There isn't a lot of sites about that year of that car, but someone claims to be able to get about 26.5 pmg in town with his.
Auto Union was an amalgamation of four German automobile manufacturers, founded in 1932 and established in 1936 in Chemnitz, Saxony, during the Great Depression. The company has evolved into present day Audi, as a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group.
Auto Union is widely known for its racing team (Auto Union Rennabteilung, based at Horch works in Zwickau/Saxony). The Silver Arrows of these two German teams (Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union) dominated not only GP car racing from 1934 onwards, but set records that would take decades to beat.][
Auto Union was formed in Germany in 1932, merging:
In August 1928, Rasmussen, the owner of DKW, acquired a majority ownership of Audiwerke AG. In the same year, Rasmussen bought the remains of the US automobile manufacturer Rickenbacker, including the manufacturing equipment for eight-cylinder engines. These engines were used in Audi Zwickau, Audi Imperator and Audi Dresden models that were launched in 1929. At the same time, six-cylinder and four-cylinder (licensed from Peugeot) models were manufactured.
In 1932, with all companies still losing money, Audi/DKW, Horch and Wanderer were brought together under the umbrella of communal shareholder company Auto Union. Although all four brands continued to build cars under their own names and brands, the technological development became more centralized, with some Audi models employing engines by Horch or Wanderer.
Auto Union Chairman, Klaus, Baron von Oertzen, wanted a showpiece project to announce the new brand. At the 1933 Berlin Motor Show, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler announced two new programs:
At fellow director's Adolf Rosenberger insistence, von Oertzen met with Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, who had done work for him before, and developed his own P-Wagen project racing car based on the new 750 kg (1,700 lb) formula.
German racing driver Hans Stuck Sr. had met Hitler before he became Chancellor, and not being able to gain a seat at Mercedes, accepted the invitation of Rosenberger to join him, von Oertzen, and Porsche in approaching the Chancellor. In a meeting in the Reich Chancellory, Hitler agreed with Porsche that for the glory of Germany, it would be better for two companies to develop the project, resulting in Hitler agreeing to pay ₤40,000 for the country's best racing car of 1934, as well as an annual stipend of 250,000 Reichsmarks (₤20,000) each for Mercedes and Auto Union. (In time, this would climb to ₤250,000.) This highly annoyed Mercedes, who had already developed their Mercedes-Benz W25, which nevertheless was gratified, its racing program having financial difficulties since 1931. It resulted in a heated exchange both on and off the racing track between the two companies until World War II.
Having garnered state funds, Auto Union bought Hochleistungs Motor GmbH and hence the P-Wagen Project for 75,000 Reichsmarks, relocating the company to Chemnitz.
The Auto Union racing cars types A to D were built as Grand Prix racing cars from 1934 to 1939. They resembled the earlier Benz Tropfenwagen, also built in part by Rumpler engineers, The only Grand Prix racers to wear Auto Union's four-ringed logo, they were particularly dominant in 1936. From 1935 to 1937, Auto Union cars car won 25 races, driven by Ernst von Delius, Bernd Rosemeyer, Hans Stuck Sr., and Achille Varzi. Much has been written about the difficult handling characteristics of this car, but its tremendous power and acceleration were undeniable — a driver could induce wheelspin at over 100 mph (160 km/h).
The cars used supercharged piston engines; eventually producing almost 550 hp (410 kW; 560 PS), designed to provide optimum torque at low engine speeds. Rosemeyer would later drive one around the Nürburgring in a single gear, to prove the engine was flexible enough to do it. The fuel tank was located in the centre of the car, directly behind the driver (who would be placed well towards the front), so the car's front-rear weight distribution would remain unchanged as fuel was used — exactly the same location used in modern open-wheel racing cars, and for the same reason. The chassis tubes were initially used as water carriers from the radiator to the engine, but this was eventually abandoned after they often sprung small leaks.
The list of drivers for the initial 1934 season was headed by Stuck; he won the German, Swiss, and Czechoslovakian events, along with wins in a number of hill climbs, becoming European Mountain Champion.
In 1935, the engine had been enlarged to 5 L (305 cu in) displacement, producing 370 bhp (276 kW; 375 PS). Achille Varzi joined the team and won the Tunis Grand Prix and the Coppa Acerbo. Stuck won the Italian Grand Prix, plus his usual collection of hill-climb wins, again taking the European Mountain Championship. The new sensation, Rosemeyer, won the Czech Grand Prix.
Stuck also managed to break speed records, reaching 199 mph (320 km/h) on an Italian autostrada in a closed-cockpit streamliner. Lessons learned from this streamlining were later applied to the T80 land speed record car.
For 1936, the engine had grown to a full 6 L (366 cu in), and was now producing 520 bhp (388 kW; 527 PS); in the hands of Rosemeyer and his team-mates, the Auto Union Type C dominated the racing world. Rosemeyer won the Eifelrennen, German, Swiss, and Italian Grands Prix, as well as the Coppa Acerbo. He was crowned European Champion (Auto Union's only win of the driver's championship), and also took the European Mountain Championship. Varzi won the Tripoli Grand Prix, while Stuck placed second in the Tripoli and German Grands Prix, and Ernst von Delius took second in the Coppa Acerbo.
In 1937, the car was basically unchanged and did surprisingly well against the new Mercedes-Benz W125, winning five races to the seven of Mercedes-Benz. Rosemeyer took the Eifel and Donington Grands Prix, the Coppa Acerbo, and the Vanderbilt Cup. Rudolf Hasse won the Belgian Grand Prix.
In addition to the new 3 L (183 cu in) formula, 1938 brought other challenges, principally the death of Rosemeyer early in the year, in an attempt on the land speed record on a German autobahn. Tazio Nuvolari joined the team, and won the Italian and Donington Grands Prix, in what was otherwise a thin year for the team, other than yet another European Mountain Championship for Stuck.
In 1939, as war clouds gathered over Europe, Nuvolari won the Yugoslavia Grand Prix in Belgrade, while Hermann P. Müller won the 1939 French Grand Prix.
The build up and onset of World War II encouraged the development and production of special vehicles for military purposes in the 1930s. Auto Union became an important supplier of vehicles to Germany's armed forces. Following the outbreak of war, civilian production was interrupted in May 1940. After this, the company produced exclusively for military purposes.
During World War II, Auto Union produced the Sd-Kfz 222 armored car. Powered by an 81 hp (60 kW; 82 PS) Horch/Auto Union V8 engine, it reached a top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) on the road. The Kraftfahrzeug 11 (KFZ 11), or Horch Type 80, was used as a light transport vehicle to shuttle German military officials.
The Auto Union plants were heavily bombed, and severely damaged by fighting in the last two years of the war. The U.S. Army occupied Zwickau on April 17, 1945 near the end of WWII. After withdrawal of the U.S. Army on 30 June, Zwickau and the Saxon plants of Auto Union (Horch plants with Auto Union racing facility and Audi plants) were occupied by the Red Army.
Postwar, the Saxon plants of Auto Union were located in the Soviet-occupied zone of communist East Germany.
In 1945, on the orders of the occupying Soviet military administration, the factories were dismantled as war reparations, while the racing cars found stored in a colliery were returned to Moscow for reverse engineering. Following this, Auto Union AG assets were liquidated without compensation. On 17 August 1948, Auto Union AG of Chemnitz was deleted from the commercial register. The remains of Horch and Audi plants of Zwickau became the VEB (for "People Owned Enterprise") Automobilwerk Zwickau, or AWZ; Automobile Factory Zwickau).
The former Audi factory in Zwickau, now under East German control, restarted assembly of the pre-war models in 1949. Those models were renamed IFA F8 and IFA F9 and were similar to the new West German DKW versions. In time, a lawsuit compelled the East Germans to cease using the DKW brand. The factory went on to manufacture the infamous Trabant until the early 1990s, when it was acquired by Volkswagen, an ironic move since this effectively re-established its connection with Auto Union and Audi.
With the Red Army quickly advancing on Zwickau immediately after the war, and faced with the prospect of trying to salvage what was left of the company Auto Union's executives had no option but to flee and re-establish the company on Western side of the partitioned Germany. Thus a new Auto Union company was launched in Ingolstadt, Bavaria with loans from the Bavarian state government and Marshall Plan aid.
The reformed company was launched on September 3, 1949. Only the DKW brand survived in postwar West Germany, continuing DKW's tradition of producing front-wheel drive vehicles with two-stroke engines. This included production of a small but sturdy 125 cc motorcycle and a DKW delivery van, the DKW F89, also known as DKW-Schnelllaster. Many employees of the destroyed factories in Zwickau came to Ingolstadt and restarted the production.
In 1950, after a former Rheinmetall gun factory in Düsseldorf was established as a second assembly facility, the company's first post-war car went into production: the DKW Meisterklasse F 89 P, available as a saloon and a four-seater Karmann convertible. The van and sedan were based on the DKW F8 and the DKW F9 pre-war constructions.
1958 was a turning point for the company. Firstly, it saw the return of the Auto Union brand, represented by the Auto Union 1000, a small saloon. At the same time the Auto Union 1000 Sp, a stylish coupé model, was produced for Auto Union by the Stuttgart coach builders, Baur. Secondly, in response to pressure from Friedrich Flick, then their largest single shareholder, Daimler-Benz acquired 87% of Auto Union, taking complete control in 1959. The production of DKW motorcycles and two-stroke engines ended almost immediately under Daimler-Benz ownership, who invested heavily in the Ingolstadt plant for Auto Union production, one of the first products of the merged company being the DKW F102 series, which used a Mercedes engine. Auto Union production at Düsseldorf was ended, and the plant became the centre of production for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles - a role which it continues to the present day.
However, as prosperity began to return to West Germany, and as West German products gained valuable currency through export to the rest of Europe and North America, Daimler became increasingly worried that Auto Union's only market for its two-stroke products, without massive investment, would be impoverished East Germany. Two-stroke engines became less popular towards the middle of the 1960s as customers were more attracted to the more refined four-stroke engines. They began selling shares, which with the agreed help of the West German Government, were acquired by Volkswagen.
In 1964, Volkswagen acquired the factory in Ingolstadt and the trademark rights of Auto Union. A programme that Daimler had initiated at Auto Union created a range of cars that would subsequently provide the basis for Volkswagen's line of front-wheel-drive models, such as the Audi 80 and Volkswagen Passat. At the time a new model, internally designated F103, was under development. This was based on the last DKW model, the DKW F102, with a four-stroke engine implanted and some front and rear styling changes. Volkswagen abandoned the DKW brand because of association with two-stroke engines, effectively leaving Volkswagen with the Audi brand. The new model was launched in September 1965 as simply the "Audi." The name was a model designation rather than the manufacturer, which was still officially Auto Union. As more models were later added to the Audi range, this model was renamed Audi 72.
In 1969, Auto Union merged with NSU Motorenwerke AG, based in Neckarsulm, near Stuttgart. In the 1950s, NSU had been the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles, but had moved on to produce small cars like the NSU Prinz, the TT and TTS versions of which are still popular as vintage race cars. NSU then focused on new rotary engines based on the ideas of Felix Wankel. In 1967, the new NSU Ro 80 was a space-age car, well ahead of its time in technical details such as aerodynamics, light weight, and safety but teething problems with the rotary engines put an end to the independence of NSU. The mid-sized car NSU had been working on, the K70, was intended to slot between the rear-engined Prinz models and the futuristic NSU Ro 80. However, Volkswagen took the K70 for its own range, spelling the end of NSU as a separate brand.
After being merged with Neckarsulm car maker NSU Motorenwerke AG the official name was "Audi NSU Auto-Union AG", which was simply shortened to "Audi AG" in 1985, ending Auto Union.
In May 2009, as Porsche gained majority control of Volkswagen Group and proposed a merger of the two companies. In August 2009, Volkswagen AG's supervisory board signed the agreement to create an integrated Auto group with Porsche led by Volkswagen. Volkswagen will initially take a 42% stake in Porsche AG by the end of 2009, and it will see the family shareholders selling the automotive trading business of Porsche Holding Salsburg to Volkswagen. Rumors began to appear in the press that the name Auto Union would be revived for the new group holding company.
The trademark symbol of Auto Union, the four overlapping rings, symbolized the four member companies represented the four marques of Auto Union: Audi, DKW, Horch and Wanderer.
Although Auto Union used the four ring logo, it was only used on Auto Union racing cars in that period, while the member companies used their own names and emblems.
There is also a version of logo that uses both overlapping and interlocking rings.
Auto Union was tributed at the 1999 Monterey Historic Automobile Races.
The Volkswagen Passat is a large family car marketed by German automaker Volkswagen through six design generations since 1973. Between the Volkswagen Golf / Volkswagen Jetta and the Volkswagen Phaeton in the current Volkswagen line-up, the Passat and its derivatives have been badged variously as Dasher, Santana, Quantum, Magotan, Corsar and Carat. The successive generations of the Passat carry the VW internal designations B1, B2, etc.
In 2008, Volkswagen extended its range with the launch of the Passat CC, a "four-door coupé" version of the Passat.
Volkswagen currently markets two variants of the Passat globally. In January 2011, Volkswagen announced that the new mid-size sedan (NMS) being built at the Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant for the North American market would be named the Passat. Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive also manufactures the Passat NMS in its Nanjing factory. The NMS is not going to be sold outside the North American, South Korean, and Chinese Markets.][ A different B7 Passat model is sold outside of these markets. The Volkswagen Passat NMS won the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
Following the Volkswagen Group's acquisition of Audi in 1964, Volkswagen used new engineering expertise to develop a modern front-wheel drive car with a water-cooled engine, and thus the Passat and Golf (the latter being introduced in 1974) were the first of a new generation of Volkswagen cars. The first Passat was developed partly from the Audi 80/Fox and, until 2005, the two shared a history.
During its development phase, the Passat was designated internally as EA400 (Entwicklungsauftrag 400, or "Development Order 400"), and well before its launch, production of the Volkswagen Type 3 at the Wolfsburg plant had been stopped in order to free up capacity for the new car. Wolfsburg was able to ramp up production carefully: directly before Passat production started the lines were used to assemble small volumes of the car's Audi 80 sibling which had been launched a year earlier.
The nameplate Passat derives from the German word for trade wind — and the period in its history when Volkswagen named vehicles after prominent winds, including also Golf (after the Gulf stream), Jetta (after Jet stream), and Scirocco (after Sirocco).
Though numerous sources suggest the Passat nameplate derives from the German word for trade wind, reflecting the period in Volkswagen's history when it named its vehicles after prominent winds and currents (e.g., the Volkswagen Jetta (after the Jet stream), Volkswagen Bora (after bora), and Volkswagen Scirocco (after sirocco), a 2013 report by former VW advertising copywriter Bertel Schmitt, says that — after consulting knowledgeable VW sources including Dr. Carl Hahn, former Volkswagen of America Chief and WP Schmidt, former sales chief at Volkswagen — no conclusive evidence suggests that Volkswagen employed a naming theme for its then new front-drive, water-cooled vehicles; nor that the names trace etymologically to any particular theme, nor that any naming system "was ever announced, either officially or confidentially."
The original Volkswagen Passat was launched in 1973. The body types offered originally were two- and four-door sedans and similar looking three- and five-door versions. Externally all four shared a modern fastback style design, styled by the Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. In essence, the first Passat was a fastback version of the mechanically identical Audi 80 sedan, introduced a year earlier. A five-door station wagon/estate was introduced in 1974. In Europe, the Passat was equipped with two rectangular, two round 7-inch, or four round 5.5-inch headlights depending on specification. The Passat was one of the most modern European family cars at the time, and was intended as a replacement for the aging Volkswagen Type 3 and Type 4.
The Passat originally used the four-cylinder OHC 1.3 l (55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp)) and 1.5 l (75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp)/85 PS (63 kW; 84 hp)) petrol engines also used in the Audi 80—longitudinally mounted with front-wheel drive, in Audi tradition, with either a four-speed manual transmission or three-speed automatic. It had a MacPherson strut front suspension with a solid axle/coil spring setup at the rear.
The SOHC 1.5 was enlarged to 1.6 l in August 1975 with unchanged power ratings and slightly higher torque ratings. In July 1978 the Passat Diesel became available, equipped with the VW Golf`s 1.5 l Diesel (50 PS (37 kW; 49 hp)), followed in February 1979 by the Passat GLI with a fuel-injected version of the 1.6 l engine.
The whole range received a facelift in 1977 (launched 1978 outside Europe), featuring an interior upgrade and subtly revised styling including repositioned indicators and depending on model, either four round or two rectangular headlights.
In North America, the car was called the Volkswagen Dasher. The three- and five-door hatchback and a station wagon model were launched in North America for and during the 1974 model year. Sole available engine was a carburetted 1.5 l inline-four developing 75 hp (56 kW) (or 70 hp (52 kW) in 1975), supplanted from model year 1976 by a Bosch fuel-injected 1.6 l four 78 hp (58 kW). North American cars were equipped with single DOT standard headlights.
