AD #1402 – No Golf GTD for U.S., Harley Reveals Electric Bike, 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco

June 20th, 2014 at 11:48am

Runtime: 8:14

- VW Picks TN to Build New SUV
- No Golf GTD for U.S.
- Harley Reveals 1st Electric Bike
- Which Car Colors Retain the Best Value?
- 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco
- Motor City Masters

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. Coming up, we’ll take a look at Harley’s first electric motorcycle, we’ll also tell you what car colors hold their value better and in the second half of the show we’ll get a behind the scenes look at a new reality TV show about car design. But first we start with Volkswagen.

A few months back we reported that VW was playing hardball with the state of Tennessee over getting the state to come up with a package of incentives to build a new SUV at its Chattanooga plant. Tennessee reportedly pulled those incentives off the table when it looked like the UAW would organize that plant. VW then said it could build the SUV in Mexico. But now reports out of Germany say Tennessee was the first to blink in the stand off and will provide VW with an incentives package worth around $300 million, to build that SUV in the Volunteer State.

And in other VW news, on last night’s Autoline After Hours, Oliver Schmidt from VW of America had a few product announcements for the U.S. market. He said the company would not be bringing its diesel version of the GTI, called the GTD here to this market. The concern is that the two cars are so close to one another in performance that the GTD would end up stealing sales away from the GTI. However, Oliver did say the Golf GTE will be headed to our shores. It’s a plug-in hybrid that combines a 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder with a 80 kW electric motor. And if Oliver can be believed, he says it performs better than either the GTI or GTD. There’s plenty more of great information from that show and you can check it out at our website, or head over to YouTube, just look for the Autoline Network.

A few months ago Yamaha unveiled a couple of electric motorcycles that will go on sale in 2016. And now one of the most unlikeliest bike makers introduced its own EV motorcycle. Harley-Davidson revealed its first electric bike called Project LiveWire. While it’s not for sale, the company plans to use customers to ride the bike to get their feedback and see if it lives up to being a Harley. The company will hit up 30 dealerships around the U.S. now through the end of the year to get consumer reactions and then will head to Canada and Europe next year to get more rider feedback. But we want to know what you think, should Harley build an electric motorcycle? Please leave your answers in the comment section below.

We know that paint colors like silver or black sit on dealer lots for a shorter amount of time, but did you know that other colors hold their value better. According to a study done by iSeeCars, colors like yellow and orange depreciate at a lower rate than either silver or black. Yellow does the best and depreciates at an average of about 26% over 5 years from the original price, black is the worst at just over 34% while the average is a little over 33.5%. That means if a car’s original price was $20,000, it would be worth $1,500 more after 5 years if it were yellow compared to the average. It may just be that there aren’t many yellow or orange cars out there, so someone is willing to pay more to get that color but it’s still kind of surprising to see.

A number of automakers have released high mileage versions of some of its models recently and now Hyundai is the latest. The company just introduced a more efficient Sonata for 2015, called the Sonata Eco. The car is powered by a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder that’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Its estimated fuel economy is 28MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway which translates to a combined average of 32MPG. That’s 10% more efficient than the base engine. The Sonata Eco has a starting price just over $24,000, which is about 2 grand more than the base model.

Sometimes a racecar’s throttle sticks wide open and you have to shut the car off, but what if this happens at 100 miles-per-hour and you forgot or didn’t know to take out the steering wheel locking pin that locks the steering when the key is shut off? That’s just one of the many great tips that Mark Stielow, the chief engineer of the new Camaro Z/28 offers up in his book called Pro Touring. If you would like a chance to win a copy all you have to do is answer a simple question: Towards the bottom of our homepage is my Autoline Garage about A/C repair, what do I say that you should almost never put into your A/C system? Once you got it, send your answer to

Coming up next, a look at a new reality TV show centered all around car design.

Next week an all-new reality show focused on car design kicks off called Motor City Masters. On Autoline This Week John is joined by three participants from that show and in the following clip contestant Camilo Pardo, the designer of the Ford GT, shares what it was like being on the show.

(Today’s ATW preview is only available in the video version of the show.)

If you would like to learn more about Motor City Masters, you can watch that entire interview right now on our website, Autoline .tv. And the show debuts next Tuesday on TruTV at 10PM.

But that’s it for today’s show, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.

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32 Comments to “AD #1402 – No Golf GTD for U.S., Harley Reveals Electric Bike, 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco”

  1. RS Says:

    Electric Harley: No, I would miss the pipes!

