AD #1464 – Three Honda Civics for Paris, Power-to-Weight Showdown, 2015 VW e-Golf

September 24th, 2014 at 11:52am

Runtime: 8:06

- Honda Rolls Out Three Civics for Paris
- Power-to-Weight Showdown
- Chrysler 200 Google Factory Tour
- 3D Printing Brings Customization for Consumers
- Seat Time: 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf

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Welcome to Autoline Daily. I’m Rod Meloni from Local 4 here in Detroit filling in for John. In today’s episode Honda shows off some fresh skin ahead of Paris, we compare some of our favorite muscle cars and a look at Volkswagen’s first electric vehicle.

But lets start off with a reveal from Honda that will make its debut at the Paris auto show. The Japanese automaker is showing off the refreshed versions of Civic and Civic Tourer models as well as the introduction of the new Civic Sport. The Civic and Tourer feature a new front fascia with new headlamps and the hatchback models get a new rear fascia with LED taillamps. The interior will get new materials, but perhaps the biggest upgrade comes in the form of an all-new Honda Connect infotainment system. As for the Civic Sport, which unfortunately is only for the European market for now, it’s powered by either 1.6-liter diesel engine or a 1.8-liter gasoline unit. Unique features include a rear spoiler, lower grille and 17-inch wheels. And speaking of Paris, Autoline will be hitting the floor of the show next week, so you won’t want to miss out on that.

Dodge just threw down the gauntlet with its 707 horsepower Hellcat. Now everyone in the business wants to beat that number. But as Autoline has been arguing for years, the power-to-weight ratio is a much better indicator of performance than just citing horsepower figures. So we picked out some of our favorite American muscle cars to compare their power to weight ratio. Any car with less than 10 pounds per horsepower is going to perform really well and all of the following cars beat that. The new Mustang GT with the 5 liter V-8 has 8.5 pounds per horsepower. The Camaro Z/28 comes in at 7.5 pounds. Then comes the Dodge Challenger Hellcat with 6.2 pounds, the Corvette Z06 with 5.4, and the Dodge Viper with 5.2. Of course there’s more to the story. Tires, gearing and aerodynamics also play a role. But how many pounds each horsepower has to push around tells the best story.

Car Engine Weight (lbs) HP Ratio (lbs/hp)
Mustang GT 5.0L V-8 3,705 435 8.5
Camaro Z/28 7.0L V-8 3,837 505 7.5
Challenger 6.2L V-8 4,439 707 6.2
Corvette Z06 6.2L V-8 3,524 650 5.4
Viper 8.4L V-10 3,366 645 5.2

Working in this business we get to see and go to places the average consumer never will. One such place is an automotive factory. The whole process is really something to behold, but now thanks to Chrysler and Google Maps you can hop inside our world and take a factory tour. It’s a virtual experience that’s available on laptops and mobile devices which allows users to get a up close view of the assembly process for the 2015 Chrysler 200 at the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Michigan. Just click the headline in today’s transcript to get all the information and if you’re on YouTube you can click the Autoline Daily icon at the top right of the player screen which will link you to our website and today’s transcript.

Recently we’ve been telling you how 3D printers will help automakers manufacture cars but they’ll also be a benefit to consumers because the printers will allow car owners to easily customize their cars. David Darbyshire from DASI Solutions, which sells 3D printers to manufacturers, tells Autoline that “The next generation has a better computer skill set that lends itself to doing 3D parametric designs, and they’re going to be just hitting ‘Print’ and slapping that on their car.” If you want to learn more about the future of 3D printing in the auto industry check out our latest Autoline This Week on our website or YouTube channel.

On Monday we challenged you to come up with clever names for nail polish inspired by cars. We’re borrowing the idea that Ford came up with to launch a limited edition nail lacquer collection in commemoration of the new Mustang. We’re already getting some pretty crazy submissions, so keep them coming and make sure to include what vehicle your color choice goes with. We’ll select the most clever one and the winner will win this Ford Mustang nail polish color collection.

Coming up next, a look at Volkswagen’s first electric vehicle.

