I feel with a vehicle in my garage stuffed with batteries and charging all night long.

    The EV will be the dominate powertrain in the distance future when the onboard power storage device far more stable and compact.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Integra is the only Acura I ever gave any thought of buying, because it was kind or sporty, and it was sold in the U.S. as a hatchback.

  12. ColoradoKid Says:

    The original Acura NSX

    Now that …. was an Acura worthy of the ‘ premium’ moniker !

  13. Earl Says:

    That new Acura RLX looks great. I hope they sharpen their pencils as they forgot to on the old RL. Some people at Honda forgot that Hyundai came out with a car in that class called the Genesis. And the bare bones Geneisis comes with a 3.8L direct injection engine and an 8 speed automatic.
    My advice to Honda,get down off your pedestal,adjust your noses to the horizon and sharpen your pencils.Show the industry that you have your mojo back and mediocrity is no longer a part of your DNA

  14. ColoradoKid Says:

    I’ll place odds … assuming I and ALD are still around then …. that within the next five to ten years all EV’s will once again be relegated to the History books ( where they belong ) with highly efficient ICE’s ( gas & diesel ) – Hydrogen ICE’s as well as Fuel Cells being the order of the day

    EV’s don’t work ( in the real world ) Never have . Never will .

    btw Lex … the VOLT is not an EV .

  15. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: Not to worry Kid,it is after all ‘only’ a car…..sigh.But I love the understated elegance,and it’s definite ‘less is more’ styling sans bling.However in real life,I gots ta have off road utility above all else.But that GTD sure won me over.

  16. Bradley Says:

    #12 very true. I remember the first NSX I saw in person. Beyond the obvious items to drool over, I took note of the “Tape-Deck” which I believe was standard all through the 90s. I took that as a sign of commitment to the original design. However, I was appalled that this one had an automatic transmission…

  17. HtG Says:

    I can clearly remember the first NSX I saw. Black. I still hate that guy driving it.

    Honda was matchless

  18. Feldman Says:

    That Acura and the guy who extolled its alleged virtues were both really, really, really LAME.

    This is an outrageously expensive POS that is not even remotely a luxury car, and will sell even fewer units than the… Tesla S, just like the RL before it.

    Acura has lost its way BIG TIME.

    Along with Lincoln they are the two sickest alleged luxury divisions.

  19. T. Bejma Says:

    #14

    You are correct CK, the Volt (like the Fisker) is an Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV).

  20. Feldman Says:

    #17 yes, WAS. not Is.

  21. W L Simpson Says:

    Automotive greek, asian style

    GTDTSXTDIMDXRDXNSXRSXILXRLXFLWALDICEPOSEREV

  22. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Acura (Honda), not bad, but you’ve really got to bring your “A” game if you want to move the needle; not a bad effort but not ‘out of the park’ either. (of course there is something to say about moving the bar somewhat upward)

  23. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #21
    Hey Simpson, I don’t have the cipher code; what gives?

  24. W L Simpson Says:

    EV wise, I reiterate that the most prominent
    type will someday have a small batt pack & a constant speed microturbine gen,w/michelin inwheel motors.

  25. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Micro turbines have come a long way,can run on pump diesel and produce lots of power for a small package.Drawback:Fuel guzzlers irregardless of size.HOWEVER,a small industrial 2 or 3 cyl diesel,that would work just fine,is cheaper to own/operate/and maint.The industrial diesels are set up to run a constant rpm,almost forever.

  26. Feldman Says:

    21 they are obvious

    GTD
    TSX
    TDI
    ..

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    #21

    Hey Simpson ! Ya needs ta add in a few Q’s there to complete the code

    ( thats why you couldn’t suss it out there Chuck G :o )

    —————

    19 Actually … if we’re going to be completely accurate albeit a bit pedantic ….

    Its a Plug In Hybrid ( according to the CA DOT – USDOT – USDE etc etc )

    ——–

    Micro Turbines – The Welsh have perfected them . TATA’s been trying to use them . Neil Young did ( in his Lincvolt ) and the thing blew up on him ( with now Roy Brizio trying to make it work ) and as far as the majors are concerned the Micro Turbine Hybrid is a non starter .

    Which …. is unfortunate because when I first heard about them ( and almost invested in them till TATA took the company I had in mind over …. thank my lucky stars ) they really had me excited . Now ?

    Just another in a long list of Would a- Could a – Should a – aint never Gonna Happen – wishful thinking technologies .

  28. ColoradoKid Says:

    According to a JD Powers survey … here’s what the Gen Y’s are actually buying ;

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/generation-why-j-d-powers-top-ten-gen-y-vehicles-for-2012/#more-478497

    To be honest I’m more than just a bit surprised as to what wound up in the top ten .