In 1978 the Dasher received a facelift along the lines of the European Passat, with quad sealed beam headlights and big polyurethane covered bumpers. The trim was also upgraded and the ride softened. 1979 saw the introduction of the 1.5 l diesel engine, which produced just 48 PS (35 kW) in the 1,130 kg (2,490 lb) car. 0–100 km/h time for the Diesel was 19.4 seconds, 6.2 seconds slower than the gasoline (petrol) engine. All gasoline engines were dropped for North America in 1981 in preparation for the next generation.
In Brazil, the Passat B1 was produced from June 1974 until 1988. Since the Audi 80 was not marketed in Brazil, the Passat received the Audi's different front-end treatment after a facelift for 1979. Originally with a 1.5 liter engine, during its long life cycle many improvements from the B2 platform were later introduced, like its 1.6 and 1.8-liter engines, a Brazil-specific face-lift in 1985, and a five-speed gearbox. A sports version, named Passat TS 1.6 and later Passat GTS 1.8 Pointer was also introduced.
The second generation Volkswagen Passat was launched in 1981. The platform, named B2, was slightly longer and the car's updated styling was instantly recognisable as a Passat, with the most obvious difference being the rectangular headlights. In addition to the Passat hatchbacks and Variants (estate/wagon), there was also a conventional three-box saloon, which until the 1985 facelift was sold as the Volkswagen Santana in Europe. In North America, the Passat/Santana was sold as the Volkswagen Quantum, available in three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, and a wagon model, but the five-door hatchback was never sold there and the three-door hatchback was dropped after less than two years. The four-wheel drive Syncro version was introduced in October 1984, initially only with the more powerful five-cylinder engine.
The Santana was also produced in China, Brazil, Mexico (as the Corsar, from 1984 and 1988) and Argentina (as the Carat between 1987 and 1991). In Brazil, the Santana station wagon was sold as the Quantum. The Passat saloon and estate were produced in South Africa for their local market until 1987.
Like the previous generation, the B2 Passat was mainly sold with four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Unlike its predecessor, however, top-of the line versions received five-cylinder Audi or VW engines of 1.9–2.2 litres. The 5-cylinder version was sold in the U.S. as the Quantum GL-5. In addition to four- and five-speed manuals and three-speed automatic gearboxes, the Passat/Santana was also available with the VW concern's interesting 4+E transmission. This, also called the "Formel E" had a particularly high top gear, which combined with a freewheeling mechanism, provided better gas mileage. An automatic stop/start was also available in some markets. The four-wheel-drive system used in the Passat Variant Syncro shared the mechanics of the Audi 80 quattro and not the Volkswagen Golf Syncro. The Syncro's bottom plate was almost entirely different, requiring a transmission tunnel, a relocated gas tank and no spare tire well (to make room for the complex rear axle assembly). Only the more popular estate was reengineered. Syncro was also available in the North American market, only with the five-cylinder engine.
In 1985 the range received a slight facelift, consisting of new, larger bumpers, interior retouches, a new front grille and new taillights on the hatchback versions. The two-door hatchback was discontinued while the Santana nameplate was dropped in Europe. The saloon's front end was now the same as the hatchback and estate. The North American version, still known as the Quantum, gained European-style composite headlamps.
On March 31, 1988 production ended (although Syncro models continued in production until June) with 3,345,248 built in Germany. World production totals amount to at least 4.5 million units.
The third generation Passat was introduced in March 1988 in Europe, 1990 in North America, and 1995 in South America. The lack of a grille made the car's front end styling reminiscent of older, rear-engined Volkswagens such as the 411, and also doubled as a modern styling trend. The styling was developed from the 1981 aerodynamic (cd 0.25) Auto 2000 concept car.
At the time it was the first transverse-engine layout Passat to be built on a Volkswagen-designed platform, rather than sharing one with an Audi saloon. The car, although designated B3 in Volkswagen's platform nomenclature, was based largely on the A platform as used for the smaller Golf model, but was stretched in all directions. Many components are shared directly between these vehicles. Only 4-door saloon and 5-door estate versions were available, without the fastback option of previous models. It was marketed under the Passat name in all markets; in North America, this was a first.
The fuel-injected petrol engines gave better performance and refinement than the carburettor units previously used. They were mounted transversely, and the floorpan was engineered to accept Volkswagen's 'Syncro' four-wheel drive system. Engine options were the 2.0 litre 16-valve engine in the GL model, 1.8-litre engine in the CL model (not available in North America, all CLs, GLs, and GLSs had the 2.0 16v), The 1.8 8v 112bhp PB engine from the Golf GTi was also used in the Passat GT model. Volkswagen's new 2.8-litre VR6 engine (also used in the Golf and Corrado) in the GLX/GLS model (introduced in 1991 in Europe and 1992 in North America), and the G60 engine (only available on the Syncro model in Canada for the North American market). The VR6 engine gave the top-of-the-range Passat a top speed of 224 kilometres per hour (139 mph). The 1.9-litre diesel engine was also available as an option.
The B3 Passat was heavily facelifted in 1993 and although it was designated B4, it was not an all-new model. The facelift revised external body panels except for the roof and glasshouse, with most obvious exterior change seeing the re-introduction of a grille to match the style of the other same-generation Volkswagen models of the era, such as the Mk3 Golf and Jetta. The interior was mildly updated and included safety equipment such as dual front airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners, although the basic dashboard design remained unchanged.
The car was available with a Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine - an inline four-cylinder 1.9 litre turbodiesel, generating 210 newton metres (155 lbf·ft) of torque at 1,900 rpm, 66 kilowatts (90 PS; 89 bhp) at 3,750 rpm. It carried a U.S. EPA fuel efficiency rating for the sedan of 45 miles per US gallon (5.2 L/100 km; 54 mpg-imp) highway. Combined with a 98 litres (21.6 imp gal; 25.9 US gal) -28 litres (6.2 imp gal; 7.4 US gal) reserve option fuel tank, the B4 TDI wagon had a 1800+ km (1200+ mi) range on a single tank of fuel. The B4 TDI wagon saw less than 1,000 sales in the U.S. during its 1996 to 1997 lifespan.
An all-new Passat, based on the Volkswagen Group B5 platform, was launched in 1996 in Europe, and 1998 in North America. Its PL45 platform was shared with the first-generation "Typ 8D" Audi A4, which was unveiled 2 years earlier, and saw a return to the Passat sharing its longitundinal engine layout platform with Audi's equivalent model for the first time since the second-generation (B2) Passat, which shared its platform with the second-generation "Typ 81" Audi 80/Audi 90 (the A4 is the successor to the Audi 80 line).
The Passat introduced a new design language, first seen on the Concept 1 concept car, for the latest generation of Volkswagens such as the Mk4 Golf, Bora and Polo Mk4. Aerodynamic work gave the B5 Passat a coefficient of drag of 0.27 (saloon model).
The car featured a fully independent four-link front suspension; and a semi-independent torsion beam for front-wheel-drive models or a fully independent suspension on the 4motion 4WD models. 4WD was introduced in 1997 as an option for the 1.8, 2.8 V6, 1.9 TDI and 2.5 V6 TDI engines, using a second-generation Torsen T-2 based 4WD system to minimise loss of traction. The 1.8 litre petrol engine in the Passat and Audi A4 has a lower oil capacity than transverse applications of the same engine (4.6 quarts in transverse, 4.3 quarts longitudinal), and may suffer from oil sludge problems as a result, if not changed at regular intervals with fully synthetic oils. Three transmission options were available: a 5-speed manual transmission, a 6-speed manual transmission (codename 01E) and a 5-speed automatic transmission with tiptronic.
B5 Passat models built after late 2000, also known as B5.5 models, received minor styling and mechanical revisions including revised projector-optic headlights, bumpers, tail lights, and chrome trim.
A 4.0 litre W8 engine producing 275 PS (202 kW) was introduced in 2001 in a luxury version of the car that included standard 4motion all-wheel drive. This engine was intended to be a test bed for Volkswagen Group's new W engine technology, which would later make an appearance on the W12 in the Phaeton and Audi A8, and the W16 engine in the Bugatti Veyron. The engine was discontinued in 2004.
In 2003, a powerful 2.0-litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine producing 136 PS (100 kW) was added (making the Passat the only mid-sized diesel powered car sold in the U.S.). This variant was sold from 2004 to 2005.
A lengthened platform went on to underpin the 'Passat' that was introduced in China in late 1999 by Shanghai-Volkswagen. This long-wheelbase version was rebadged and launched in Europe as the Škoda Superb in 2001. Both have a 100 millimetres (3.9 in) longer wheelbase and length than the standard B5 Passat. An updated version called the Passat Lingyu was released in 2005. This receives the 2.0-litre, 1.8-litre Turbo, and 2.8-litre V6 petrol engines. At the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show, an updated Passat Lingyu was shown.
The B6 Passat was first displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2005, and launched in Europe in the summer of 2005. Unlike its predecessor, the B6 Passat no longer shared its platform with Audi's equivalent model (the Audi A4). Based on a modified version of the Mk5 Golf's PQ46 platform, the B6 featured a transverse rather than longitundinal engine layout of its predecessor, like the previous B3 and B4 generations, which were related to the A2 (Golf) platform.
The transverse-engine layout of the four-wheel drive version, marketed as 4motion, dictated a switch from the Torsen centre differential of the B5, to the Haldex Traction multi-plate clutch. The change to the Haldex system also changes the handling closer to a front-wheel drive car. Compared to the Torsen, the Haldex can direct torque more unequally to the front wheels (from 100:0 to 50:50 front-to-rear bias), thus providing a wider bias range than the 75:25 to 25:75 of the B5 Passat. Haldex is a reactive-type system, behaving as a front-wheel-drive vehicle until slippage is detected, at which point up to a maximum of 50% of the torque can be transmitted to the rear axle. See the Audi-related quattro (four-wheel-drive system) article for more information.
Fuel Stratified Injection is used in nearly every petrol engined version of the Passat, ranging from 1.6 to 3.6 litres (the 1.6-litre DOHC can reach 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 11.5 seconds, and 200 km/h (124.3 mph) for manual transmission versions), but the multi-valve 2.0-litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel is the most sought after version in Europe (available in both 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) and 170 PS (125 kW; 168 hp) variants). In the U.S. market, a 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) 2.0-litre turbocharged I4 is the base engine, or a 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) 3.6-litre VR6 engine as the upgrade, with six-speed manual (only available on the base 2.0 T model) and automatic transmissions. As of the 2009 model year, the VR6 engine and 4motion option were no longer available in the US on the Passat sedan and wagon, but are available on the Passat CC.
In February 2008, the 2.0 FSI was replaced with the new Audi-developed 1.8 TSI engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. The 1.8 T is rated at 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp), 250 newton metres (184 lbf·ft) and reaches 0–100 km/h in 8.6 seconds, reaching a top speed of 220 kilometres per hour (136.7 mph). At the same time the 2.0 TDI engine from the Audi range incorporating common rail injection technology superseded the existing 2.0 TDI units. The common rail technology uses less fuel and is quieter in operation. This engine is part of the wider Volkswagen Group policy for engine sharing.
The Passat Estate won overall winner of Practical Caravans Towcar of the Year Awards 2008 for its array of towing features such as its Trailer Stability Programme.
In Asia, the PQ46 Passat was released by FAW-VW as the Magotan, after Volkswagen's other joint venture Shanghai Volkswagen had decided to continue using the B5 platform for the Passat and the Passat Lingyu (long-wheelbase Passat). Since August 2010 the wagon version of Passat B6 will be offered in Asia, which is a fully imported model. But this car is simply called Volkswagen Variant in China, in order not to refer the name "Passat" or "Magotan".
Exclusive to Europe was a limited edition Passat R36, which featured a 3.6 litre V6 engine. This version of the Passat put out 300hp, and featured dual exhaust tips, an aggressive front bonnet, and All Wheel Drive.
The CC ("Comfort Coupé") is a 4-door "coupé" version of the Passat. It debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Originally aimed at competing with the similarly styled Mercedes CLS, the Passat CC intends to be more stylish and luxurious than the previously released Passat B6. In the U.S., the name "Passat" was dropped, and the car is being sold as "CC". Some options specific to the CC include hands-free parking, lane-departure prevention, intelligent cruise control, and adaptive suspension. Engines offered in the CC mirror those of the regular Passat, with options of the base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, or the optional 3.6-liter V-6, which includes 4-motion all-wheel drive. Although the CC is marketed as a more luxurious Passat B6, it comes in with a lower price tag. While the MSRP of a Passat B6 is $28,300, the CC comes with a base price of $27,100.
The Chinese-made CC was released by FAW-VW on July 15, 2010. Two engine options are provided: 1.8T and 2.0T.
Volkswagen facelifted the Passat CC in late 2011 for the 2012 year with styling updates akin to those of the larger Phaeton. For the updated model, Volkswagen has dropped the "Passat" name for all markets, now matching the "Volkswagen CC" branding used since 2008 in North America.
The B6 Passat was facelifted by Klaus Bischoff and Walter de Silva,][ and was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September 2009. Although designated "B7", the car is not an all-new model. The facelift resulted in new external body panels except for the roof and glasshouse, with the prominent changes to the grille and headlights. Overall height and width dimensions are unchanged from the B6 Passat, while length increases by 4 mm. New features include a fatigue detection system and an automatic "city emergency braking" system. It arrived at dealerships in January 2010.
The interior featured minor detail changes from the B6, although the basic dashboard design remain unchanged.
In India, the B6 version is supposed to be replaced with B7 version. Also the FAW-VW-built Magotan will also be replaced by a long-wheelbase version of the Passat B7. The new model will be exclusive to the Indian market, and at least 100 mm longer than the European B7. The Indian market is also likely to get the B7 which appears to be only a facelift of B6 and not a new platform.
In China, the FAW-VW-built Magotan will also be replaced by a long-wheelbase version of the Passat B7. The new model will be exclusive to the Chinese market, and at least 100 mm longer than the European B7. Engines available for Magotan B7L are ranging from 1.4T, 1.8T to 2.0T, a special-developed EA390 3.0L VR6 FSI engine is opted for the top model.
The North American market did not receive the B7 version and jumped from the B6 straight to the B8 in 2011.
In October 2011 Volkswagen presented at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show the Passat Alltrack. The Passat Alltrack bridges the gap between the passenger VW range and the SUV range comprising the Tiguan and Touareg.
The Passat Alltrack has raised ground clearance from 135 to 165 mm which improves approach angle from 13.5 to 16 degrees, departure angle from 11.9 to 13.6 degrees and ramp angle from 9.5 to 12.8 degrees when compared to the standard Passat wagon. Passat Alltrack is the only VW in the passenger range to offer 4Motion with off road driving programme, the off road system works in conjunction with the ABS, electronic differential lock (EDL), DSG & hill descent assist system to control the vehicle in an off road expedition.
The engine range of the Passat Alltrack comprise of two 2.0L TDI with outputs of 103 kW/140 hp & 125 kW/170 hp and two petrol engines, 1.8L producing 118 kW/160 hp and 2.0L TSI producing 155 kW/207 hp. The TDI models come standard with BlueMotion Technology packages with Stop/Start system and battery regeneration mode for recovering braking energy. The two lesser powered engine variants 2.0L TDI and 1.8L TSI are only available in front wheel drive format with a manual 6 speed transmission. The rest of the range with 4Motion has a 6 speed DSG automated manual transmission, except the 2.0L TDI with 103 kW/140 hp has an option of 6 speed manual.
In 2012 at the New York Auto Show, VW showed a Passat Alltrack with 2.0L TDI 125 kW/170 hp under Alltrack Concept nameplate to gauge response for a future market in the offroad wagon segment.
A driverless version of the Passat Wagon finished second in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge.
Known as the New Midsize Sedan (NMS) before its unveiling in January 2011, this unique larger model designed specifically for the North American market replaces the B6 Passat sedan and wagon for the 2012 model year in Canada, the United States and Mexico. It is also sold in China alongside the Passat Lingyu and Magotan. North American and South Korean models will be built at its Chattanooga Assembly Plant, while Chinese market versions are built by 上海大众汽车Shanghai-VW in 2011.
NAIAS 2013: VAG presented a pre-production concept Passat Performance with 1.8 TSI (250ps)
The Volkswagen Passat NMS won the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year.The 2013 Passat TDI sets new Guiness World Record for fuel economy under the Non-Hybrid car category. It achieved a fuel consumption of only 3.02 liter on 100 Kilometers (77.99 mpg).
The American version of the 2013 Volkswagen Passat made its way to Middle Eastern markets, namely Saudi Arabia, Oman and United Arab Emirates, by the summer of 2012. The 5-seater sedan is available in four trim levels, all with a 170 hp 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission only.
