AD #2330 – VW Jetta Driving Impressions, California Ready to Compromise, Hub Motors Breakthrough?

April 11th, 2018 at 11:21am

Runtime: 6:45

0:29 VW Ousts CEO Matthias Mueller
1:07 California Ready to Compromise
1:41 Tenneco Acquires Federal-Mogul
2:27 CES Teams Up with Paris Auto Show
2:53 Buick Teases Velite 6 In China
3:35 Hub Motors Breakthrough?
4:53 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Driving Impressions

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30 Comments to “AD #2330 – VW Jetta Driving Impressions, California Ready to Compromise, Hub Motors Breakthrough?”

  1. Jim Haines Says:

    Is it true that all VW’s come with a case road flares and AAA Towing memberships

  2. Albemarle Says:

    I’m not convinced this hub motor is a breakthrough. 35 lbs is about twice the weight of a normal wheel and tire, quite a bit of extra unsprung weight.
    Didn’t Autoline have an article a bit ago about a 2 wheel add-on EV system that could make any vehicle awd? I would think this would be easier to get to work than 20 extra pounds of unsprung weight in each wheel.

  3. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Agreeing with Albemarle, and especially if you appreciate the handling/responsiveness/etc. as reported today about the new Jetta. 35 pounds, at the corners, while fine for general utility driving will be sorely lacking (for the enthusiast) or even the normal driver when needing to get directional change quickly/confidently.

  4. Bruce Melton Says:

    Re: Hub motors – My concern would be requirements for very good seals to keep water out of the motor and gears. Will this require a special wheel balancing machine and weights to deal with this system. The drive motor system must be able to sustain harsh punishment of our wonderful roads and curbs. A pot-hole could cause major damage to the drive system with slight “physical” damage to the wheel, itself. Center-mounted drive motors w/half-shafts and CV-joints are currently a reliable technology with only a slight penalty in rotating mass.

  5. Drew Says:

    Coincidentally, I visited a VW dealer yesterday jut to kick tires. While I appreciate your comments about the dynamics of VWs, I found the interior material selections to be very off-putting… lots of cheap plastic on the door trims, console and instrument panel. Sean, does the new Jetta fix this?

  6. Kit Says:

    The way to make electric motors small, light, and inexpensive for their power output, is to spin them a zillion rpm. It looks like this Orbis setup is a step in that direction. Still, an extra 35 pounds of unsprung weight per wheel is a lot for a Civic-size car. Also, as Bruce indicates, It could be a difficult thing to keep the water, dirt, and road salt from destroying the motor and gears.

  7. MJB Says:

    #4 – Agreed. I can’t imagine these things having the fortitude needed to survive a single season of average Michigan road conditions. Forget snow and ice, I’m talking about potholes and such…

    Sean, I second your one critique of the new Jetta. It IS stodgy. I know VW is just keeping the design ‘familiar’ for their longstanding consumer base, but they really do need to break out of the box they have created for themselves and add more expression to their sedans.

  8. MJB Says:

    #7+ …An extra body panel crease here and a fold there is simply not going to get it.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    Tenneco which evolved from the Tennessee gas and oil pipeline and at one time owned case farm and tractor equipment and still owns Monroe shocks, Walker exhaust and Moog. All of which are huge aftermarket suppliers. So is federal mogul so will be interesting to see how that’s all split up

    Electric hub seems like a great breakthrough for the next generation space rover. Not so sure it’s a practical solution for cars that have gone the way of expensive alloy wheels just to drop a few lbs on unsprung weight.

  10. Brett Cammack Says:

    I think that there are sedan customers who will appreciate an understated style that doesn’t shout “Hey! Look at me!”

  11. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    10..I agree with you evaluation of the Jetta. I find it very refined and classy. I know most people want a more flashy exterior design but true sedan buyers will like this very much. If our versions on some european cars gave us the choice of higher quality interiors, I think they would sell even better. My only concern with VW is reliability and engines being too small.

  12. MJB Says:

    #10 – Very true indeed. In which case, VW is right where it needs to be.

    However, one day they will feel the need to succumb to the pressure to change – just as ‘boring’ Lexus finally did a few years ago – and their understated consumer base will scatter to the likes of …. Hmmmm, I don’t think there’s a stodgy brand left.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From my fairly recent experience, VW’s aren’t nearly as bad as people let on. I had a 2004 TDI Jetta wagon for about 70K miles, and had no trouble with it. When I sold it, diesel fuel cost about 35% more than regular gas, so I didn’t really save money on fuel cost, but it drove pretty well, for having only 100hp. It was a 5-speed manual. I’m looking forward to seeing the next generation Golf wagon, the current name for what was once Jetta wagon.

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I seem to remember some years ago,right here,we had this same discussion over hub mounted electric motors.

    The consensus was that the unsprung weight,which oem’s try to keep to a minimum,would be thrown out the window. Thus affecting handling.

    I see no point in rehashing,or trying a different approach that creates the same problem.Nice try,but no cigar.

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Different topic (disregard if not affected), Grand Prix television coverage: for those that watched the disappointing Australian GP coverage then watch Bahrain (oh so much better, and commercial free), ESPN has announced that the rest of the Grand Prix season will be presented commercial free. And wow, what a difference it makes.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I missed the Australian GP broadcast, but watched Bahrain. I liked the NBCSN guys better, but I thought the ESPN broadcast was good, and I couldn’t believe it was ad-free. That was great.

  17. Lex Says:

    I have the solution for California! They should mandate EV’s for everyone and place high registration fees on those drivers who want to keep their ICE powered vehicles. This would only be for passenger vehicle registrations.