    Y’all ?

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28,
    Interesting list. I’m surprised about the Acuras and the Lancer, and maybe the Charger. Charger seems like it would appeal more to people my age, who had, or wanted muscle cars in their youth.

    I’m not surprised about the VW’s, Impreza, and the tC. Those might have been on my list if I were guessing what Y’s might buy, of those who would buy new cars.

  30. ColoradoKid Says:

    Hmmnn . Where is everybody ?

    Anyway Kit it was the Subaru Impreza and the Charger that surprised me as well as the tC being on top of the pile .The old Impreza absolutely …. but the new one ? The VW’s were no surprise at all ( looks like we’re raising up another round of up and coming Europhiles ) and I’m more than a bit surprised there’s so many Acura’s on the list as well .

    What I’m surprised isn’t on the list is any of the Hyundai/KIA twins ( guess their ‘ Hamster Hip Hop ‘ marketing is falling on deaf ears ) the Corolla and the Civic . No GM . No Ford . No Dodge Dart or Nissan , and nary a 500 to be seen .

  31. HtG Says:

    30 over at Joe Saward. Good writer. You think Sutil will lose out over the weekend due to engine supplier concerns? Schade

  32. T. Bejma Says:

    #28

    The Acura’s definitely are surprising. The rest I could have told you without even looking at the list…

  33. T. Bejma Says:

    Ironically CK, I was out this afternoon at a GM symposium for GAMIFICATION.

    Interesting stat – Millenials make up about 11% of new car buyers today. By 2020 it will be 50%!! If you don’t think everyone will be marketing to these guys (thus ignoring everyone else) you are sorely mistaken…

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    These high-power small diesels are even lower rpm motors than I realized. According to Autoweek, the power peak rpm of the GTD is 3500 rpm. I’m pretty sure the power peak was at ~4000 rpm on my 90 hp, 1.9 TDI.

    Here is AW’s take on the GTD:

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130221/GENEVA/130229985?utm_source=DailyDrive20130221&utm_medium=enewsletter&utm_term=image4&utm_content=20130221-VW-Golf-diesel-set-for-Geneva-motor-show&utm_campaign=awdailydrive

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30,
    Yeah, I’m surprised that no H/K’s were on the list.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems that marketing people sometimes, or frequently, are not very good at reading the market for a car. The whole Scion fleet was intended to appeal to young buyers. As the JD Power thing showed, that was the case with the tC, but that has not necessarily been the case with other Scion products. I don’t remember where, but I read that the first gen xB had a very diverse group of buyers, ranging from 20 year old first-time buyers, to 70 and 80 year olds. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since I always liked that car. It was “cute,” and different from everything else, got good mpg, and was very space-efficient.

    Anyway, it looks like the marketeers will not have an easy time figuring out the “millennials” who will soon make up the midsection of car buyers.

  37. rick Says:

    john thats because you live in michigan try giving up air conditioning in the south

  38. Feldman Says:

    I also live in MI and while I rarely use A/C at home, I need it in the car BOTH summer AND Winter, when the windows frequently fog.

  39. Feldman Says:

    #34 I see little diff between 3,500 and ~ 4000 RPM.

    Most of the time I drive my 7 in a leisurely 700 (idle) to 1,500-2,000 RPM, the 5-sp auto box is excellent in shifting and usually I don’t overrule it. Yesterday however I had to drive back and forth to the same place twice (they gave me a defective remote which they replaced cost-free), and engaged the “S” (instead of the “D”) mode (S for sporty), and really gave it the gas, and watched the RPM go quite close to the redline (a bit lelss than 6,000) and the beast became really fast and quick.

  40. Feldman Says:

    #34 saw that article, so your 1.9 is almost the same capacity as the 2.0 and yet it made 90 HP and the 2.0 makes 184 HP. More than twice.

    Both have turbos, right? So what explains the vast HP increase? It sure is not the RPM!

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    39,40,
    I would have expected the the GTD to have its power peak at a higher rpm, because using revs is usually part of how you get a lot more power from similar displacement engine.

    Yep, both are turbos. The 184 hp 2.0 must have a lot more boost, and inject a lot more fuel to take advantage of it. Also, the 2.0 may be 4 valve, but I’m not sure about that.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From what I could find, the 90 hp 1.9 TDI had 155 lb-ft of torque at ~1800 rpm, while the 184 hp 2.0 has 280 lb-ft at 1750 rpm. The torque of the 2.0 is 80% higher, but the torque of the 1.9 must drop off more as revs increase, since the 2.0 has more than twice the power.