The Volkswagen Beetle, officially called the Volkswagen Type 1 (or informally the Volkswagen Bug), is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. The car was conceived as a cheap simple car, and it was commissioned by Adolf Hitler and designed by Ferdinand Porsche. With over 21 million manufactured (21,529,464) in an air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single design platform, worldwide.
Although designed in the 1930s, the Beetle was only produced in significant numbers from 1945 on when the model was internally designated the Volkswagen Type 1, and marketed simply as the "Volkswagen". Later models were designated VW 1200, 1300, 1500, 1302 or 1303, the former three indicating engine displacement and the latter two being derived from the type number and not indicative of engine capacity. The model became widely known in its home country as the Käfer (German for "beetle") and was later marketed as such in Germany, and as the Volkswagen Beetle in other countries.
In the 1950s, the Beetle was more comfortable and powerful than most European small cars,][ having been designed for sustained high speed on the Autobahn. It remained a top seller in the U.S., owing much of its success to high build-quality and innovative advertising,][ ultimately giving rise to variants, including the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia and the Volkswagen Type 2 bus.
The Beetle had marked a significant trend led by Volkswagen, Fiat, and Renault whereby the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout had increased from 2.6 percent of continental Western Europe's car production in 1946 to 26.6 percent in 1956. The 1948 Citroën 2CV and other European models marked a later trend to front-wheel drive in the European small car market, a trend that would come to dominate that market. In 1974, Volkswagen's own front-wheel drive Golf model succeeded the Beetle. In 1994, Volkswagen unveiled the Concept One, a "retro"-themed concept car with a resemblance to the original Beetle, and in 1998 introduced the "New Beetle", built on the Golf platform with styling recalling the original Type 1.
In a 1999 international poll for the world's most influential car of the 20th century, the Type 1 came fourth, after the Ford Model T, the Mini, and the Citroën DS.
The Beetle featured a rear-located, rear-wheel drive, air-cooled four-cylinder, boxer engine in a two-door bodywork featuring a flat front windscreen, accommodating four passengers and providing luggage storage under the front bonnet and behind the rear seat – and offering a coefficient of drag of 0.41. The bodywork attached with eighteen bolts to its nearly flat chassis which featured a central structural tunnel. Front and rear suspension featured torsion bars along with front stabilizer bar – providing independent suspension at all wheels. Certain initial features were subsequently revised, including mechanical drum brakes, split-window rear windows, mechanical direction-indicators and the non-synchronized gearbox. Other features, including its distinctive overall shape, endured.
Its engine, transmission, and cylinder heads were constructed of light alloy. An engine oil cooler (located in the engine fan's shroud) ensured optimal engine operating temperature and long engine life, optimized by a thermostat that bypassed the oil cooler when the engine was cold. Later models of the carburetor featured an automatic choke. Engine intake air passed through a metallic filter, while heavier particles were captured by an oil bath. After 1960, steering featured a hydraulic damper that absorbed steering irregularities.
Indicative of the car's utilitarian design, the interior featured painted metal surfaces, a metal dash consolidating instruments in a single, circular binnacle, adjustable front seats, a fold-down rear seat, optional swing-out rear windows, front windows with pivoting vent windows, heating via air-to-air exchange manifolds operating off the engine's heat, and a windshield washer system that eschewed the complexity and cost of an additional electric pump and instead received its pressurization from the car's spare tire (located in the front luggage compartment) which was accordingly overinflated to accommodate the washer function.
Throughout its production, VW marketed the Beetle with a four-speed, manual transmission. From 1961 (and almost exclusively in Europe), VW offered an optional version of the Saxomat semi-automatic transmission: a regular 4-speed manual transaxle coupled to an electromagnetic clutch with a centrifugal clutch used for idle. Subsequently (beginning in 1967 in Europe and 1968 in the United States), VW offered an optional semi-automatic transmission (marketed as Automatic Stick Shift and also called AutoStick), which was a 3-speed manual coupled to an electromatic clutch and torque converter.
While the overall appearance of the Beetle changed little over its life span, it received over 78,000 incremental changes during its production.
In 1931, Ferdinand Porsche developed the Porsche Type 12, or "Auto für Jedermann" (car for everybody) for Zündapp. Porsche already preferred the flat-four engine, and selected a swing axle rear suspension (invented by Edmund Rumpler), while Zündapp insisted on a water-cooled five-cylinder radial engine. In 1932, three prototypes were running. All of those cars were lost during World War II, the last in a bombing raid in Stuttgart in 1945.
The Zündapp prototypes were followed by the Porsche Type 32, designed in 1933 for NSU Motorenwerke AG, another motorcycle company. The Type 32 was similar in design to the Type 12, but had a flat-four engine. NSU's exit from car manufacturing resulted in the Type 32 being abandoned at the prototype stage.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler gave the order to Ferdinand Porsche to develop a Volkswagen (literally, "people's car" in German, pronounced ). The epithet Volks- literally, "people's-" had been previously applied to other Nazi sponsored consumer goods such as the Volksempfänger ("people's radio"). There followed, in May 1934, a meeting at Berlin’s Kaiserhof Hotel at which Chancellor Hitler provided Dr. Porsche with more details, insisting on a basic vehicle, capable of transporting two adults and three children at 100 km/h (62 mph) while not using more than 7 litres of fuel per 100 km (22 mpg US/27 mpg UK). The engine must be powerful enough for rapid sustained cruising on Germany’s new Autobahnen. Everything must be designed to ensure worn out parts could be quickly and inexpensively exchanged. The engine must be air-cooled because, as Hitler explained, not every country doctor had his own garage. The "People's Car" would be available to citizens of the Third Reich through a savings scheme, or Sparkarte (savings booklet), at 990 Reichsmark, about the price of a small motorcycle. (The average weekly income was then around 32RM.)
Initially designated Type 60 by Porsche, the design team included Erwin Komenda and Karl Rabe. In October 1935 the first two Type 60 prototypes, known as the V1 and V2 (V for Versuchswagen, or "test car"), were ready. In 1936, testing of three further V3 prototypes, built in Porsche's Stuttgart shop, began. A batch of thirty W30 development models, produced for Porsche by Daimler-Benz, underwent 1,800,000 mi (2,900,000 km) of further testing in 1937. All cars already had the distinctive round shape and the air-cooled, rear-mounted engine. Included in this batch was a rollback soft top called the Cabrio Limousine. A further batch of 44 VW38 pre-production cars produced in 1938 introduced split rear windows; both the split window and the dash were retained on production Type 1s until 1953. The VW38 cars were followed by another batch of 50 VW39 cars, completed in July 1939.
The car was designed to be as simple as possible mechanically, so that there was less to go wrong; the aircooled 25 hp (19 kW) 995 cc (60.7 cu in) motors proved especially effective in actions of the German Afrika Korps in Africa's desert heat. This was due to the built-in oil cooler and the superior performance of the flat-four engine configuration. The suspension design used compact torsion bars instead of coil or leaf springs. The Beetle is nearly airtight and will float for a few minutes on water.
On May 26, 1938, Hitler spoke at the Volkswagen factory in Fallersleben:
"Hence, I believe there is only one name that can be given to this car, a name I shall give to it on this very evening. It shall bear the name of that organization that strives to instill both joy and strength in the masses. The name shall be: Strength through Joy Car! (Kraft durch Freude-Wagen)"
The name refers to Kraft durch Freude ('Strength Through Joy'), the official leisure organization of the Third Reich. The model village of Stadt des KdF-Wagens was created near Fallersleben in Lower Saxony in 1938 for the benefit of the workers at the newly built factory. After World War II, it was known as the Volkswagen Type 1, but became more commonly known as the Beetle.
Historian Paul Schilperoord argued in his 2011 biography of Josef Ganz that Hitler stole the idea for the Volkswagen Beetle from Ganz's "May Bug," which he saw in 1933 at an auto show. There is a strong resemblance to the Standard Superior, an automobile produced from 1933-1935 by Standard Fahrzeugfabrik of Ludwigsburg, Germany, founded by motorcycle maker Wilhelm Gutbrod and unrelated to the Standard Motor Company of England. These small cars were designed according to the patents by Josef Ganz and featured transverse, two-stroke, two-cylinder engines mounted in front of the rear axle.
The Austrian car designer Hans Ledwinka was a contemporary of Porsche working at the Czechoslovakian company Tatra. In 1931, Tatra built the V570 prototype, which had an air-cooled flat-twin engine mounted at the rear. This was followed in 1933 by a second V570 prototype with a streamlined body similar to that of the Porsche Type 32. The rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout was a challenge for effective air cooling, and during development of the much larger V8 engined Tatra T77 in 1933 Tatra registered numerous patents related to air flow into the rear engine compartment. The use of Tatra's patented air cooling designs later became one of ten issues for which Tatra filed suit against VW.
Both Hitler and Porsche were influenced by the Tatras. Hitler was a keen automotive enthusiast, and had ridden in Tatras during political tours of Czechoslovakia. He had also dined numerous times with Ledwinka. After one of these dinners Hitler remarked to Porsche, "This is the car for my roads". From 1933 onwards, Ledwinka and Porsche met regularly to discuss their designs, and Porsche admitted "Well, sometimes I looked over his shoulder and sometimes he looked over mine" while designing the Volkswagen. The Tatra T97 of 1936 had a 1,749 cc, rear-located, rear-wheel drive, air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine. It cost 5,600 RM and accommodated five passengers in its extensively streamlined four-door body, which provided luggage storage under the front bonnet and behind the rear seats. It also featured a similar central structural tunnel found in the Beetle.
Just before the start of the Second World War, Tatra had ten legal claims filed against VW for infringement of patents. Although Ferdinand Porsche was about to pay a settlement to Tatra, he was stopped by Hitler who said he would "solve his problem". Tatra launched a lawsuit, but this was stopped when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938, resulting in the Tatra factory coming under Nazi administration in October 1938. The T97, along with the T57, were ordered by Hitler to be removed from the Tatra display at the 1939 Berlin Autosalon and Tatra was later directed to concentrate on heavy trucks and diesel engines, with all car models, except for the V8-engined Tatra T87, being discontinued. The matter was re-opened after World War II and in 1961 Volkswagen paid Ringhoffer-Tatra 3,000,000 Deutsche Marks in an out of court settlement.
The factory had only produced a handful of cars by the start of the war in 1939; the first volume-produced versions of the car's chassis were military vehicles, the Type 82 Kübelwagen (approximately 52,000 built) and the amphibious Type 166 Schwimmwagen (about 14,000 built).
A handful of Beetles were produced specifically for civilians, primarily for the Nazi elite, in the years 1940 to 1945, but production figures were small. Because of gasoline shortages, a few wartime "Holzbrenner" Beetles were fueled by wood pyrolysis gas producers under the hood. In addition to the Kübelwagen, Schwimmwagen, and a handful of others, the factory managed another wartime vehicle: the Kommandeurwagen; a Beetle body mounted on the Kübelwagen chassis. 669 Kommandeurwagens were produced up to 1945, when all production was halted because of heavy damage to the factory by Allied air raids. Much of the essential equipment had already been moved to underground bunkers for protection, which let production resume quickly after hostilities ended.
In occupied Germany, the Allies followed the Morgenthau plan to remove all German war potential by complete or partial pastoralization. As part of this, in the Industrial plans for Germany, the rules for which industry Germany was to be allowed to retain were set out. German car production was set at a maximum of 10% of the 1936 car production numbers.
Mass production of civilian VW cars did not start until post-war occupation. The Volkswagen factory was handed over by the Americans to British control in 1945; it was to be dismantled and shipped to Britain. Thankfully for Volkswagen, no British car manufacturer was interested in the factory; "the vehicle does not meet the fundamental technical requirement of a motor-car ... it is quite unattractive to the average buyer ... To build the car commercially would be a completely uneconomic enterprise." The factory survived by producing cars for the British Army instead. Allied dismantling policy changed in late 1946 to mid-1947, although heavy industry continued to be dismantled until 1951. In March 1947, Herbert Hoover helped change policy by stating
The re-opening of the factory is largely accredited to British Army officer Major Ivan Hirst. Hirst was ordered to take control of the heavily bombed factory, which the Americans had captured. His first task was to remove an unexploded bomb that had fallen through the roof and lodged itself between some pieces of irreplaceable production equipment; if the bomb had exploded, the Beetle's fate would have been sealed. Hirst persuaded the British military to order 20,000 of the cars, and by March 1946 the factory was producing 1,000 cars a month, which Hirst said "was the limit set by the availability of materials". During this period, the car reverted to its original name of Volkswagen and the town was renamed Wolfsburg. The first 1,785 Type 1s were made in 1945.
Following the British Army-led restart of production, former Opel manager (and formerly a detractor of the Volkswagen) Heinz Nordhoff was appointed director of the Volkswagen factory. Under Nordhoff, production increased dramatically over the following decade, with the one-millionth car coming off the assembly line by 1955. During this post-war period, the Beetle had superior performance in its category with a top speed of 115 km/h (71 mph) and 0–100 km/h (0–60 mph) in 27.5 seconds with fuel consumption of 6.7 l/100 km (36 mpg) for the standard 25 kW (34 hp) engine. This was far superior to the Citroën 2CV, which was aimed at a low speed/poor road rural peasant market, and Morris Minor, designed for a market with no motorways / freeways; it was even competitive with more advanced small city cars like the Austin Mini.
In Small Wonder, Walter Henry Nelson wrote:
Opinion in the United States was not flattering, however, perhaps because of the characteristic differences between the American and European car markets. Henry Ford II once described the car as "a little box."][ The Ford company was offered the entire VW works after the war for free. Ford's right-hand man Ernest Breech was asked what he thought, and told Henry II, "What we're being offered here, Mr. Ford, isn't worth a damn!"][
During the 1950s, the car was modified progressively: the obvious visual changes mostly concerned the rear windows. In March 1953, the small oval two-piece rear window was replaced by a slightly larger single-piece window. More dramatically, in August 1957 a much larger full width rear window replaced the oval one. 1964 saw the introduction of a widened cover for the light over the rear licence plate. Towards the end of 1964, the height of the side windows and windscreen grew slightly, giving the cabin a less pinched look: this coincided with the introduction of a very slightly curved ("panoramic") windscreen, though the curve was barely noticeable. The same body appeared during 1966, with a 1,300 cc engine in place of the 1,200 cc: only in the 1973 model Super Beetle did the Type 1 acquire an obviously curved windscreen. The flat windscreen remained on the standard Beetle.][
There were also changes under the bonnet. In 1954, Volkswagen added 2 mm to the cylinder bore, increasing the displacement from 1,131 cc to 1,192 cc. This coincided with upgrades to various key components including a redesign of the crankshaft. This increased power from 33 bhp to a claimed 40 bhp and improved the engine's free revving abilities without compromising torque at lower engine speeds. At the same time, compression ratios were progressively raised as, little by little, the octane ratings of available fuel was raised in major markets during the 1950s and 1960s.
There were other, less-numerous models, as well. The Hebmüller cabriolet (officially Type 14A), a sporty two-seater, was built between 1949 and 1953; it numbered 696. The Type 18A, a fixed-top cabriolet, was produced by Austro-Tatra as a police and fire unit; 203 were assembled between January 1950 and March 1953.
Beetle sales boomed in the 1960s, thanks to clever advertising campaigns, and the Beetle's reputation for reliability and sturdiness. On 17 February 1972, when Beetle No. 15,007,034 was produced, Beetle production surpassed that of the previous record holder, the Ford Model T. By 1973, total production was over 16 million, and by 23 June 1992, over 21 million had been produced.
In 1951, Volkswagen prototyped a 1.3 L diesel engine. Volkswagen made only two of these air-cooled boxer diesel engines (not turbocharged), and installed one engine in a Type 1 and another in a Type 2. The diesel Beetle was time tested on the Nürburgring and achieved 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 60 seconds.
Volkswagen began its involvement in Ireland when in 1949, Motor Distributors Limited, founded by Stephen O'Flaherty secured the franchise for the country at that year’s Paris Motor Show. In 1950, Volkswagen Beetles started arriving into Dublin packed in crates in what was termed "completely knocked down" (CKD) form ready to be assembled. The vehicles were assembled in a former tram depot at 162 Shelbourne Road in Ballsbridge. This is now the premises for Ballsbridge Motors who are still a Volkswagen dealer. The first Volkswagen ever assembled outside Germany was built here. This vehicle is now on display at the Volkswagen Museum in Wolfsburg.
The first Volkswagen Beetle dealer in the UK was J.Gilder & Co. Ltd. in Sheffield, which began selling Volkswagens in 1953. Jack Gilder had been fascinated by both the design and engineering of the Beetle when he came across one in Belgium during the war.][ He applied for the franchise as soon as the opportunity presented itself and became Volkswagen's representative in the North of England.