  2. XA351GT Says:

    Not really feeling a Electric “Harley” . No problem if they built it under another brand name like they did with Buell. Major factors need to know about is Weight and range . Batteries are heavy and smaller batteries would mean a shorter range in my basic thinking. I’m no electrical engineer ,but that is what I would guess would be the result.

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    An electric Harley would be a commute bike or around town bike only; figuring a forty mile range (though I don’t know what Harley will offer) would be about right for go to work people. At least forty miles range should service a 95 percentile (I would think).

  4. Jon M Says:

    I think it’s a very risky move for H/D to make an electric bike. I’m sure that is why they’re letting customers try it first. It’s hard to imagine die hard Harley riders lusting after an electric bike, even if it could mimic the beloved sound of a Harley. As far as I’m concerned, no thanks. And if no other reason, the advantage of a loud bike is that if other (often distracted) drivers don’t see you, they’ll at least hear you.

  5. J Hundertmark Says:

    To maintain there position as a major motorcycle manufacturer I believe H-D should offer an electric motorcycle to compete with others out there. It will be interesting how H-D does capture their traditional (potato-potato) sound they once attempted to patent.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    There is an electric motorcycle already being sold:

    They claim 171 miles of “city” range, and 88 miles at 70 mph with the biggest available battery. That is impressive, if it’s real, and would work for 90+ percent of the riding I do.

    As far as Harley selling an electric bike, if it weren’t for the failure of Buell, I’d think it would make sense, and current Harley riders might buy one as a second or third bike. I thought that about Buell, though, and it didn’t work out that way.

    As far as the “advantage” of Harleys (with the mufflers removed} being loud, yes, people hear them, which is why most of the non-riding population dislike motorcycles, and some of the riding population wish there were law requiring effective mufflers on all vehicles. I wish motorcycles had horns that worked. Prudent use of a horn will provide the same notice that you are there, without making riders go deaf quickly, and without annoying a lot of people any time a motorcycle is nearby.

  7. Bradley Says:

    Electric Harley, yes great idea. These bikes will appeal to a different customer base, commuters.

    I really don’t understand the problem if the VW GTD takes sales from the VW GTI. Are they built in two different factories (i.e. one in Mexico and the other in Deutschland)? Therefore one benefits from NAFTA and the other doesn’t?

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7, If the total sales of both would be about equal to current GTi sales, VW would be better off selling just the GTi.

    Yeah, I think U.S.-bound Golfs, including GTi will be built in Mexico with the new generation, and the GTD is probably built in Deutschland, or somewhere in Europe.

  9. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Buell,he was a successful aftermarket builder of road rockets with his own frame design but used a harley crate 74ci,(1200cc’s), sporty engine/trans.Harley bought buell,they didn’t invent it,just the engine trans.

    As for the electric harley,why not? If someone wants one they will buy it,if no one wants one,it will fade quickly.The only advantage I can see with it,given the crowd I rode most of my life with,is being able to get out of town stoneass drunk and not make any noise doing it.Thems wuz th’ daze….

  10. William Says:

    No electric Harley. Nothing good about an electric motorcycle with “Harley Davidson” anywhere on it. If they want a new division with a new name that loses money fine. Have at it.

  11. Jon M Says:

    Is it safe to assume that the GTI typically has a higher profit margin than the GTD would? The sales the GTD could potentially “steal” from the GTI go on the same P&L statement; therefore, I can only guess that it’s a matter margins.

  12. Buzzerd Says:

    electric Harley why not? it shouldn’t alienate there present customers and might open the door to new ones. It might even drag some of the present cusotmers into the 21st century- kicking and screaming.
    Ah yes the old loud pipes saves live nonsense. The only way loud pipes saves lives is it gets bikes banned from areas people are sick of hearing them.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9, I agree, why not with the electric. It shouldn’t cost much to tool for an electric Harley, assuming they can buy the powertrain hardware the same place Zero, or others get it.

  14. I.M. Buell Says:

    Actually the Harley prototype is probably the nicest looking of all the e-bikes…but what would their owners chrome?

    But seriously, H-D selling an e-bike would delute their image although that’s not the only issue. The biggest problem with Buell was H-D corporate didn’t know how to work with Eric Buell to make the best bike at a reasonable cost, H-D didn’t know how market the bikes, sales persons didn’t know that customer so they couldn’t sell them and the repair facilities didn’t like working on them. Heck it took H-D forever to go to that new fangeled electronic gizmo called “fuel injection”!

    So the question isn’t “should they” the question is “can they”…for any lenght of time.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13, The only Harley I’ve had was a Buell Cyclone, I think the cheapest Buell, other than the Blast.