    I found that the 2.0 is, in fact, a 4 valve/cyl engine which would help the breathing at that “high” 3500 rpm power peak.

  43. Feldman Says:

    #41

    if they inject much more fuel, then it will be very low MPG when u use the turbo, but when you don’t, you probably could get the advertised #s.

  44. jmann Says:

    Doodes: Re the VW Golf diesel (current or future), hey, those cars are expensive! Can’t see the value over the gas jobs. Slower acceleration and more expensive fuel. Minor fuel cost savings with a performance loss you have to live with daily. Doesn’t add up. Do people think these things through? NOT.

  45. Feldman Says:

    44 You don’t buy a Golf GTD for the fuel savings. It does not drive like a cheap econobox nor is its excellent interior as bad as that of the Hyundai Accent. Just because you don’t get it does not mean that the others that choose it are uninformed idiots.

  46. Feldman Says:

    and what performance loss are you talking about??? with 185 HP and 280 lbft, it will inpire terror in your crude, cheapo and wasteful gas econo-performers.

  47. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma

    #33

    The truly ironic thing ….. and the one thing none of the manufactures or their marketing departments are paying a bit of attention to when it come to the Gen Y’s is ….

    If you really analyze that list …. the ONLY car on it thats been made and marketed specifically TO the Gen Y’s is the Scion tC . Everything else is just good solid transportation created for who ever .

    Even more ironic is that the cars specifically being created and marketed to the Gen Y’s such as the Velotoaster … all the KIA line up etc etc are no where to be seen

    So maybe the lesson all the manufactures need to get thru their thick skulls is ;

    Build a quality good product that anyone can enjoy and perhaps chose to buy and then perhaps They Will Come

    So T . A little ‘marketing ‘ advice should you find yourself in that position ?

    TARGET MARKETING Does Not Work ! *

    Not at least in this cynical day and age

    ( * and that is a proven fact T ,,, currently being touted thru out all the prominent major university business schools – marketing consulting firms etc etc )

  48. Feldman Says:

    Actually, if you figure in the much higher REsale Value retained by the Diesel, it may even make good econ sense to buy one, even in the US where gas is not $9 a gallon…yet.

  49. ColoradoKid Says:

    Kit ;

    re; VW GTD

    I’ve got to say .. the more I’m reading up on the GTD and its stats ( mpg hp etc ) the more IMO I’m beginning to think the GTD is in reality nothing more than a bit of cynical marketing on behalf of VW in order to give the Euro Diesel addicts a bit more pretense of performance with their diesel fix . Like stuffing a diesel in a Cayenne or Panamera I’m ( again in my opinion ) finding the GTD to be more than a bit … Oxymoronic ;-)

  50. T. Bejma Says:

    #47

    Understand and agree CK.

    The presentation I went to, however, was not on designing a car for the Mellenials but creating engaging features and adding game style entertainment to the whole buying experience.

    Like you indicated, making a vehicle specifically for them does not work, but instead make them want to buy the well built, stylish, reliable vehicles we have to offer.

    After seeing some of what we have going on and the partnerships we have in place with companies that really understand and have a proven track record with the Millenials, I think we are definitely heading in the right direction.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    49,
    Yeah, the VW TDI’s hold their value well, and have done so fo a long time. I came out very well when I sold the one I had.

    From my experience, the 1.9 TDI got at least 30% better mpg than the gas counterpart. It was slow, but “fast enough.” The current 2.0 TDI’s perform as well as competing gassers. The numbers on the tach are just lower, since the power peak is at low rpm.

    I would have kept mine longer than the 3 years I had it, but no one knew anything about them. I couldn’t even get the oil changed, except at a dealer.

  52. ColoradoKid Says:

    50

    Not to be contentious or anything T but from what the stats are saying GM’s not doing too well with the Gen Y’s …. at all . In fact in a couple of polls I’ve seen of late GM’s not even on their radar .

    And honestly I can’t see a re-badged PSA etc doing anything for them especially when VW’s got the bunch in their grip (brand recognition and status )

    Engaging features ? Well according to those who know a whole lot more than moi ( professors of marketing etc ) what the Gen Y’s REALLY want is docks etc in order to use THEIR devices …. not devices chosen and installed for them by the manufacture .

    Assuming that to be true ( and the polls/pundits and marketing consultants say it is ) that could save the likes of GM etc a bloody bundle .. not having to create or farm out the creation of a ton of infotainment devices that in fact the Gen Y’s don’t like …. and focusing on the car itself … providing docking options that could be dealer installed at point of purchase .

    Think on that one for a bit T .