During this period, the rear window of the VW Beetle evolved from a divided or "split" oval, to a singular oval. The change occurred between October 1952 and March 1953. Beetles built during this time were known as a "Zwitter", or "hybrid", as they used the split-window bodyshell with oval-model chrome trim, vent windows and dashboard. Steel used for the bodywork was at its best quality, and the Wolfsburg emblem at the tip of the front of the bonnet was a complex fabrication (subsequent models deleted the emblem). The rear 'W' decklid was hand-fabricated. The front wing had a particular 'flare out'.
The Beetle changes for the 1967 model included a larger-displacement engine for the second year in a row. Horsepower had been increased to 37 kW (50 hp) the previous year, and for 1967 it was increased to 53 PS (39 kW) at 4,200 rpm. Torque is 10.8 kg·m (106 N·m; 78 lb·ft) at 2,000 rpm, bore 83 mm, stroke 69 mm, and it has a compression ratio of 7.5:1. The 1200 and 1300 engines continued to be available in the updated bodyshell, as many markets based their taxation on engine size.
On US, UK, and Ireland models, the generator output was increased from 180 to 360 watts, and upgraded from a 6-volt to a 12-volt system. The clutch disc also increased in size, and changes were made to the flywheel, braking system, and rear axle. New standard equipment included two-speed windscreen wipers, reversing lights, a driver's armrest on the door, locking buttons on the doors, and a passenger's side exterior mirror.
The 1967 model weighed 840 kg (1,850 lb) in federal trim, 800 kg (1,760 lb) in Europe.
That same year, in accord with the newly enacted US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108, the clear glass headlamp covers were deleted; the headlamps were brought forward to the leading edge of the front fenders, and the sealed-beam units were exposed and surrounded by chrome bezels. For the 1968 model year, Beetles sold outside North America received the same more upright and forward headlamp placement, but with replaceable-bulb headlamps compliant with ECE regulations rather than the US sealed beams.
In 1971, a new Beetle model featuring MacPherson strut front suspension and a redesigned front end was launched alongside the "standard" Beetle, which continued in production. Officially known (and marketed in Europe) as the VW 1302 from 1971 to 1972, and VW 1303 from 1973 onwards, but commonly called Super Beetle, the new stretched nose design replaced the dual parallel torsion bar beams which had compromised trunk space and relocated the spare tire from a near vertical to a low horizontal position. The redesign resulted in a tighter turning radius despite a 20 mm (0.79 in) longer wheelbase, and a doubling of the front compartment's cargo volume. As with previous models, air pressure from the spare tire pressurized the windshield washer canister, in lieu of an electric pump.
1972 Super Beetles had an 11 percent larger rear window (4 mm (0.16 in) taller), larger front brakes, four rows of vents (versus two rows previously) on the engine deck lid, tail lights incorporating reverse lights, a four-spoke energy-absorbing steering wheel and steering column, and an engine compartment socket for the proprietary VW Diagnosis system.
In 1973, the VW 1303 introduced a curved windscreen, pushed forward and away from the passengers, allowing a redesigned, padded dashboard to replace the pre-1973 vertical dash. A two-speed heater fan, higher rear mudguards, and larger tail lights were added. The changes to the heater/windshield wiper housing and curved windshield resulted in slight redesign of the front hood, making the 1971 and 1972 Super Beetle hoods unique. In late 1973, the well-equipped "1303/Big" special edition was introduced as customers were looking for less spartan cars. These have 15-inch wheels, metallic paintwork, a more luxurious interior, a heated rear windshield, and some other comforts.
For 1974, the previous flat steel bumper mounting brackets were replaced with tubular "self restoring energy absorbing" attachments, effectively shock absorbers for the bumpers, on North American market Beetles. These cars also got stronger "5 mph" bumpers that added an inch to the length of the car. The steering knuckle and consequently the lower attachment point of the strut was redesigned to improve handling and stability in the event of a tire blowout. This means struts from pre-1974 Super Beetles are not interchangeable with 1974–79s.
1975 models featured Air Flow Control (AFC) Fuel Injection on U.S., Canadian, and Japanese Beetles, a derivative of the more complex Bosch fuel injection system used in the Volkswagen Type III, and equivalent to Bosch L-Jetronic. The fuel-injected engine also received a new muffler and the option of an upstream catalytic converter required on some models (e.g. California), necessitating a bulge in the rear apron sheet metal directly under the rear bumper, and replacing the distinctive dual "pea shooter" pipes with a single offset tailpipe, making fuel-injected models identifiable at a glance. Other changes were rack and pinion steering replacing the traditional worm and roller gearbox on Super Beetles, and a larger license plate lamp housing below the engine lid. The front turn indicators were moved from the top of the fenders into the bumper bars on European models.
In 1976, the optional Autostick transmission and the Super Beetle sedan were discontinued, with VW continuing to market the standard sedan and VW 1303 convertible. 1976-on convertibles received no significant engineering changes, only a few cosmetic touches and new paint options, including the "Champagne Edition" models (white on white was one example) to the final 1979 "Epilogue Edition" black on black, in salute to the first Beetles produced in the 1930s. 1977 model sedans received front seats with separate head restraints.
The Beetle Cabriolet began production in 1949 by Karmann in Osnabrück. It was in 1948 that Wilhelm Karmann first bought a VW Beetle sedan and converted it into a four-seated convertible. After successfully presenting it at VW in Wolfsburg, production started in 1949. After a number of stylistic and technical alterations made to the Karmann cabriolet, (corresponding to the many changes VW made to the Beetle throughout its history), the last of 331,847 cabriolets came off the conveyor belt on 10 January 1980.
Though extremely successful in the 1960s, the Beetle was faced with stiff competition from more modern designs. The Japanese had refined rear-wheel-drive, water-cooled, front-engine small cars so that they sold well in the North American market, and Americans introduced their own similarly sized rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Vega, Ford Pinto and AMC Gremlin in the 1970s. The superminis in Europe adopted even more efficient transverse-engine front-wheel-drive layouts, and sales began falling in the mid-1970s. There had been several unsuccessful attempts to replace or supplement the Beetle in the VW product line throughout the 1960s; the Type 3, Type 4, and the NSU-based K70 were all less successful than the Beetle, though aimed at more upscale markets for which VW lacked credibility. The over-reliance on the Beetle meant that Volkswagen was in financial crisis by 1974. It needed German government funding to produce the Beetle's replacement. Only when production lines at Wolfsburg switched to the new watercooled, front-engined, front-wheel drive Golf designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1974, (sold in North America as the "Rabbit") did Volkswagen produce a car as successful as the Beetle. The Golf would be periodically redesigned over its lifetime, entering its seventh generation in 2012, with only a few components carried over between generations, while the Beetle had only minor refinements of its original design.
The Golf did not kill Beetle production, which continued in smaller numbers at other German factories until 19 January 1978, when mainstream production shifted to Brazil and Mexico: markets where low operating cost was important. The Beetle Cabriolet was produced for the North American and European markets in Germany until 10 January 1980. The last Beetle was produced in Puebla, Mexico, in July 2003. The final batch of 3,000 Beetles were sold as 2004 models and badged as the Última Edición, with whitewall tires, a host of previously discontinued chrome trim, and the choice of two special paint colors taken from the New Beetle. Production in Brazil ended in 1986, then started again in 1993 and continued until 1996. Volkswagen sold Beetle sedans in the US until August 1977 (the Beetle convertible/Cabriolet was sold until January 1980) and in Europe until 1985, with private companies continuing to import cars produced in Mexico after 1985.
The Beetle outlasted most other cars which had copied the rear air-cooled engine layout such as those by Subaru, Fiat, and General Motors. Porsche's sport coupes which were originally based on Volkswagen parts and platforms continue to use the classic rear engine layout (which later became water-cooled) in the Porsche 911 series, which remains competitive in the second decade of the 21st century.
By 2002, over 21 million Type 1s had been produced, but by 2003, annual production had dropped to 30,000 from a peak of 1.3 million in 1971. VW announced the end of production in June 2003, citing decreasing demand, and the final original Type 1 VW Beetle (No. 21,529,464) rolled off the production line at Puebla, Mexico, on 30 July 2003, 65 years after its original launch and unprecedented 58-year production run (counting from 1945, the year VW recognizes as the first year of non-Nazi funded production). This last Beetle, nicknamed El Rey (Spanish for "The King" after a legendary Mexican song by José Alfredo Jiménez) was delivered to the company's museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.
To celebrate the occasion, Volkswagen marketed a final special series of 3,000 Beetles marketed as "Última Edición" (Final Edition) in light blue (Aquarius Blue) or beige (Harvest Moon Beige). Each car included the 1.6 engine, whitewall tires, a CD player with four speakers, chrome bumpers, trim, hub caps and exterior mirrors, a Wolfsburg emblem above the front trunk's handle, chrome glove box badge, body coloured wheels, tinted glass, a rear parcel shelf, and VW Ultima Edicion plaque.
A mariachi band serenaded production of the last car. In Mexico, there was an advertising campaign as a goodbye for the Beetle. In one of the ads was a very small parking space on the street, and many big cars tried to use it, but could not. After a while, a sign appears in that parking space saying: "Es increíble que un auto tan pequeño deje un vacío tan grande" (It is incredible that a car so small can leave such a large void). Another depicted the rear end of a 1954 Beetle (the year Volkswagen was established in Mexico) in the left side of the ad, reading "Erase una vez..." (Once upon a time...) and the last 2003 Beetle in the right side, reading "Fin" (The end). There were other ads with the same nostalgic tone. The Volkswagen Sedan will be used as a taxi in Mexico City until 2013.][ The Mexican government is removing this type of taxi and already made the green colours change into red-gold.][
Other countries produced Beetles from CKD (complete knockdown kits): Ireland, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Australia, and Nigeria have assembled Beetles under license from VW.
Beetles produced in Mexico and Brazil had several differences:
Brazilian assembly of the Beetle, where it is called "Fusca", started in 1953, with parts imported from Germany. By 1959, the cars were 100% Brazilian made. Production continued until 1986. In 1993 production resumed and continued to 1996. The Brazilian version retained the 1958–64 body style (Europe and U.S. version) with the thick door pillars and smaller side windows. This body style was also produced in Mexico until 1971. Around 1973, all Brazilian Beetles (1300 and 1500 series) were updated with the 1968-up sheet metal, bumpers, and four-lug rims; although the five-stud rims and "bugeye" headlights were produced as late as 1972 (the base VW 1200 and 1300 manufactured in Brazil was similar to the 1964 European/U.S. 1200 until the 1970 model year but came with vented wheels since the mid-1960s). The 1971 and 1972 1200 and 1300s had the 1964-era taillights and headlights, fuel tank, but fitted with the 1968-up raised bumpers. Brazilian CKD kits were shipped to Nigeria between 1975 and 1987 where Beetles were locally produced. The Brazilian-produced versions have been sold in neighboring South American nations bordering Brazil, including Argentina, Uruguay, and Peru.
The Brazilian Type 1s have four different engines: 1,200 cc, 1,300 cc, 1,500 cc, and 1,600 cc. In the 1970s, Volkswagen made the SP-2 (derived from the Type 1 pan and the Type 3 powertrain) with a 1,700 cc engine (a bored-out 1,600 cc). In Brazil, the Type 1 never received electronic fuel injection, instead retaining carburetors (one or two one-barrels) throughout its entire life, although the carburetion differs from engines of different years and specification.
The production of the air-cooled engine finally ended in 2006, after more than 60 years. It was last used in the Brazilian version of the VW Bus, called the "Kombi", and was replaced by a 1.4 L water-cooled engine with a front-mounted cooling system.
The Volkswagen Type 1 chassis was used as the basis for an mine-protected APC called the Leopard security vehicle and the Pookie demining vehicle, fielded by the Republic of Rhodesia during the Rhodesian Bush War.][
Mexican production began in 1955 because of agreements with companies such as Chrysler in Mexico and the Studebaker-Packard Corporation which assembled cars imported in CKD form. In 1964, they began to be locally produced. These models have the larger windshield, rear window, door and quarter glass starting in 1971; and the rear window from 1965 to 1971 German built models was used on the Mexican models from 1972 to 1985, when it was replaced with the larger rear window used on 1972 and later German built Beetles. This version, after the mid-1970s, saw little change with the incorporation of electronic ignition in 1988, an anti-theft alarm system in 1990, a catalytic converter in 1991 (as required by law), as well as electronic Digifant fuel injection, hydraulic valve lifters, and a spin-on oil filter in 1993. The front turn signals were located in the bumper instead of the Beetle's traditional placement on top of the front fenders from the 1977 model year on, as they had been on German Beetles sold in Europe of the same time period. Starting in 1995, the Mexican Beetle included front disc brakes, an alternator instead of a generator, and front automatic seat belts. Starting with the 1996 model, the chrome moldings disappeared leaving body colored bumpers and black moldings instead. By the end of the 1996 model year, exterior chrome or matt moldings were dropped altogether and for model year 1997 Volkswagen de Mexico (VWdM) dropped the Sedan's flow-through ventilation system with all its fittings, notably the exterior crescent-shaped vents behind the rear side windows.
In mid-1996, front drum brakes and fixed front seat belts were re-launched in a new budget version called the "Volkswagen Sedán City", which was sold alongside the upscale version "Volkswagen Sedán Clásico" which had front disc brakes, automatic seat belts, right side mirror, velour upholstery, optional metallic colors and wheel covers in matte finish (also found on some 1980s Beetles and Buses). These two versions were sold until 1999. From late 1999–2003, The Sedán Clásico was discontinued and the Sedán City lost its prefix and gained disc brakes, automatic seat belts and optional metallic colors. This last version was named the "Volkswagen Sedán Unificado" or simply the "Volkswagen Sedán".
Independent importers continued to supply several major countries, including Germany, France, and the UK until the end of production in 2003. Devoted fans of the car even discovered a way to circumvent US safety regulations by placing more recently manufactured Mexican Beetles on the floorpans of earlier, US-registered cars. The Mexican Beetle (along with its Brazilian counterpart) was on the US DOT's (Department of Transportation) hot list of grey market imports after 1978 as the vehicle did not meet safety regulations.
In the Southwest US (Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas), Mexican Beetles (and some Brazilian T2c Transporters) are a fairly common sight since Mexican nationals can legally operate the vehicle in the United States, provided the cars remain registered in Mexico.
The end of production in Mexico can be attributed primarily to Mexican political measures: the Beetles no longer met emissions standards for Mexico City, in which the ubiquitous Beetles were used as taxicabs; and the government outlawed their use as taxicabs because of rising crime rates, requiring only four-door vehicles be used. The last Vocho taxis in Mexico City are set to be retired at the end of 2012. In addition, Volkswagen (now Germany's largest automaker) has been attempting to cultivate a more upscale, premium brand image, and the humble Beetle clashed with this identity, as seen in the Touareg and Passat luxury vehicles. In the late 1990s consumers strongly preferred more modern cars such as the Mexican Chevy, the Nissan Tsuru, and the Volkswagen Pointer and Lupo.
However, demand for the Beetle was relatively high, especially in the 1990s, with the workforce increasing at the start of the decade. The price of the single basic model (without even a radio) was pegged with the official minimum wage, by an agreement between the company and the government. In 1990 it cost $5,300.
Official importation of the Volkswagen Beetle into Australia began in 1953, with local assembly operations commencing the following year. Volkswagen Australia was formed in 1957, and by 1960 locally produced panels were being used for the first time. Australian content had reached almost 95% by 1967; however, declining sales saw the company revert to using imported components the following year. In 1976, Volkswagen ceased Australian assembly operations, their factory in Clayton, Victoria was sold to Nissan Australia (which is now occupied by Holden Special Vehicles), and all Volkswagens were once again fully imported.
The Beetle was also produced in South Africa at the Uitenhage plant.][
The Beetle is widely used in drag racing;][ its rearward (RR layout) weight distribution keeps the weight over the rear wheels, maximizing grip off the starting line. The car's weight is reduced for a full competition drag Beetle, further improving the grip and also the power-to-weight ratio. Combined with the Beetle's RR layout, wheelies can be achieved easily, but time "in the air" worsens 1/4 mile time. To prevent this, "wheelie bars" are added.
The Beetle is also used as the basis for the Formula Vee open-wheel racing category: specifically, the front suspension crossmember assembly (the shock absorber mounts are sometimes removed, depending on regulations in the class), and the engine and transaxle assembly (usually the earlier swing-axle type, not the later double-jointed axle). In original 1,200 cc Formula Vee spec, upgrades to the cars would only be allowed sparsely, so that the wheels, tires and engines didn't differ very much from the original Beetle. At the end of the 1960s, Vee Beetle engine output on a single carburetor would reach up to 70 BHP; top speeds would gradually rise to nearly 200 km/h (124 mph). In this configuration, FV would become one of the most popular entry-level motorsports classes of its time.
Later on, double carbs and more extensive modification would be allowed, leading to the more powerful Super Vee class featuring wings for downforce and 123 bhp (92 kW; 125 PS) engines, which in the end had fairly little in common with the original VW Bug. Around 2000, worldwide Vee racing had re-established itself as a 1,200/1,300 cc beginner class with wingless cars and VW engines outputting about 60 bhp (45 kW; 61 PS), but incorporating more modern chassis and tyres.