    VW could then take all those diesel powered buckback vehicles parked all round the country and convert them to pure electrics for sale only in California. This would solve both of those issues, first concerning air quality and the second on what to do with all those buy-back VW’s waiting for a new owner.

    Maybe Elon Musk could lend a hand in the converting those Diesel powered VW’s to Pure EV. That would be a excellent way to utilize the battery output of his Tesla Giga Factory.

  18. BobD Says:

    Sean, on your comment, “But if VW can convince shoppers to come in and take test drives the 2019 Jetta can sell itself.” I suspect most people will agree that VW can engineer nice performing cars. The “selling” issues are not the vehicles themselves, but more to do with upfront costs and their dealer system.

  19. Len Simpson Says:

    http://wardsauto.com/engines/ring-drive-suggests-future-ev-powertrain I want these on my Nissan ePower which will have a 48 volt batt & an eng/gen power train— kiss kiss kiss I am very comfortable in this rut , even tho i’m too old to see it come to fruition. Started learning the trade in 1945 , washing parts ,age 13

  20. JWH Says:

    F1 Broadcast comments – While I did not watch F1, I believe commercial free is a tremendous benefit for the broadcast. I remember so many racing broadcasts where they break to a commercial & when they return lead has changed & viewers have no clue why. The last couple of years I’ve been watching MotoGP on BEIN Sports, & they do not have commercial breaks during the race. Commercials are run prior to race & after (generally interspersed during podium rider interviews & the podium ceremony. I give BEIN Sports credit for their coverage.

  21. Lisk Says:

    California’s EPA’s regs vs. the Feds is something that’s been going on for decades and for the most part the the nation has caved. It hasn’t been all bad. The air is cleaner and despite what seems to be crazy regulations, things still get done and people still want to live there. We’ve proved we can usually meet their standards and when it’s obvious we’re not going to, the standards relax. I think rather than spend all the time and money fighting and lobbying, why not agree to their proposed standards?

    The hub mounted motors would be perfect in a perfect world where the regen brakes would be 100% reliable. If the friction brakes could be eliminated, the 35 pounds would almost be a scratch.

  22. DonWagner1239 Says:

    Looking forward to the hearing the 2019 Jeep Cherokee story. Have had my Overland for 2 weeks. Still can’t understand why the “Normal duty” suspension is so rough. Michigan roads really show what I mean. My 2017 Dodge Journey GT AWD with “High Performance” suspension is softer. Even a previous 2015 Trailhawk wasn’t so punishing.

    There have been comments recently about the lack of color choices for current vehicles. You should check this web site: http://colorchipcuda.wellbornmusclecarmuseum.com. I remember reading about this some time ago. I believe that there really is a ‘Cuda painted with all of those color stripes in the museum. I had clicked on each color (makes the cars that color) and saved the results to one of my Pictures directories. Fun to do a Slideshow and watch the colors change.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Ward’s Auto article shows what could well be the perfect application for the ring motor, a scooter. The “hub” can be an integral part of the swing arm, and also, these vehicles don’t normally encounter the dirt, water, and road salt that many 4 wheeled vehicles have to deal with.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 That is cool, but the color names seem to be wrong. I remember “plum crazy,” “hemi orange,” “citron yella,” and “green go,” or similar names. Maybe I’m thinking of Dodge names, though, and Plymouth names for the same colors might have been different.

    Anyway, that is a cool site, with the ability to show a car with all of those colors, when about all you can buy now, is black, white, and five shades of grey.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 Does your Jeep have big wheels with very low profile tires? That could make it ride harder than your 2015, if it had smaller wheels and taller tires.

  26. DonWagner1239 Says:

    Kit: Yes, it has 19″ 50 series wheels/tires. Bridgestone Dueler M/L Alenza Plus. Before writing to Mr. Selbert for the show, I need to reduce the pressures to the 33 psi shown on the door jam. Shows 39 to 40 now compensating for winter temps. Still, SE Michigan, especially Oakland County, is notorious for bad roads and, as I see it, the “cow pie” method of filling pot holes to make for man-made washboards. Oh, the Journey also has a 50 series 19″ combination, with Kumho A/S tires. The Trailhawk had Firestone Destination A/T tires, 60 series, 17″. More cushioning I suppose.

    Thanks for looking at the ‘Cuda colors. The code is the real descriptor. I had a couple of Rally Reds and I think the sought after B5 Blue may have been the EB5 of old. Higher the number, the darker the shade, up to 10. See TX9 black.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 I like it that they seem to cycle through some of those old colors on the current Challenger. The paint has gotten better, though. I remember the Plum Crazy paint falling off of ’70′s cars only a couple years old, but it seems to be doing fine on the new ones.

  28. RS Says:

    Could the “hub” motor(s) be mounted inboard to eliminate the extra pounds of unsprung weight? It would have the same logic as inboard disc brakes as used on a lot of race cars

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    28 Something like that makes sense, only instead of some kind of compromised motor-gear arrangement, you make the most efficient, cost effective motors possible, gear them properly, and use half shafts to the wheels. What a concept.

  30. Marshy Says:

    Sean, you gave us no new info re the hubs other than weight. As mentioned above, the seal is going to be a tough nut to crack. 100k and some car wheel bearings go. Imagine the cost to replace your drivetrain.

    Thermals on the motor weren’t addressed. The modern small drive units get hot and need cooling.

    The brake arrangement wasn’t discussed.

    Vibration at the wheel will be a killer on the motor components.

    Cheers!

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