The 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf is a 4-door hatchback electric vehicle, which competes against the Chevy Volt, Ford Focus EV and Nissan LEAF. Starting price comes in at just over $34,000 including destination charges. Power is fed from a lithium-ion battery pack to an 85kW electric motor and it has a range of 70 to 90 miles on a single charge.

The e-Golf is Volkswagen’s first foray into the EV segment and rides on the automaker’s modular platform, better known as MQB. And because it rides on the scaleable architecture, engineers were able to mount the battery pack under the rear seat with the motor and transmission under the hood, so the interior volume remains the same as other Golf hatchback models. A few unique touches have been made to the interior to distinguish the e-Golf from other models, like blue accent elements, but perhaps the most noticeable change is to the instrument cluster. The tachometer has been replaced with a power display that indicates if the car is on and ready to go, if the regenerative braking is charging the battery or if power is being sucked from it, as well as available output. As with the new Jetta, I wish the display screen was a little bigger because it can be hard to see details with navigation on. The exterior also gets unique blue accent badges, unique aerodynamic 16-inch wheels and LED headlamps, which is also a first for Volkswagen.

Driving the e-Golf reminds me a lot of the Fiat 500e. Both have the battery pack mounted under the vehicle, so it gives the car a low center of gravity, which lends itself to better handling. Although, like the 500e, you can feel the added weight of the battery pack when going over bumpy roads. There are also 3 driver selectable e-modes and 3 regenerative braking settings, so you can select how the car will drive depending on your mood for that day. When I had the car in the most eco-friendly mode with full regenerative braking, I only used up 7 miles of battery life on a 20 mile drive loop. Overall I like what Volkswagen did for its first EV. It took one of its most popular and best looking vehicles, added an electric powertrain for people that looking for an EV and allow them to select how they want the vehicle to drive on any particular day.

The e-Golf will only be sold in ZEV states and will be hitting those dealer showrooms late this year.

Thanks for that report Sean. And don’t forget to tune into tomorrow night’s Autoline After Hours. The crew will be out in San Diego, California for the media launch of the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Guests include Tony DiSalle, the VP of Marketing for Buick and GMC; Jeff Luke, Chief Engineer for Global Full-Size Trucks and Anita Burke, the Chief Engineer of the Colorado and Canyon. If you have any questions about the trucks these are the people that can answer them. So get your questions in early, just send us an email at or you can tweet us at

But that wraps up today’s show. I’m Rod Meloni from Local 4 in Detroit. Thanks for watching and have a great day.
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26 Comments to “AD #1464 – Three Honda Civics for Paris, Power-to-Weight Showdown, 2015 VW e-Golf”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    As a child of the 60′s Muscle Car era, and having owned (and still own) several representatives of that bygone era, I have to admit that the GOOD OLD DAYS…are right now. The current mainstream car can keep up with most of the old performance vehicles and the hot cars of today are simply amazing.

  2. jonathan Says:

    I agree with Tony. Performance enthusiasts have never had it so good. Power to weight rules and get the hellcat halo s the whole dodge brand. Affordable and insane power levels.

    I still prefer corvettes yet 707 Ho is still of the chart cool…


  3. RumNCoke Says:

    #1 & #2 – Right On! Some days you just don’t want to figure out what’s wrong your with your carburetor or pray that your 60′s era brakes will give you more than one good stop. Still – hot nights and old bombs are pretty cool.

  4. Lex Says:

    The VW e-Golf and Fiat 500e are great examples of how Automotive Manufactures should tactical the electrification of the automobile. Take a mainstream highly recognizable model and convert it to an electric. Tesla is a whole other story for the present. High Volumn OEM’s should take the least costly path to bring lower cost electrics to the average motorist.
    When electrics are 25K or less you will see greater adoption. I am still waiting to see GM put voltronics powertrain into the Equinox or Terrain. These would sell much better than the Volt or Spark-EV IMHO.

  5. Lex Says:

    I love the look of the Buick Envision over in China. Will this look become the basis for the next generation Chevy Equinox, Captiva or GMC Terrain?