Volkswagen Beetle-style bodies are fitted to space frame racing chassis, and are used in the Uniroyal Fun Cup, which includes the longest continuous motor-race in the world, the 25 Hours of Spa. It is an affordable entry-level series that gentleman drivers race.
Especially the Austrian sole distributor Porsche Salzburg (now Porsche Austria) seriously entered the Volkswagen in local and European contests in the 1960s and early 1970s. Starting with the VW 1500, in the mid-1960s the peak of their racing performance was achieved with the VW 1302S and VW 1303S (known as the Salzburg Rally Beetle) from 1971 to 1973. The vehicles were entered in such famous races as TAP (Portugal), Austrian Alpine, Elba, Acropolis etc. Drivers were top performers such as Tony Fall (GB), Guenter Janger (AUT), Harry Källström (S), Achim Warmbold (D), Franz Wurz (A), etc. The engines were highly modified 1600's delivering 125 hp (93 kW), later on mated to a Porsche 914 five-speed manual gearbox. Victories were achieved in 1973 on Elba for overall and class, Acropolis for class (5th overall), Austrian championship 1972, 1973 January Rallye for overall and class. Rally of 1000 minutes for overall 2nd (1st in class).
The fuel crisis, along with the arrival of the Volkswagen Golf (Rabbit), put an end to the days of unofficially supported rallying in 1974. All vehicles either used for training or actual racing were sold off to privateers, many kept racing with noticeable results until the early 1980s.
Beetles were used in The Trans-Am Series for the two-litre class from 1966 to 1967 and again in 1972.
The Baja 1000 off-road race in the Baja California Peninsula, Mexico includes specific vehicle classes for both standard Beetles and Baja Bugs. These can be seen in the documentary movie Dust to Glory.
The classes are as follows :
The Beetle Challenge is a UK-based circuit racing championship for classic aircooled Volkswagen Beetles. The general concept is to take any Beetle, of any age or model from the 40s through to 1303s, and with minimal restrictions, allowing parts from various years to be interchanged, and of course the cars being prepared to the MSA safety requirements (cage, restraints, fire system etc.) Essentially the cars must be aircooled Beetles (any age and parts can be swapped between years and models), with a 15-inch x 6-inch max wheel size with a control tyre. Engines must be based on a Type 1 engine case, with no electronic fuel injection or ignition and no forced induction, with an unlimited capacity. Other regulations apply.
Like its contemporaries, the Mini, the Citroën 2CV, and the Fiat 500, the Type 1 has long outlasted predictions of its lifespan. It has been regarded as something of a "cult" car since its 1960s association with the hippie movement and surf culture; and the obvious attributes of its unique and quirky design along with its low price. (For example, the Beetle could float on water thanks to its sealed floor pans and overall tight construction, as shown in the 1972 Volkswagen commercial.
In the United States, Volkswagen enthusiasts frequent large Volkswagen-themed car shows.
Much like their Type 2 counterparts, Beetles were psychedelically painted and considered an ancestor of art cars. Currently, there are a wide array of clubs that are concerned with the Beetle. The fans are quite diverse. Looks include the resto-look, Cal Look, German-look, resto-Cal Look, buggies, Baja Bugs, old school, Disney's Herbie the Love Bug replicas, ratlook, etc. Part of their cult status is attributed to being one of a few cars with an air-cooled, horizontally opposed engine design, and the consequent ease of repair and modification, as opposed to the more complex watercooled engine design. The original flat four had fewer than 200 moving parts.][
The Type 1 has made numerous appearances in Hollywood films, most notably (Disney's) The Love Bug, starring as "Herbie". In Cars, every bug or insect is represented by a Type 1.
The fuel economy of an automobile is the fuel efficiency relationship between the distance traveled and the amount of fuel consumed by the vehicle. Consumption can be expressed in terms of volume of fuel to travel a distance, or the distance travelled per unit volume of fuel consumed. Since fuel consumption of vehicles is a great factor in air pollution, and since importation of motor fuel can be a large part of a nation's foreign trade, many countries impose requirements for fuel economy. Different measurement cycles are used to approximate the actual performance of the vehicle. The energy in fuel is required to overcome various losses (wind resistance, tire drag, and others) in propelling the vehicle, and in providing power to vehicle systems such as ignition or air conditioning. Various measures can be taken to reduce losses at each of the conversions between chemical energy in fuel and kinetic energy of the vehicle. Driver behavior can affect fuel economy; sudden acceleration and heavy braking wastes energy.
Fuel economy is the relationship between the distance traveled and fuel consumed.
Fuel economy can be expressed in two ways:
Conversions of units:
While the thermal efficiency (mechanical output to chemical energy in fuel) of petroleum engines has increased since the beginning of the automotive era, this is not the only factor in fuel economy. The design of automobile as a whole and usage pattern affects the fuel economy. Published fuel economy is subject to variation between jurisdiction due to variations in testing protocols.
The average fuel economy in 2008 for new cars, light trucks and SUVs in the United States was 26.4 mpg(US). 2008 model year cars classified as "midsize" by the US EPA ranged from 11 to 46 mpg(US) However, due to environmental concerns caused by CO2 emissions, new EU regulations are being introduced to reduce the average emissions of cars sold beginning in 2012, to 130 g/km of CO2, equivalent to 4.5 L/100 km (52 mpgUS, 63 mpgimp) for a diesel-fueled car, and 5.0 L/100 km (47 mpgUS, 56 mpgimp) for a gasoline (petrol)-fueled car.
The average consumption across the fleet is not immediately affected by the new vehicle fuel economy, for example Australia's car fleet average in 2004 was 11.5 L/100 km (20.5 mpgUS), compared with the average new car consumption in the same year of 25.3 mpgUS
The power to overcome air resistance increases roughly with the cube of the speed, and thus the energy required per unit distance is roughly proportional to the square of speed. Because air resistance increases so rapidly with speed, above about 30 mph (48 km/h), it becomes a dominant limiting factor. Driving at 45 rather than 65 mph (72 rather than 105 km/h) requires about one-third the power to overcome wind resistance, or about one-half the energy per unit distance, and much greater fuel economy can be achieved. Increasing speed to 90 mph (145 km/h) from 65 mph (105 km/h) increases the power requirement by 2.6 times, the energy per unit distance by 1.9 times, and decreases fuel economy. In real world vehicles the change in fuel economy is less than the values quoted above due to complicating factors.
The power needed to overcome the rolling resistance is roughly proportional to the speed, and thus the energy required per unit distance is roughly constant. At very low speeds the dominant losses are internal friction. A hybrid can achieve greater fuel economy in city driving than on the highway because the engine shuts off when it is not needed to charge the battery and has little to no consumption at stops. In addition, regenerative braking puts energy back into the battery.
Fuel economy at steady speeds with selected vehicles was studied in 2010. The most recent study indicates greater fuel efficiency at higher speeds than earlier studies; for example, some vehicles achieve better mileage at 65 mph (105 km/h) rather than at 45 mph (72 km/h), although not their best economy, such as the 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass, which has its best economy at 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) (29.1 mpg-US (8.08 L/100 km)), and gets 2 mpg better economy at 65 mph (105 km/h) than at 45 mph (72 km/h) (25 mpg-US (9.4 L/100 km) vs 23 mpg-US (10 L/100 km)). The proportion of driving on high speed roadways varies from 4% in Ireland to 41% in Netherlands.
When the National Maximum Speed Law's 55 mph (89 km/h) speed limit was mandated, there were complaints that fuel economy could decrease instead of increase. The 1997 Toyota Celica got 1 mpg better fuel-efficiency at 65 mph (105 km/h) than it did at 45 mph (72 km/h) (43.5 mpg-US (5.41 L/100 km) vs 42.5 mpg-US (5.53 L/100 km)), although almost 5 mpg better at 60 mph (97 km/h) than at 65 mph (105 km/h) (48.4 mpg-US (4.86 L/100 km) vs 43.5 mpg-US (5.41 L/100 km)), and its best economy (52.6 mpg-US (4.47 L/100 km)) at only 25 mph (40 km/h). Other vehicles tested had from 1.4 to 20.2% better fuel-efficiency at 55 mph (89 km/h) vs. 65 mph (105 km/h). Their best economy was reached at speeds of 25 to 55 mph (40 to 89 km/h) (see graph).
Officials hoped that the 55 mph limit, combined with a ban on ornamental lighting, no gasoline sales on Sunday, and a 15% cut in gasoline production, would reduce total gas consumption by 200,000 barrels a day, representing a 2.2% drop from annualized 1973 gasoline consumption levels. This was partly based on a belief that cars achieve maximum efficiency between 40 and 50 mph (64 and 80 km/h) and that trucks and buses were most efficient at 55 mph (89 km/h).
However, the United States Department of Transportation's Office of Driver Research found total fuel savings of the 55 mph limit to be 1%, and independent studies found a 0.5% savings.
Identical vehicles can have varying fuel consumption figures listed depending upon the testing methods of the jurisdiction.
Lexus IS 250 – petrol 2.5 L 4GR-FSE V6, 204 hp (153 kW), 6 speed automatic, rear wheel drive
* highway ** combined
From October 2008, all new cars had to be sold with a sticker on the windscreen showing the fuel consumption and the CO2 emissions. Fuel consumption figures are expressed as urban, extra urban and combined, measured according to ECE Regulations 83 and 101 - which are the based on the European driving cycle; previously, only the combined number was given.
Australia also uses a star rating system, from one to five stars, that combines greenhouse gases with pollution, rating each from 0 to 10 with ten being best. To get 5 stars a combined score of 16 or better is needed, so a car with a 10 for economy (greenhouse) and a 6 for emission or 6 for economy and 10 for emission, or anything in between would get the highest 5 star rating. The lowest rated car is the Ssangyong Korrando with automatic transmission, with one star, while the highest rated was the Toyota Prius hybrid. The Fiat 500, Fiat Punto and Fiat Ritmo as well as the Citroen C3 also received 5 stars. The greenhouse rating depends on the fuel economy and the type of fuel used. A greenhouse rating of 10 requires 60 or less grams of CO2 per km, while a rating of zero is more than 440 g/km CO2. The highest greenhouse rating of any 2009 car listed is the Toyota Prius, with 106 g/km CO2 and 4.4 L/100 km (64 mpg-imp; 53 mpg-US). Several other cars also received the same rating of 8.5 for greenhouse. The lowest rated was the Ferrari 575 at 499 g/km CO2 and 21.8 L/100 km (13.0 mpg-imp; 10.8 mpg-US). The Bentley also received a zero rating, at 465 g/km CO2. The best fuel economy of any year is the 2004–2005 Honda Insight, at 3.4 L/100 km (83 mpg-imp; 69 mpg-US).
In the European Union, passenger vehicles are commonly tested using two drive cycles, and corresponding fuel economies are reported as 'urban' and 'extra-urban', in litres per 100 km and (in the UK) in miles per imperial gallon.
The urban economy is measured using the test cycle known as ECE-15, first introduced in 1970 by EC Directive 70/220/EWG and finalized by EEC Directive 90/C81/01 in 1999. It simulates a 4,052 m (2.518 mile) urban trip at an average speed of 18.7 km/h (11.6 mph) and at a maximum speed of 50 km/h (31 mph).
The extra-urban driving cycle or EUDC lasts 400 seconds (6 minutes 40 seconds) at an average speed 62.6 km/h (39 mph) and a top speed of 120 km/h (74.6 mph).
EU fuel consumption numbers are often considerably lower than corresponding US EPA test results for the same vehicle. For example, the 2011 Honda CR-Z with a six-speed manual transmission is rated 6.1/4.4 L/100 km in Europe and 7.6/6.4 L/100 km (31/37 mpg ) in the United States.
In the European Union advertising has to show Carbon dioxide (CO2)-emission and fuel consumption data in a clear way as described in the UK Statutory Instrument 2004 No 1661. Since September 2005 a colour-coded "Green Rating" sticker has been available in the UK, which rates fuel economy by CO2 emissions: A: <= 100 g/km, B: 100–120, C: 121–150, D: 151–165, E: 166–185, F: 186–225, and G: 226+. Depending on the type of fuel used, for gasoline A corresponds to about 4.1 L/100 km (69 mpg-imp; 57 mpg-US) and G about 9.5 L/100 km (30 mpg-imp; 25 mpg-US). Ireland has a very similar label, but the ranges are slightly different, with A: <= 120 g/km, B: 121–140, C: 141–155, D: 156–170, E: 171–190, F: 191–225, and G: 226+.
In the UK the ASA (Advertising standards agency) have claimed that fuel consumption figures are misleading. Often the case with European vehicles as the MPG (miles per gallon) figures that can be advertised are often not the same as 'real world' driving.
The ASA have said that Car manufacturers can use ‘cheats’ to prepare their vehicles for their compulsory fuel efficiency and emissions tests in a way set out to make themselves look as ‘clean’ as possible. This practice is common in petrol and diesel vehicle tests, but hybrid and electric vehicles are not immune as manufacturers apply these techniques to fuel efficiency.
The major loopholes in the current EU tests allow car manufacturers a number of ‘cheats’ to improve results. Car manufacturers can:
The 10–15 mode driving cycle test is the official fuel economy and emission certification test for new light duty vehicles in Japan. Fuel economy is expressed in km/L (kilometers per litre) and emissions are expressed in g/km. The test is carried out on a dynamometer and consist of 25 tests which cover idling, acceleration, steady running and deceleration, and simulate typical urban and/or expressway driving patterns. The running pattern begins with a warm start, lasts for 660 seconds and runs at speeds up to 70 km/h. The distance of the cycle is 6.34 km, average speed 25.6 km/h, and duration 892 seconds, including the initial 15 mode segment).
A new more demanding test, called the JC08, was established in December 2006 for Japan’s new standard that goes into effect in 2015, but it is already being by several car manufacturers for new cars. The JC08 test is significantly longer and more rigorous than the 10–15 mode test. The running pattern with JC08 stretches out to 1200 seconds, and there are both cold and warm start measurements and top speed is 82 km/h. The economy ratings of the JC08 are lower than the 10–15 mode cycle, but they are expected to be more real world. The Toyota Prius became the first car to meet Japan’s new 2015 Fuel Economy Standards measured under the JC08 test.
Starting on 7 April 2008 all cars of up to 3.5 tonnes GVW sold other than private sale need to have a fuel economy sticker applied (if available) that shows the rating from one half star to six stars with the most economic cars having the most stars and the more fuel hungry cars the least, along with the fuel economy in L/100 km and the estimated annual fuel cost for driving 14,000 km (at present fuel prices). The stickers must also appear on vehicles to be leased for more than 4 months. All new cars currently rated range from 6.9 L/100 km (41 mpg-imp; 34 mpg-US) to 3.8 L/100 km (74 mpg-imp; 62 mpg-US) and received respectively from 4.5 to 5.5 stars.
The Energy Tax Act of 1978 in the US established a gas guzzler tax on the sale of new model year vehicles whose fuel economy fails to meet certain statutory levels. The tax applies only to cars (not trucks) and is collected by the IRS. Its purpose is to discourage the production and purchase of fuel-inefficient vehicles. The tax was phased in over ten years with rates increasing over time. It applies only to manufacturers and importers of vehicles, although presumably some or all of the tax is passed along to automobile consumers in the form of higher prices. Only new vehicles are subject to the tax, so no tax is imposed on used car sales. The tax is graduated to apply a higher tax rate for less-fuel-efficient vehicles. To determine the tax rate, manufacturers test all the vehicles at their laboratories for fuel economy. The US Environmental Protection Agency confirms a portion of those tests at an EPA lab.
In some cases, this tax may only apply to certain variants of a given model; for example, the 2004–2006 Pontiac GTO (captive import version of the Holden Monaro) did incur the tax when ordered with the four-speed automatic transmission, but did not incur the tax when ordered with the six-speed manual transmission.
Two separate fuel economy tests simulate city driving and highway driving: the "city" driving program or Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule or (UDDS) or FTP-72 is defined in and consists of starting with a cold engine and making 23 stops over a period of 31 minutes for an average speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) and with a top speed of 56 mph (90 km/h).
The "highway" program or Highway Fuel Economy Driving Schedule (HWFET) is defined in and uses a warmed-up engine and makes no stops, averaging 48 mph (77 km/h) with a top speed of 60 mph (97 km/h) over a 10-mile (16 km) distance. The measurements are then adjusted downward by 10% (city) and 22% (highway) to more accurately reflect real-world results. A weight average of city (55%) and highway (45%) fuel economies is used to determine the guzzler tax.
The procedure has been updated to FTP-75, adding a "hot start" cycle which repeats the "cold start" cycle after a 10 minute pause.
Because EPA figures had almost always indicated better efficiency than real-world fuel-efficiency, the EPA has modified the method starting with 2008. Updated estimates are available for vehicles back to the 1985 model year.