    Yeah, they didn’t market Buell very well, and the regular Harley sales people didn’t seem to know much about them, or want to know much about them. Maybe they would have done better selling Buell at Honda dealers, rather than with Harleys.

  16. w l simpson Says:

    I wager it will be a rebadge, not an inhouse.
    Clean lines, exposed gonads.

  17. David Sprowl Says:

    HOOOOLLD on THAR! I thought throttle’s NEVER stuck. That it was ALWAYS operator error. Now we have a manufacturer telling us it happens?

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You can be pretty sure that if an electric Harley is sold, the power train will be purchased, and the same as used in other applications, whether motorcycles, golf carts, or something else. The technology for motors and electronic controls is so mature, that even though electric cars are built in very small numbers, the power train pieces are already almost commodity items like starters and alternators.

  19. MJB Says:

    I think electric Harleys are a fantastic idea!

    In fact, if only Polaroid had thought along those lines (getting ahead of the curve by adopting the technology of the future instead of continuing to rest on the laurels and nostalgia of their illustrious past) they wouldn’t have been swallowed up and put out of business by the digital photo industry they kept ignoring.

    DISCO, baby!

  20. avlisk Says:

    An electric Harley feels like colorizing CItizen Kane. There are a few who just don’t understand the sacrilege who will watch it, but the original is still there for the purist.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19, Harley’s customers are mostly aging baby boomers, so yes, they need to prepare for the future. The future may be harder to predict than it was for photography, but I suspect electric bikes will be a part of it, maybe a significant part. I would be much more likely to buy an electric bike than an electric car, because most of my trips on two wheels are within the range of machines already on the market.

  22. Richard Tait Says:

    I’m in no way shape or form a fan of Harley-Davidson. In fact, I hate ALL of their products. This electric bike is just yet another product of theirs that churns my stomach. I think it’s time they truly step into the 21st Century and build some sport bikes for a change. The 1900s are over, in case they haven’t noticed.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22, They tried sport bikes with Buell. Yeah, they were sport bikes with low tech Hsrley engines, but would Hayabusa buyers have bought them, no matter how good, or fast they were? Probably not. For now, HD probably needs to come up with some three wheelers with big V twins for the current customers who soon won’t be able to handle big, heavy motorcycles.

  24. h rogers Says:

    yes electric HD

  25. C-Tech Says:

    I believe the problem Harley will run into introducing an electric bike is trying to sell it to their traditional customers. Yamaha offers a wide range of motocyles so an electric one slots right in. Harley is known for a narrow range of bikes sold exclusively through their stores. If I were at Harley I would consider making this an independent line and test market through other dealers.

  26. C-Tech Says:

    I believe yellow or orange cars are worth more because usually a yellow or orange car is a special edition, most likely with more options. A hugger orange Camaro gets more bids than a sliver one. A yellow bumble bee Camaro is worth more than a black Camaro.

  27. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Found another article on the potential Harley electric; range at 53 miles, power more than their 883 (i.e. Sportster, small engine), and their bottom line, “Surprisingly it doesn’t suck” Here is a link: Certainly not a traditional Harley but perhaps a new road for Harley.

  28. Bill Gray Says:

    Bad Fade, No Electric Harley’s please.

    I do love the overall look of the bike and the mono shock is a nice touch.

    Put a killer motor in it!!!

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26, It almost sounds like they deliberately made it noisy. A brushless electric motor is nearly silent, but the article seems to indicate significant noise, probably gear noise. I think I’ll wait and see what Yamaha comes up with. My guess is that they will try to minimize the gear noise.

  30. cwolf Says:

    The Harley EL would be neat to experience. Perhaps following in the model S footsteps, which the Leaf and Volt may follow,by adding larger battery options could rein in more interest.Because driving distance seems to be the bigest concern, maybe offering a side car or one of those small tow-behind carrier bins with an extra battery pack hidden beneith would be a possibility to extend Harleys range.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28, Maybe the Harley electric should emulate the Volt, and have a gas engine so you’d have unlimited range. You’d need an engine large enough to maintain a steady speed of maybe 85 or 90 mph, and can use remaining battery for acceleration. Probably 25 hp would do it. A small, high revving engine would do it with the least weight, but it wouldn’t sound like a Harley.

  32. MJB Says:

    22. That, sir, is the exact same train of thought that keeps getting environmentalists feet stuck in their collective mouths when they make the same arguments against pickup trucks and SUVs – as if the only people who buy cars are people who share their view of what types of vehicles are prudent, needful and desirable by the masses.

    I must agree in part with you (I’m not a fan of the ‘old dog’ styling of most of their lineup) but there are still plenty of folk out there who are fans.