  53. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CK, re VW GTD,

    Diesel cars, even high performance ones, have a significant mpg advantage over gas cars. Also, some people like the “relaxed” sound and feel of a high torque, low rpm diesel that makes its power at 4000 rpm, rather than screaming at 6500. As they say, diff’rent strokes.

  54. Feldman Says:

    #51

    In fact a few years ago VW was bragging that its Jetta had the highest retail value of any car in its class (higher than even the Civic and Corolla?)

    At first I found that hard to believe, but it was true, beause, even though Diesels were a minority in Jetta sales and the gas version must have lost much more of its value than the Civic or COrolla, it was the tremendous strength of its diesel resale values that brought the total average Jetta resale (retained) value at the top of its class!

  55. T. Bejma Says:

    #52

    Agree that we are not on their radar, hence the changes. Also, like I stated, we are not looking for that “Hot” vehicle to suck them in, we already know that doesn’t work.

    Part of the setback to not just creating a dock for their devices (we have USB connectors in most vehicles and all of the new interfaces allow iPod control) is the device makers. They are ADAMANTLY against us have control over their device. Yes, it would be simple just to imitate the display of the device and use the processing and features/apps from the device but what it requires is the device makers to open up the control of the device and believe me (we have tried) they WILL NOT give it up at this time.

    Also, when I speak of features I am not talking about the infotainment devices themselves but more about how the user interacts with the device, for example Apps. It was recently announced that GM open sourced the operating system for our infotainment devices and allowed developers to create applications. Soon we will see custom apps being added to the in car system. Developers can create apps that are similar to the phone apps, with of course safety in mind first (don’t want people playing Angry Birds on their dash). Things like Google Maps, Yelp, and text to speech applications to go along with our Pandora and Stitcher apps are a good possibility in the near future…

  56. ColoradoKid Says:

    T Bejma

    Here’s a thought worthy of being presented to the powers that be .

    Instead of a ‘ Dock ‘ which as you said requires a bit of ‘ control ‘ on behalf of the automaker ( which I know all too well Apple aint never gonna give anybody ) ;

    How’s about a dealer installed Dock/Mount … allowing the owners chosen ‘ device ‘ to act as both Screen and Controller ?

    But hold on a minute there T ! It just hit me . Why has Apple given licensing etc for a dock to Mercedes – BMW and BMW MINI and not to GM ?

    I know why they told Toyota where to stuff it …. but I’ve never heard a word as to why they’d turn down GM .

    Any insights T ?

  57. T. Bejma Says:

    CK

    We DO have a USB connection to iPod (not a dock connector – USB = Universal) and they do allow us control of the iPod and access to album art as well, but that is it. If you plugged an iPhone in, you could not access anything except the music player.

  58. HtG Says:

    55,56 fascinating. You mean to say, TB, that Android and MS apps will not be allowed to display in the car? Does this mean that those companies won’t let steering wheel controls interact with an owners device? I need to hear more about this. (may I just praise moi-meme a little for having written here before that it’s owners cutting edge devices that should be in the lead, since a car that’s two or three years old will be laden with yestertech compared to what will be available in the mobile gadget market?)

  59. ColoradoKid Says:

    I think the one thing everyone is forgetting about ( or are unaware of ) when it comes to diesel sales ( in the US and the EU/UK ) is that there is a Cult of Diesel that propels it … more than the actual or perceived benefits ( I’m not accusing you Kit )

    Some folks simply buy a diesel because of the fact that ( in the US at least ) it makes them ‘ Other ‘ or different .. whether or not there’s any benefit to be gained .

    As far as actual benefits … even in the EU/UK their press is now saying that there is little if any overall ~ financial ~ benefit to be gained with a high performance diesel … over its – equal – ( equal being the key word ) performing gas equivalent .

    With the smaller lower performing efficient diesels …. yes the benefits ( in the EU/UK ) are real . But once you throw performance into the mix those benefits disappear rapidly

  60. ColoradoKid Says:

    57

    Thats strange cause in the Benz you have full access to all your iPod iPhone functions … even with the dealer installed dock for the older models . Same with BMW & BMW/MINI .

    So who’d GM PO over Apple way I wonder ?

  61. HtG Says:

    Is the lock out a security issue, TB?

  62. T. Bejma Says:

    #61

    I believe it is part security and part safety. No way the government wants you playing your phone apps on the screen.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The interface in a 2012 Prius has full music playing functions of an iPod Touch connected using the USB port. It only sends the audio signal using bluetooth.

    My 2010 doesn’t have the USB port, or bluetooth. The addition of those features is the main change between a 2010 and 2012 “base” Prius 2.

  64. jmann Says:

    #59 (Colorado): Exactly. Thing is, you cannot argue with a “believer.”