US EPA altered the testing procedure effective MY2008 which adds three new Supplemental Federal Test Procedure (SFTP) tests to include the influence of higher driving speed, harder acceleration, colder temperature and air conditioning use.
SFTP US06 is a high speed/quick acceleration loop that lasts 10 minutes, covers 8 miles (13 km), averages 48 mph (77 km/h) and reaches a top speed of 80 mph (130 km/h). Four stops are included, and brisk acceleration maximizes at a rate of 8.46 mph (13.62 km/h) per second. The engine begins warm and air conditioning is not used. Ambient temperature varies between to .
SFTO SC03 is the air conditioning test, which raises ambient temperatures to , and puts the vehicle's climate control system to use. Lasting 9.9 minutes, the 3.6-mile (5.8 km) loop averages 22 mph (35 km/h) and maximizes at a rate of 54.8 mph (88.2 km/h). Five stops are included, idling occurs 19 percent of the time and acceleration of 5.1 mph/sec is achieved. Engine temperatures begin warm.
Lastly, a cold temperature cycle uses the same parameters as the current city loop, except that ambient temperature is set to .
EPA tests for fuel economy do not include electrical load tests beyond climate control, which may account for some of the discrepancy between EPA and real world fuel-efficiency. A 200 W electrical load can produce a 0.4 km/L (0.94 mpg) reduction in efficiency on the FTP 75 cycle test.
Following the efficiency claims made for vehicles such as Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory recommended to use EPA's new vehicle fuel efficiency formula that gives different values depending on fuel used. In November 2010 the EPA introduced the first fuel economy ratings in the Monroney stickers for plug-in electric vehicles.
For the fuel economy label of the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid EPA rated the car separately for all-electric mode expressed in miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPG-e) and for gasoline-only mode expressed in conventional miles per gallon. EPA also estimated an overall combined city/highway gas-electricity fuel economy rating expressed in miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPG-e). The label also includes a table showing fuel economy and electricity consumed for five different scenarios: 30, 45, 60 and 75 miles (121 km) driven between a full charge, and a never charge scenario. This information was included in order to make the consumers aware of the variability of the fuel economy outcome depending on miles driven between charges. Also the fuel economy for a gasoline-only scenario (never charge) was included. For electric-only mode the energy consumption estimated in kWh per 100 miles is also shown.
For the fuel economy label of the Nissan Leaf electric car EPA rated the combined fuel economy in terms of miles per gallon gasoline equivalent, with a separate rating for city and highway driving. This fuel economy equivalence is based on the energy consumption estimated in kWh per 100 miles, and also shown in the Monroney label.
In May 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and EPA issued a joint final rule establishing new requirements for a fuel economy and environment label that is mandatory for all new passenger cars and trucks starting with model year 2013, and voluntary for 2012 models. The ruling includes new labels for alternative fuel and alternative propulsion vehicles available in the US market, such as plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, flexible-fuel vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, and natural gas vehicles. The common fuel economy metric adopted to allow the comparison of alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles with conventional internal combustion engine vehicles is miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe). A gallon of gasoline equivalent means the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity, cubic feet of compressed natural gas (CNG), or kilograms of hydrogen that is equal to the energy in a gallon of gasoline.
The new labels also include for the first time an estimate of how much fuel or electricity it takes to drive 100 miles (160 km), providing US consumers with fuel consumption per distance traveled, the metric commonly used in many other countries. EPA explained that the objective is to avoid the traditional miles per gallon metric that can be potentially misleading when consumers compare fuel economy improvements, and known as the "MPG illusion." EPA explained that the new gallons-per mile metric provides a more accurate measure of fuel efficiency.
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations in the United States, first enacted by Congress in 1975, are federal regulations intended to improve the average fuel economy of cars and light trucks (trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles) sold in the US in the wake of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo. Historically, it is the sales-weighted average fuel economy of a manufacturer's fleet of current model year passenger cars or light trucks, manufactured for sale in the United States. Under Truck CAFE standards 2008–2011 this changes to a "footprint" model where larger trucks are allowed to consume more fuel. The standards were limited to vehicles under a certain weight, but those weight classes were expanded in 2011.
The states are pre-empted by federal law, and are not allowed to make fuel efficiency standards. However, California has a special dispensation from the Clean Air Act to make emissions standards (which other states may adopt instead of the federal standards). The California Air Resources Board is implementing some legislation that limits greenhouse gas emissions. A legal dispute has emerged over whether this is effectually a fuel efficiency standard.
Since the total force opposing the vehicle's motion (at constant speed) multiplied by the distance through which the vehicle travels represents the work that the vehicle's engine must perform, the study of mileage (the amount of energy consumed per unit of distance travelled) requires a detailed analysis of the forces that oppose a vehicle's motion. In terms of physics, Force = rate at which the amount of work generated (energy delivered) varies with the distance travelled, or:
Note: The amount of work generated by the vehicle's power source (energy delivered by the engine) would be exactly proportional to the amount of fuel energy consumed by the engine if the engine's efficiency is the same regardless of power output, but this is not necessarily the case due to the operating characteristics of the internal combustion engine.
For a vehicle whose source of power is a heat engine (an engine that uses heat to perform useful work), the amount of fuel energy that a vehicle consumes per unit of distance (level road) depends upon:
Ideally, a car traveling at a constant velocity on level ground in a vacuum with frictionless wheels could travel at any speed without consuming any energy beyond what is needed to get the car up to speed. Less ideally, any vehicle must expend energy on overcoming road load forces, which consist of aerodynamic drag, tire rolling resistance, and inertial energy that is lost when the vehicle is decelerated by friction brakes. With ideal regenerative braking, the inertial energy could be completely recovered, but there are few options for reducing aerodynamic drag or rolling resistance other than optimizing the vehicle's shape and the tire design. Road load energy, or the energy demanded at the wheels, can be calculated by evaluating the vehicle equation of motion over a specific driving cycle. The vehicle powertrain must then provide this minimum energy in order to move the vehicle, and will lose a large amount of additional energy in the process of converting fuel energy into work and transmitting it to the wheels. Overall, the sources of energy loss in moving a vehicle may be summarized as follows:
Fuel-efficiency decreases from electrical loads are most pronounced at lower speeds because most electrical loads are constant while engine load increases with speed. So at a lower speed a higher proportion of engine horsepower is used by electrical loads. Hybrid cars see the greatest effect on fuel-efficiency from electrical loads because of this proportional effect.
Engine combustion strategies:
Engine internal losses
Engine running conditions
Technologies that may improve fuel efficiency, but are not yet on the market, include:
Many aftermarket consumer products exist that are purported to increase fuel economy; many of these claims have been discredited. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency maintains a list of devices that have been tested by independent laboratories and makes the test results available to the public.
The mandatory publication of the fuel consumption by the manufacturer led some to use dubious practices to reach better values in the past. If the test is on a test stand, the vehicle may detect open doors and adapt the engine control. Also when driven according to the test regime, the parameters may adapt automatically. Test laboratories use a "golden car" that is tested in each one to check that each lab produces the same set of measurements for a given drive cycle.
Tire pressures and lubricants have to be as recommended by the manufacturer (Higher tire pressures are required on a particular dyno type, but this is to compensate for the different rolling resistance of the dyno, not to produce an unrealistic load on the vehicle). Normally the quoted figures a manufacturer publishes have to be proved by the relevant authority witnessing vehicle/engine tests. Some jurisdictions independently test emissions of vehicles in service, and as a final measure can force a recall of all of a particular type of vehicle if the customer vehicles do not fulfil manufacturers' claims within reasonable limits. The expense and bad publicity from such a recall encourages manufacturers to publish realistic figures. The US Federal government retests 10–15% of models), to make sure that the manufacturer's tests are accurate.
For many years critics had claimed that EPA estimated fuel economy figures had been misleading. The primary arguments of the EPA detractors were focused on the lack of real world testing, and the very limited scale (i.e., city or highway).
Partly as a response to these criticisms, the EPA changed their fuel economy rating system in 2008 in an attempt to more adequately address these concerns. Instead of testing simply in two presumed modes, the testing now covers:
While the new EPA standards may represent an improvement, real world user data may still be the best way to gather and collect accurate fuel economy information. As such the EPA has also set up a http://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG.do?action=browseList website where drivers can enter and track their own real-world fuel economy numbers.
There are also a number of websites that attempt to track and report individual user fuel economy data. Sites or publications such as Consumer Reports, Edmunds.com, and TrueDelta.com offer this service and claim more accurate numbers than those listed by the EPA.
Governments, various environmentalist organizations, and companies like Toyota and Shell Oil Company have historically urged drivers to maintain adequate air pressure in tires and careful acceleration/deceleration habits. Keeping track of fuel efficiency stimulates fuel economy-maximizing behavior.
Environmental management systems EMAS as well as good fleet management includes record keeping of the fleet fuel consumption. Quality management uses those figures to steer the measures acting on the fleets. This is a way to check whether procurement, driving, and maintenance in total have contributed to changes in the fleet's overall consumption.
The Volkswagen Jetta is a small family car produced by German automaker Volkswagen Group for the Volkswagen Passenger Cars marque since 1979. Positioned to fill a saloon/sedan niche above the firm's Golf hatchback offering, it has been marketed over six generations variously as the Atlantic, Fox, Vento, Bora, City Jetta, Jetta City, GLI, Jetta, and Sagitar.
The Jetta was originally adapted by adding a conventional trunk to the Golf hatchback, and some distinctive styling (usually the front end, and sometimes slight interior changes). It has been offered in two- and four-door saloon (sedan), and five-door estate (station wagon) versions - all as five-seaters. As of 2005, over 6.6 million cars have been sold worldwide, over one-third in the United States alone. Since the original version in 1980, the car has grown in size and power with each successive generation. By mid-2011, almost 10 million Jettas have been produced and sold all over the world.
Though numerous sources suggest the Jetta nameplate derives from the Atlantic 'jet stream' during a period when Volkswagen named its vehicles after prominent winds and currents (e.g., the Volkswagen Passat (after the German word for trade wind), Volkswagen Bora (after bora), and Volkswagen Scirocco (after sirocco), a 2013 report by former VW advertising copywriter Bertel Schmitt, says that — after consulting knowledgeable VW sources including Dr. Carl Hahn, former Volkswagen of America Chief and WP Schmidt, former sales chief at Volkswagen — no conclusive evidence suggests that Volkswagen employed a naming theme for its then new front-drive, water-cooled vehicles; nor that the names trace etymologically to any particular theme; nor that any naming system "was ever announced, either officially or confidentially."
Europe and RoW:
I4 petrol engines
1.1L 50 PS (37 kW; 49 hp)
1.3L 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp)
1.5L 70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp)
1.6L 85 PS (63 kW; 84 hp)
1.6L 110 PS (81 kW; 110 hp)
1.8L 112 PS (82 kW; 110 hp)
I4 diesel engines
1.6L 54 PS (40 kW; 53 hp)
1.6L 70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) TD
Although the Golf had reached considerable success in the North American markets, Volkswagen observed that the hatchback body style lacked some of the appeal to those who preferred the traditional three-box configuration. The styling of the 1970 AMC Gremlin was controversial for truncating the Hornet sedan, but Volkswagen stylists reversed the process by essentially grafting a new trunk onto the tail of the Golf to produce a larger Jetta saloon (sedan). The Jetta became the best-selling European car in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The car is also popular in Europe, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Turkey.
The Jetta was introduced to the world at the 1979 Frankfurt Auto Show. Production of the first generation began in August 1979 at the Wolfsburg plant. In Mexico, the Mark 1 was known as the "Volkswagen Atlantic".
The car was available as a two-door saloon/sedan (replacing the aging rear-engined, rear-wheel drive Volkswagen Beetle 2-door sedan in the United States and Canada) and four-door saloon/sedan body styles, both of which shared a traditional three-box design. Like the Volkswagen Golf Mk1, its angular styling was penned at ItalDesign, by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Styling differences could be found depending on the market. In most of the world, the car was available with composite headlights, while in the USA, it was only available with rectangular sealed beam lamps due to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 (FMVSS 108). The suspension setup was identical to the Golf and consisted of a MacPherson strut setup in front and a twist-beam rear suspension in the rear. It shared its 2.4 metre (94.5 in) wheelbase with its hatchback counterpart, although overall length was up by 380 millimetres (15 in). The capacity of the luggage compartment was 377 litres (13.3 ft3), making the Jetta reasonably practical. To distinguish the car from the Golf, interiors were made more upscale in all markets. This included velour seating and color coordinated sill to sill carpeting.
Engine choices varied considerably depending on the local market. Most were based on 827 engines of the era. Choices in petrol engines ranged from a 1.1 litre four-cylinder engine producing 37 kilowatts (50 PS; 50 bhp), to a 1.8-litre I4 which made 82 kilowatts (111 PS; 110 bhp) and 150 newton metres (111 lbf·ft) of torque. Some cars were equipped with carburetors, while others were fuel-injected using K or KE Jetronic supplied by Robert Bosch GmbH. Diesel engine choices included a 1.6-litre making 37 kilowatts (50 PS; 50 bhp) and a turbocharged version of the same engine which produced 51 kilowatts (69 PS; 68 bhp) and 130 newton metres (96 lbf·ft) of torque.
In 1984 Volkswagen offered the Jetta GLI in the US, adding many of the drivetrain features and improvements of the 1983–1984 US GTI, including the fuel-injected 90 hp engine, close-ratio 5-speed manual transmission, sport suspension, front and rear anti-sway bars, and ventilated front disc brakes. Externally, the Jetta GLI was distinguished by wide body-side moldings, a black airfoil on the driver's-side windshield wiper, black plastic trim panel between the rear taillights and GLI badging. The interior of the car sported leather 4-spoke steering wheel and shift knob, three additional gauges in the center console, sport seats similar to those in the GTI, and distinctive upholstery and interior trim. The Jetta GLI was offered in 5 colors, black, Atlas grey and red (with black interior) and white and Diamond silver (with blue interior).][
Volkswagen briefly considered producing the Jetta in a plant located in Sterling Heights, Michigan in the USA. However, due to declining sales in North America, the decision was postponed and finally abandoned in 1982. The site was subsequently sold to Chrysler in 1983 and is still in operation as of 2009. This generation was also produced in Bosnia under the joint venture Tvornica Automobila Sarajevo (TAS) for the Balkan area.
Volkswagen was an early adopter of passive restraint systems. The first generation cars could be equipped with an "automatic" shoulder belt mounted to the door. The idea was to always have the belt buckled thereby doing away with the requirement that the driver and passenger remember to buckle up. Instead of a lap belt, the dashboard was designed with an integrated knee bar to prevent submarining underneath the shoulder belt.
In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Mark 1 received five out of five stars in a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal crash test for both driver and passenger protection.
The first generation was met with generally positive reviews. Testers found the car handled precisely, although the lack of power steering contributed to heavy steering when parking. The brakes worked well for a car of the day, but some brake fade was evident. The ride was taut but firm in the typical style of German cars, with large bumps being well absorbed by the suspension but smaller undulations coming through. Reviews differed on noise levels, some found the car fairly quiet, while others thought the engine contributed to higher noise levels. Critics found the seating comfortable, but noted that the rear seat lacked sufficient head room. Most major controls and displays such as the speedometer and climate controls were well liked, but some secondary switches were not well placed or intuitive. The aforementioned automatic seat belts in some markets that were attached to the door frame made it impossible to forget to buckle the belt, but it was difficult to enter the car with a package in hand. Writers liked that the luggage space was generous, especially for a car of its size. Additionally, numerous storage areas also gave practicality to the sedan. In one test, the car scored nearly as high as the more expensive Volkswagen Passat/Dasher and the Audi 80/4000.
The Volkswagen Atlantic was introduced in the Mexican market in February 1981. The sole competition for the Atlantic in the Mexican market was the Renault 18. The Mark 1 continued to be manufactured and marketed in South Africa after the introduction of the Mark 2, badged as the "Fox".