  6. w l simpson Says:

    I’m holding out for a constant duty linear gen,
    small batt pack.
    My Terrain is the most satisfying & practical mode of trans I have owned in my 60 odd years of owning , driving & wrenching, even tho it’s a low mileage rebuilt airport rental. ,<g

  7. HtG Says:

    Mmmmmm, good

    Sounds like the Autoline crew will be eating quite a bit of airline food.

  8. Drew Says:

    John and Rod – From Monday you asked which cars I’d assign to my nail polish submissions. here is my answer:

    1. Nail Head Lead Foot (graphite gray) clearcoat metallic – 1955 Buick Roadmaster Riviera (get it – nailhead V8).
    2. She’s the Boss (blue) clearcoat metallic – Mustang, of course, in recognition of all those great Boss models – historic and recent – even though no Boss Mustang should ever be a “chick car”.

  9. HtG Says:

    Thanks for the report today, Rod

  10. RonE Says:

    Isn’t the Viper still a V-10?

  11. HtG Says:


    I’ve been flung around a short track in an M3 by an angry instructor. That was a feeling that can best be described as obscene. If anyone can really hook up 700hp, I hope they hit something soft.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10, Yes

  13. John McElroy Says:

    @RonE and Kit: Thanks for the correction, our bad. We had V-8s on the brain!

  14. Mike Says:

    Power to weight ratio explains a great deal about British sports cars. An MGB might have had roughly 100 hp to move it’s 2000 pounds. Not on a par with the Hellcat, but still a lot of fun and not nearly as pricey either. Put a Buick 215 V-8 with headers into it (200hp+) and it gets even more funner. There is one sitting in my garage.

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    Too many lines and words for another e-car no one is gonna buy, have yet to see one single e-Focus or e-500 in my travels, yet I have seen a bunch of Tesla models around these parts.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    #8 “you could have had a V8″

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4, ” I am still waiting to see GM put voltronics powertrain into the Equinox or Terrain. These would sell much better than the Volt or Spark-EV IMHO.”

    If they could do that, and sell it for the price of a Volt, they would probably sell pretty well. The trouble is, with the extra weight and drag of those CUV’s, to achieve the range and performance of a Volt, they would need a much bigger battery, and a bigger motor/power train. Would people want to pay $70-80K for an Equinox with that power train? Probably not many would.

  18. John McElroy Says:

    #15 – Not sure where your travels take you, but remember that the Fiat 500e is only sold in California and Oregon.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 continued…

    If BMW or Mercedes sold the same CUV, it would probably sell like hotcakes at $80K. Such is the value of “brand equity.”

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    I stand corrected, Sir, however I have seen more Teslas then even Leafs or any other EV, I guess it is a rich man’s toy after all. And we do have a lot of them rich folks around here.

  21. Brett Says:

    Here in Daytona, just from my daily commute of 6.5 miles, it looks like we’ve got about three Mitsubishi e-cars, four or five Chevrolet Volts, two or three Nissan Leafs (“Leaves”?) and three or four Tesla Model S.

    And one gorgeous Aston Martin DB9 that I saw this past Sunday on I-95, southbound near the LPGA Blvd. exit moving at a good clip in the hammer lane. :)

  22. HtG Says:

    The other day I saw a Leaf screwing up highway traffic by driving the speed limit. As I got by, I noticed a little sticker proclaiming that it was Car of the Year. Whooopie dooo

  23. cwolf Says:

    I’m sure many would enjoy watching the assembly of the Chrysler 200. Actually, GM will soon be following suit,yet, will show the process for most of their models. These assemblies were even given a title for this series; It will be named “Sudden Recall” in light of GM’s 67th recall(and growing) for the year! Sorry T.B.

  24. T. Bejma Says:

    Real ELR owner talks about his vehicle…

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23, I have no problem with recalls. The problem is when cars are not recalled When they should be, like the early 80′s X cars with rear brakes that locked causing spinouts on slick pavement.

  26. DH Says:

    >>>” I saw a Leaf screwing up highway traffic by driving the speed limit.”

    Curse those law-abiders.
    They should be ticketed.