Europe and RoW:
I4 petrol engines 1.3L I4 40 kW (54 PS; 54 hp)
1.3L cat I4 40 kW (54 PS; 54 hp)
1.6L I4 55 kW (75 PS; 74 hp)
1.6L cat I4 51 kW (69 PS; 68 hp)
1.6L cat I4 53 kW (72 PS; 71 hp)
1.8L I4 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp)
1.8L cat I4 62 kW (84 PS; 83 hp)
1.8L cat I4 66 kW (90 PS; 89 hp)
1.8L I4 82 kW (111 PS; 110 hp)
1.8L cat I4 79 kW (107 PS; 106 hp)
1.8L cat 4x4 I4 72 kW (98 PS; 97 hp)
1.8L 16-valve I4 102 kW (139 PS; 137 hp)
1.8L cat 16-valve I4 95 kW (129 PS; 127 hp)
I4 diesel engines
1.6L I4 40 kW (54 PS; 54 hp)
1.6L cat I4 44 kW (60 PS; 59 hp) ECOdiesel
1.6L I4 51 kW (69 PS; 68 hp) Turbodiesel
1.6L I4 59 kW (80 PS; 79 hp) Turbodiesel
I4 gasoline engines (EA827)
1.8L 85 hp (63 kW) (MY 1985–1987)
1.8L non-cat, Canada only95 hp (71 kW) (MY 1985–1987)
1.8L GLI 102 hp (76 kW) (MY 1985–1987)
1.8L 100 hp (75 kW) (MY 1988–1992)
1.8L 105 hp (78 kW) (MY 1988–1992)
1.8L 16V 123 hp (92 kW) (MY 1987–1989)
2.0L 16V 134 hp (100 kW) (MY 1990–1992)
I4 diesel engine (EA827)
1.6L Diesel 59 hp (44 kW) (MY 1985–1992)
1.6L Turbo Diesel 68 hp (51 kW) (MY 1985–1992)
The Mark 2 series is the longest running Jetta so far. Introduced to Europe in early 1984 and to North America in 1985, the second generation Jetta proved to be a sales success for Volkswagen. The car secured the title of best-selling European car in North America, Farmers Journal COTY 1991 and outsold the similar Golf by two-to-one in that market. Based on the all new second generation Golf platform, the car was larger, heavier, and could seat five people instead of four as in the Mark 1. Exterior dimensions increased in all directions. Overall length was up by 100 millimetres (3.9 in), the wheelbase grew 66 millimetres (2.6 in), and the width went up 53 millimetres (2.1 in). The suspension setup was basically unchanged from the first generation, although refined slightly, for example by the inclusion of a separate subframe for mounting the front control arms to help noise isolation, as well as improved rubber mountings for all components. Aerodynamics improved considerably, with a drag coefficient of 0.36. With a 470-litre (16.6 ft3) luggage compartment, the trunk had grown nearly as large as some full-sized American sedans. Interior room was also increased 14%, which changed the EPA class from sub-compact to compact.
Cars built in Germany were assembled in a brand new (at the time) plant at Wolfsburg in Assembly Hall 54. The plant was heavily robotised in an effort to make build quality more consistent. New innovations on the second generation included an optional trip computer (referred to as the MFA, German Multi-Funktions-Anzeige), as well as silicone dampened engine and transmission mounts to reduce noise, vibration, and harshness levels. In 1988, a more advanced fully electronic fuel injection system became available. This arrangement is known as the Digifant Engine Management system.
Like the Mark 1, the second generation was offered as a two-door or four-door saloon/sedan. External changes throughout the series' run were few: the front-quarter windows were eliminated in 1988 (along with a grille and door trim change), and larger body-colored bumpers and lower side skirts were added from 1990.
In 2007, Volkswagen of America held a contest to find the diesel powered Volkswagen with the highest distance traveled on the original engine. The winning car was a 1986 Jetta Turbodiesel found in Blue Rock, Ohio which had 562,000 miles (904,000 km). A local dealer verified the odometer reading. Notable on this particular car was that it also had the original muffler despite being located in an area subject to road salt in the winter.
In a crash test conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Jetta received three out of five stars for both driver and passenger protection in a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal crash test. The Highway Loss Data Institute (part of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) found the injury and collision losses for the Jetta to be among the best of the small 4-door sedan category. It was topped only by the Golf. Earlier models had the dubious distinction of having an especially high rate of radio theft. Apparently, the mounting of the radio made it especially easy to remove quickly. To correct the problem, Volkswagen introduced a theft protection system to all cars. When the power supply to the radio was removed, it automatically went into "safe" mode. When plugged back in, it would not work unless a secret code was entered. This made it essentially useless to thieves, although provided a hassle to customers who misplaced their code card. The dealership maintains a database of codes, and can replace a lost code if the radio serial number is provided.
The Jetta did not differ greatly from its European twin (at least as much as the Golf did), besides requirements such as bumpers, glass, etc. Also, North American models in general have a narrower range of specification available. For example, most models had things like a bigger engine, full console, door panel pockets, velour seating, and, later on, power steering, height adjustable steering column, and tachometer, standard. They also lacked some higher level options of European variants. The Jetta was perceived as slightly upmarket from the Golf. The level of features always was a step above (standard passive restraint in 1988, standard power steering in 1990, 14-inch wheels available for most years, etc.).
Canadian spec models were even better equipped. Generally, the Canadian base models received the same level of options as an American GL, and the same with the GL and Carat. Other Canadian specification differences were diesel engines (both naturally aspirated and Turbo) available for all years (in the US, there was no diesel for 1988, and only the n/a for 1989 and 1990), a 2-door model for 1992 (it was dropped in the US), the early Carat model (which had heated velour sport seats, a GLi engine, and optional automatic), and color and trim differences.
The car received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the car's excellent handling, as well as a roomier interior compared to the last generation. Stiff shifting manual transmissions were a downside, and braking worked reasonably well although some brake fade was evident in the lower trim lines equipped with solid discs in front and drums in back. A number of reviews noted that the ride was stiff and busy, even though it did have good control typical of German cars. Despite additional sound insulation, road noise was evident especially on coarse pavement. In top sport trim (sometimes called the GLI or GTX), some reviewers noted the car was a less expensive alternative to a BMW or Audi. The sport trim added larger wheels, a stiffer suspension, and closer ratios on the manual transmission. Later models of the Mark 2 GLI had a 16 valve dual cam engine, originally a 1.8-litre engine first was used in the mid-1987 GLI and beginning in 1990 with the newer Mark 2 body style an upgrade to a 2.0-litre 16 valve (in North America).
The IRVW 3 ("Integrated Research Volkswagen") was a 1983-1984 research study based on the not yet released Jetta II. In appearance it looked like nothing more than a slightly sporting Jetta, but it was packed with highly refined technology for its time. It was essentially a feasibility study for newly developed technology such as anti-lock brakes and electric power steering. A number of functions were computer controlled, such as the overdrive gear for its four-speed manual gearbox. The engine was the familiar 1.8 litre inline-four from the Golf GTi, but here equipped with a Roots-type supercharger for a max power of 175–180 PS (129–132 kW). Top speed was 212 km/h (132 mph). The IRVW 3 also had a pneumatic suspension which automatically lowered the car when the speed surpassed 120 km/h (75 mph).
Besides the Volkswagen production base in Germany, this generation was produced in a number of other countries, including China, Nigeria, Mexico, South Africa, USA, and the former Yugoslavia. The Mark 2 Jetta went on to become the first Volkswagen model produced in China by Volkswagen Group China's second joint venture partner FAW-Volkswagen. Production began on 5 December 1991. Initially sold as complete knock down (CKD) kits, local manufacturing has gradually taken over in the form of Semi-Knocked Down kits in 1992, and full local production in 1995.
The car has had three revisions since its inception in China, the first facelift borrowed front-end styling from the fourth generation Volkswagen Passat in 1997. Production started in August 1998, and its name was changed to the Jetta König. The second facelift was revealed in March 2004 (taking influences from Volkswagen's most expensive model, the Phaeton). On 29 July 2007, it was announced that First Automotive Works expanded its production of the Mark 2 Jetta by building a new assembly plant in Chengdu, Sichuan Province in Southwest China. The expansion was driven by the high demand for the car, a desire to expand in the western part of the country, as well as the long term goal of FAW to develop new derivatives from the car's platform independently of Volkswagen.
The third facelift was released in March 2010, which took some inspirations from stylings of Volkswagen models of the newest generation. A diesel version of the Jetta is also on sale, but a large proportion are in service as taxis in many cities in China, rather than as private cars. In March 2013, the Jetta Pionier was replaced by the Jetta Night (de; Type NF).
1.6L 55 kW (75 PS) I4 (ABU/AEA/AEE)
1.6L 74 kW (101 PS) I4 (AEK/AFT)
1.8L 55 kW (75 PS) I4 (AAM)
1.8L 66 kW (90 PS) I4 (ABS/ADZ/ADD)
2.0L 85 kW (116 PS) I4 (2E/ADY/AGG/ABA)
2.8L 128 kW (174 PS) VR6 12v (AAA)
1.9L 47 kW (64 PS) I4 (1Y)
1.9L 47 kW (64 PS) I4 SDI (AEY)
1.9L 55 kW (75 PS) I4 Turbo (AAZ)
1.9L 66 kW (90 PS) I4 TDI (1Z/AHU)
For the third generation, the Jetta name was discontinued, and it was officially renamed the Volkswagen Vento in European countries, following the precedent of naming cars for winds, debuted in 1992. The Jetta 3 debuted in North America in 1993 after production delays and quality problems at the Volkswagen plant in Puebla, Mexico. The name "Vento" means "wind" in both Portuguese and Italian. It went on sale in most of Europe in the first quarter of the year, though it did not arrive on the British market until September 1992.
Because of the success of the second generation in North America, Volkswagen decided to keep the Jetta nameplate. However, in Europe the car was given its new name to appeal to a younger market.
Styling was penned by a design team led by Herbert Schafer, and again the car became more aerodynamic than the previous generation. Although visually similar to the Mark 2, there were many refinements underneath. The two-door model was dropped, aerodynamics were improved, with the car now having a drag coefficient of 0.32. This included a new structure which now met worldwide crash standards. Suspensions were an evolutionary rather than revolutionary refinement of the setup on previous editions, and mainly consisted of a wider track, and even maintaining backwards compatibility with older models. In addition, the car became more environmentally friendly with the use of recycled plastics, CFC-free air conditioning systems, and paint that did not contain heavy metals.
This generation of the car is widely credited for keeping Volkswagen from pulling out of the North American market. At the time of its introduction in 1993, Volkswagen of America's sales hit a low not seen since the 1950s. The division sold only 43,902 cars in that year. Sales began slowly due to the aforementioned issues at the Puebla plant. However, sales rebounded dramatically in the following years, mostly based on the strength of the Jetta, which continued to be the best-selling Volkswagen in the USA.
When equipped with dual airbags, the Mark 3 received three out of five stars in a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal crash test carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In a 64 km/h (40 mph) frontal offset crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the car received a score of "Marginal".
Newly available on the third generation was Volkswagen Group's 1.9 litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) 67 kilowatts (91 PS; 90 bhp) diesel engine. Fuel economy was a strong point with ratings of 5.7 L/100 km (50 mpg-imp; 41 mpg-US) urban cycle and 4.8 L/100 km (59 mpg-imp; 49 mpg-US) extra urban. In top trim lines, the 2.8-litre VR6 DOHC six-cylinder engine was available. In one car magazine's test, the 128 kilowatts (174 PS; 172 bhp) power plant was able to accelerate the car from 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) in 6.9 seconds.
Reviews were generally positive, with testers praising the crisp handling and comfortable ride, as well as a greater level of refinement compared with the previous generation. However, some reviews noted that the more sporty suspension tuning found in some trims made the car bouncy, especially on the expressway. The manual transmission shifted crisply; however, the automatic transmission reduced acceleration noticeably. Some critics complained that the controls had some quirks, including a cryptic windshield wiper control, where the "off" position was unfittingly placed between the "intermittent" and "continuous" modes. If equipped, power window controls had the unusual arrangement of the front buttons located on the door, while the rear buttons were located on the center console. As with previous generations, the luggage compartment provided generous space. In earlier build cars, the glove compartment was deleted if the car was equipped with dual airbags, and in the later models (when airbags became standard equipment), the glove compartment was small and could barely hold the owner's manual and a folding paper map. There were also some complaints about the lack of cup holders in the earlier cars, as well as the lack of a safety interlock which would require the driver to press the clutch pedal prior to starting the car. The 1994 through 1996 models of the Jetta had some electrical issues causing the car not to start and shorting to occur in some of the electrical devices due to a non existent plastic V underneath the windshield, which was added in later models to divert rain water flowing to the electrical box. The catastrophe of this glitch can be avoided by removing leaves and debris that have accumulated below the windshield and by installing adhesive weather sealant linings underneath the plastic cover directly onto the windshield.][
Another major complaint was that the North American TDI model was not rated to tow a trailer, which, according to the owner's manual, is "for technical reasons." Contrary to the American market, The European TDI model, which has an identical power train and chassis, was rated to tow a trailer according to the owner's manual. Many North American TDI owners speculated that Volkswagen decided not to risk liability issues on the American market, and some owners disregarded the owner's manual and installed hitches on their vehicles. Owners argue that the diesel engine delivers superior towing performance compared to a gasoline engine.
An unrelated Volkswagen Vento model was launched in India in 2010. A sedan version of the Polo Mk5, it has a length of about 4.4m and has several engine options which are based on petrol and diesel.
1.4L 55 kW I4
1.6L 74 kW I4
1.6L 77 kW I4 16v
1.8L 110 kW I4 Turbo
1.8L 132 kW I4 Turbo
2.0L 85 kW I4
2.3L 110 kW VR5
2.3L 125 kW VR5
2.8L 128 kW VR6 12v
2.8L 130 kW VR6 12v
2.8L 150 kW VR6 24v
1.9L 50 kW I4 SDI
1.9L 66 kW I4 TDI
1.9L 75 kW I4 TDI
1.9L 81 kW I4 TDI
1.9L 85 kW I4 TDI
1.9L 96 kW I4 TDI
Production of the fourth generation car began in July 1999. Carrying on the wind nomenclature, the car was known as the Volkswagen Bora in much of the world. Bora is a winter wind which blows intermittently over the coast of the Adriatic Sea, as well as in parts of Greece, Russia, Turkey, and in the Sliven region of Bulgaria. In North America and South Africa, the Jetta moniker was again kept on due to the continued popularity of the car in those markets.
The Mk4 debuted shortly after its larger sibling, the Passat, with which it shared many styling cues. The rounded shape and arched roofline served as the new Volkswagen styling trademark, abandoning traditional sharp creases for more curved corners. A distinguishing feature of the Mk4 is its Whiptenna, a trademark for the antenna on the rear end of the roof, which claims to incur less drag than traditional antennas due to its short length and leeward position. For the first time, the rear passenger doors differed from those of a 5-door Golf. The car was also offered as an estate/wagon (whose rear doors are also non-interchangeable with the others). New on this generation were some advanced options such as rain sensor controlled windshield wipers and automatic climate control. However, these were expensive extras and many buyers did not specify them on their cars; as a result the used market is full of sparsely equipped models.
Although slightly shorter overall than the Mark 3, the fourth generation saw the wheelbase extended slightly. Some powertrain options were carried over. Nevertheless, two new internal combustion engines were offered, the 1.8-litre turbo 4-cylinder (often referred to as the 1.8 20vT), and the VR5 (a 5-cylinder derivative of the VR6 engine). The suspension setup remained much as before. However, it was softened considerably in most models to give a comfortable ride, which was met with some criticism as it was still quite hard in comparison with rivals such from French makers.
In 2002, a new range of "Pumpe-Düse" Unit Injector diesel engines were offered. This new design employed advanced unit injectors, along with additional electronics and emissions equipment to meet new air emissions standards in Europe and North America, and is considerably more complex than the older diesel engines previously offered. To accomplish the task of producing sufficient power while meeting emissions standards, the "PD" technology injects fuel directly into the combustion chamber at pressures up to an incredibly high 2,050 bar (30,000 psi). The purpose of the high pressure is to promote fine atomisation of the fuel which supports more complete combustion. To reduce noise, the engine employs a "pilot injection" system which injects a small amount of fuel prior to the main injection. All of the new generation of diesel engines require a special motor oil which meets Volkswagen oil specification 505.01 (or newer). Serious damage to the engine, particularly the camshaft and injectors will result if oil not meeting this standard is used.
Safety on the fourth generation cars was a high priority for Volkswagen. The car was built using such advanced processes as highly mechanised presses, improved measuring techniques, and laser welding of the roof. In crash tests, the fourth generation car received very good marks. In the New Car Assessment Program tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car received five out of five stars for both driver and passenger protection in a 56 km/h (35 mph) frontal impact. New side impact tests at 62 km/h (38.5 mph) awarded the car four out of five stars for both driver and rear seat passenger protection. Side curtain airbags became standard in the 2001 model year. In the more severe 64 km/h (40 mph) offset test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Mark 4 was awarded the highest score of "Good". Injury, collision, and theft losses were low for a car of its class.
Critics usually found the fourth generation acceptable. The car was praised for its adequate handling as well as a moderately comfortable ride. Other reviewers noted the car to be an ugly and somewhat expensive choice in the compact car segment, some simply referred to it as a Golf with a boot (trunk) on the back added as a last minute addition. Some complaints were made that the back seats lacked adequate room for two adults. Some found the seat cushioning too firm. The interior was praised for the high level of fit, but is quite bland, sparsely equipped, and uninspiring. New in this generation was Volkswagen's signature blue and red instrument lighting which became standard in all models in 1999. The climate controls were placed low on the console. The recirculation mode cannot be turned on when air is vented to the windshield, and if the driver changes the climate control to vent air to the windshield, an internal mechanism would turn off the recirculation mode. The power outlet is recessed next to the ash tray and is covered with two flaps, one of which is shared with the ash tray. Retractable cup holders were placed directly above the stereo, obscuring vision of the stereo display and allowing beverages to spill on the stereo, gear selector, and other sensitive components during erratic vehicle movements. The flimsy plastic construction of the retractable cup holder is likely to fail with normal use][. Rear passengers have a pair of retractable cup holders located under the cylindrical ash tray on the center console. These problems were rectified in 2003 for the US market by placing two recessed cup holders in tandem in the center console and another behind the arm rest pedestal for rear passengers. The driver must raise the arm rest to access the center cup holder, and a large beverage occupying the front cup holder obstructs the driver's ability to pull the hand brake. European cars were given a redesigned retractable cup holder in front.
Drivers complained that the front bumper cover does not have adequate ground clearance to clear a curb in a parking space. In addition to scratching the cover, if the driver drives the Jetta too far forward into a parking space, the bumper cover would have a tendency to hook onto the curb like a barb, and as the driver backs out of the parking space, the entire front bumper cover would be torn off the vehicle.][
The earlier models have a few quality control issues, as a number of owners reported windows falling into the doors, electrical problems, and emissions system defects. The fourth generation takes approximately 52 hours per vehicle to assemble in the Puebla factory.
Volkswagen introduced an estate/station wagon version of the fourth generation car in January 2001 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This was the first time an "A" platform Volkswagen was available in North America with that body style. Although the saloon/sedan was built in a number of locations, all Jetta estate models were built in the Wolfsburg plant. In back, 963 litres (34 ft3) of space was available in the cargo compartment. When the rear seats were folded, the car could hold 1473 litres (52 ft3). Like the saloon/sedan, the estate/wagon received high marks from most reviewers. They noted that the cargo area was large and useful. Additionally, the interior kept its top quality fit and finish, although the rear seat was still a bit small.
In Europe, the estate version was sometimes sold as part of the Golf line, either in addition to or instead of the Bora. Other than different front bumpers, fenders, headlights, and hood, the cars were identical. In some countries were sold both Golf and Bora Variant.
As of 2009, the fourth generation car is still sold in addition to the newer Mark 5, due to higher pricing of the fifth generation in some countries such as Colombia, China, Canada, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Like its second generation predecessor, the Mark 4 continues to be manufactured and marketed in China by Volkswagen Group's joint venture partner FAW-Volkswagen China.
In China, the car received a facelift in the summer of 2006, with a Passat Mk5 lookalike face. A hatchback version (i.e. the Golf) is also produced, but is badged as the Bora HS. The model available in Mexico, Canada, Brazil and Argentina for 2008 was likewise facelifted with the same design found in China. There is also a heavily modified Jetta called Volkswagen Lavida for the Chinese market.
In October 2006, Volkswagen re-released the fourth generation car in Canada (for the 2007 model year) as the City Jetta. The move was made to allow Volkswagen to be more competitive with the rest of the compact class as the fifth generation Jetta had moved upscale versus much of the competition. In 2008, the car was restyled to bring its looks up to date with the rest of the Volkswagen lineup. The only engine available is the 2.0-litre 8-valve SOHC 86 kilowatts (117 PS; 115 bhp) gasoline four-cylinder with an available six-speed tiptronic (with Sport mode) that was added as an option in 2008. In 2009, both model names were changed to Jetta City and Golf City. The Jetta City (since 2010MY) and Golf City (since 2011MY) are now both discontinued. The City Jetta is built alongside the fifth generation in the Puebla Assembly Plant.
In Mexico, the 4th generation Jetta has been Volkswagen's most successful model for years, peaking in June 2009 on the top 1 and being fourth as of October 2009, just below Nissan's Tsuru (Sentra B13), Chevrolet's Chevy (Opel Corsa B) and the Brazilian Volkswagen Gol. Nevertheless, it is the best-selling compact car in the country. Volkswagen decided to keep sales along with the Bora (Jetta V, which is the fifth best seller) with the tagline Why do we want a Jetta? Because the heart gives no reasons. In October 2010, the name "Jetta" was dropped, and the simpler name "Clásico" (Spanish for "classic") was chosen, suggesting this model may still be offered for years to come.
In Mexico, a 1.8-litre 178 hp (133 kW) turbo in the Clásico GLI and a TDI 1.9 L 100 hp (75 kW) engine are available.
The Chinese model received further modifications in 2007, marketed as the New Bora.
1.6L 75 kW (100 hp) I4
1.6L 85 kW (115 hp) FSI I4
2.0L 85 kW (115 hp) 8V I4
2.0L 110 kW (150 hp) FSI I4
2.5L 110 kW (150 hp) I5
2.5L 125 kW (170 hp) I5
1.4L 103 kW (140 hp) TSI I4
1.4L 125 kW (170 hp) TSI I4
1.8L 110 kW (150 hp) 20V Turbo I4
1.8L 118kW (160 hp) TSI I4
2.0L 147 kW (200 hp) I4 TFSI
1.9L 77 kW (105 hp) I4 TDI
2.0L 103 kW (140 hp) I4 TDI
The fifth generation debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show on 5 January 2005. It was only the second Volkswagen product to make its world debut at a U.S. Auto show (the other being the New Beetle). Furthermore, the Mark 5 saloon/sedan went on sale in the USA prior to any other country, reflecting the importance of the car in that market for Volkswagen. US$800 million was spent upgrading the factory in Puebla for its production. This included a US$290 million new engine production line for the 5-cylinder power plant, a US$50 million investment in the press shop, as well as a US$200 million purchase of 460 robots, which increased automation by 80%.
Although produced in the largest volumes in Mexico, final assembly of the car also takes place in China and South Africa for those respective markets. Like initial production of the second generation in China, the Asian and African plants build the car from a complete knock down (CKD) kit shipped from the factory in Puebla. Local assembly in Kaluga, Russia, started in early 2008. Production also began in India in 2008. Currently, the Skoda factory in Aurangabad is used for final assembly. As with the previously mentioned assembly plants, CKD kits from Volkswagen de México will be used.
The fifth generation car has the widest variety of names of any generation. In most countries, it is referred to as the Jetta. Exceptions to this include "Bora" in Mexico and Colombia, "Vento" in Argentina and Chile, and "Sagitar" in China. The Mark 5 is 170 millimetres (6.7 in) longer, 30 millimetres (1.2 in) wider, and has a 70 millimetres (2.8 in) longer wheelbase than the previous iteration. Interior room has increased from 2.46 cubic metres (87 cu ft) to 2.58 cubic metres (91 cu ft). In particular, rear legroom was increased by 65 millimetres (2.6 in) over the fourth generation. Luggage compartment volume is up to 453 litres (16 cu ft). One major change is the introduction of the first multi-link independent rear suspension in a Jetta. The design of the rear suspension is nearly identical to the one found in the Ford Focus. Volkswagen reportedly hired engineers from Ford who designed the suspension on the Focus.
Styling reflects a new direction for the Volkswagen brand, with a new chrome front grille, first seen on the Golf Mk5 R32, which has spread to other models. Some critics appreciated the new styling, whilst others dismissed it as just as bland as the 4th generation.
For model year 2009, certain markets saw a new base model internal combustion engine and automatic transmission. The previous 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, and six-speed automatic transmission, were replaced with a smaller, more powerful, and more fuel efficient, 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and six-speed DSG transmission (the same as used in the new Golf Mk5). As a result of the change, fuel consumption has been improved (by 17% for the manual, from 8.2 L/100 km (34 mpg-imp; 29 mpg-US) down to 6.8 L/100 km (42 mpg-imp; 35 mpg-US)), and 23% for the automatic, from 8.6 L/100 km (33 mpg-imp; 27 mpg-US) down to 6.6 L/100 km (43 mpg-imp; 36 mpg-US). Power has increased 7%, from 110 kilowatts (150 PS; 148 bhp), to 118 kilowatts (160 PS; 158 bhp), while torque is up 20%. In addition, acceleration times 0–100 kilometres per hour (0.0–62.1 mph) have improved, from 9.2 s to 8.5 s for the manual (an 8% improvement), and from 9.9 s to 8.5 s for the automatic (a 14% improvement).
The body of the fifth generation uses extensive high strength steel, and use of laser welding is up from 5% to 35% of body parts. This results in double-digit increases in both dynamic and torsional rigidity. Other body innovations include an impact-absorbing front bumper which yields slightly in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, reducing the chance of injury. A new door design allows just the outer panel to be removed and replaced if damaged, rather than the entire door. Safety was again enhanced with many active and passive features available or standard. These included side curtain airbags, seat-mounted rear side airbags, new generation Electronic Stability Programme with Anti-Slip Regulation and Brake assist, as well as active head restraints. A Direct-Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission, available dual-zone automatic climate control, and electro-mechanical power steering are also new innovations.
The fifth generation car has a totally redesigned electrical system. Control modules are used for everything from the radio to the powertrain, transmitting over Controller Area Network (CAN) buses. Transmission of signals is done digitally at 500 kilobits per second, which reduces the number of wires needed, and thus reduces the chance for faults. Cars equipped with halogen headlamps have a 'VW' logo integrated into the bulb shield. In most of the world, the rear lights use light-emitting diodes (LEDs). However, in North America, standard filament bulbs with a different design are used, to comply with FMVSS 108.
Volkswagen has developed a very strict motor oil quality standard, oil meeting this standard must be used to ensure full warranty coverage.
The internal combustion engines available are dependent on the destination market. In Europe, a range of the new generation Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) engines are available. Additionally in that market, the car can be had with an engine known as the 'Twincharger' (TSI). This 1.4 litre petrol engine combines turbo- and supercharging, to make a small but powerful engine with low fuel consumption. The Jetta available in the Americas and the Middle East, is powered by a 2.5-litre 5-cylinder 20-valve engine in most trims. This engine shares its cylinder head design with the V10 engine found in the Lamborghini Gallardo.
When the Mark 5 Jetta was introduced, the Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine was not offered in five U.S. States due to the tight emission standards promulgated by the California Air Resources Board. In addition to California, four other states adopted the more stringent California standards. Where it was available, it fell into the least-restrictive emission category. That category was removed in 2007, prompting the diesel Jetta to be unavailable for more than a year until the introduction of a new common rail diesel engine, which appeared in August 2008. The introduction was delayed for approximately six months due to technical issues with the new emissions control system. The TDI Clean Diesel engine is rated 140 metric horsepower (103 kW; 138 bhp), and uses advanced features such as a diesel particulate filter and NOx-storage catalyst (vs. AdBlue) to reduce xNO in order to qualify as a Tier II Bin 5 vehicle (equivalent to California's LEV II rating), and thereby allowing it to be sold in all 50 U.S. states. AdBlue (urea injection fluid) is not required, further reducing maintenance requirements.
In the U.S., Edmunds pitted a Jetta TDI automatic against hybrids like Prius, Insight, Fusion hybrid and a MINI Cooper with manual transmission over two days of mixed city and highway driving.
In the U.S., it was reported in August 2010 that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was investigating 37,889 2009 Jetta TDI over stalling problem. There were complaints to the agency about the Jettas went into limp-home mode and then stalled almost immediately while being driven. Motor Trend reported that there were also complaints about premature failures of its high-pressure fuel pump.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing the Jetta received an overall "Good" rating in both front offset and side impact tests. In the side impact test the Jetta received "Good" marks in all nine measured categories. In 2005, the Institute noted that the side impact protection performance was the best they had ever rated. In 2006, the car received a "Top Safety Pick" award from the Institute. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the fifth generation Jetta for both driver and passenger protection in a frontal impact, while the car received stars in a side impact crash test. To tout the safety of the car, a series of television commercials with the tag line "Safe happens" showed the car being involved in a collision whilst afterward the occupants are shown to have emerged unscathed.
The VW Jetta received the maximum 5 stars in the China NCAP crash tests.
The fifth generation has received generally positive reviews. Nevertheless, some critics have complained that the car lost some of its distinctive European character with the redesign. Most reviewers found the ride to be firm and well controlled, but not always as forgiving as the previous generation. Handling was a strong point, with quick and precise steering and minimal body roll. Fit and finish received excellent marks, with reviewers noting the car felt very upscale. The front seats were firm but well liked, and the rear seat was roomy, in contrast to the cramped quarters in the fourth generation. Controls and displays were generally good. Reviewers were particularly impressed with the "Sportline" models (known as the GLI in North America). Equipped with sport seats, a firmer suspension lowered by 15 millimetres (0.59 in), and low profile tyres, critics praised the excellent handling that was an improvement over the already good performance on the standard model. Additionally, the 2.0 Turbo FSI engine also won commendation for its high power figures, smooth operation, and low fuel consumption. Along with its hatchback brethren, the fifth generation ranks among the top cars on the market in independent reviews of resale value.
Although improved over the fourth generation, the Mark 5 still takes over 42 hours to assemble at the factory in Mexico. Part of this disparity is blamed on the switch to the more complex independent rear suspension. Volkswagen has publicly stated its discontent over the excessive assembly time, and pledged to streamline manufacturing in the next generation of A platform cars. In the interim, Volkswagen de México is making a concerted effort to further increase productivity at the plant, by consulting outside experts from Toyota and other Japanese companies. By implementing many lean manufacturing principles and techniques, a goal has been set to increase productivity levels at the factory by 30% or more in the coming years.
At the 2007 New York International Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled a station wagon version dubbed the Jetta SportWagen. The Jetta wagon was not sold for the 2006, 2007 and 2008 model years in the United States.][
The SportWagen has 930 litres (33 cu ft) of cargo space with the rear seats upright, or 1,894 litres (66.9 cu ft) with the seats folded. One unique option is a panoramic sunroof. The available roof is a full 1.18 square metres (12.7 sq ft) in area, giving both front and rear seat passengers an expansive view of the sky.
A similar model is sold as the Golf Variant in most markets outside the United States. In Mexico it is sold as the Bora Sportwagen and later Golf SportWagen with front fascia updates, Jetta Variant in Brazil, Vento Variant in Argentina, Jetta Wagon in Canada (2009 only), Golf Wagon in Canada (2010 onwards), and Golf Estate in the United Kingdom.
The 2010-model Jetta SportWagen is based on the fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf, despite the sixth-generation front facelift.
It is a version commemorating the 2008+ Jetta TDI Cup Race series, the last year of the MKV, and based on the TDI Clean Diesel sedan. The same 140 hp (104 kW), (240 lbf·ft torque) diesel motor is supplied, but the package includes GLI brakes, suspension, and sway bars. Additional upgrades from the base TDI are "TDI Cup Edition" body side stickers, 18-in wheels with Pirelli P-Zero or Yokohama ADVAN 225/40R18 sport tires, aluminium pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome door linings, aerodynamic body kit (front, side & rear), an Interlagos cloth interior with heated sport seats, short shifter, carbon fiber inlays (as opposed to metallic), and a black interior (headliner/doorcards/dash).
It can be purchased with either a 6-speed Manual or DSG transmission (DSG includes paddle shifters), and a "Thunderbunny" body kit is optional (and available from VW only on the Cup edition).
The vehicle was unveiled in 2008 SEMA show. The production version went on sale in January 2010 with a base MSRP of $24,990USD (not including destination or options).
Worldwide only 1,501 Jetta TDI Cup Editions were produced; 588 were manufactured with a manual transmission, and 913were built with DSG transmissions. Listed below is a breakdown of how many were produced in each of the four color options:
Black: 579 Produced
Candy White: 485 Produced
Salsa Red: 215 Produced
Laser Blue: 186 Produced
The sixth-generation Volkswagen Jetta, known as the NCS (New Compact Sedan) during its development, was announced in the North American market in June 2010. The new model is larger and cheaper to produce than the previous Jetta making the vehicle more competitive against rivals such as the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic as part of Volkswagen's goal of reaching sales of 800,000 units in the North American market by 2018. Production of the vehicle is at Volkswagen's Puebla, Mexico, facility. The sixth generation Volkswagen Jetta was primarily designed by Volkswagen Mexico under the supervision of Volkswagen Germany and 70% of the parts are designed and manufactured in Mexico.
Although no longer sharing any body panels with the Golf and having a longer wheelbase, this model is partly based on the same PQ35 platform.
Volkswagen's target of increasing its North American sales removed the Jetta from the premium compact car market. This forced many cost-cutting measures to be made for the North American models, which include a lower quality trim material for the interior and the replacement of leather with leatherette as an optional seating upholstery. Leather is still available on Canadian-spec models. The North American version also loses the multi-link rear suspension of the previous generation. Engines from the MK5 Jetta carried over include the 170 hp 2.5 L (five-cylinder) as well as the economy-minded 140 hp 2.0 TDI (diesel) engine. A hybrid, 1.4 L engine mated to an electric motor will be available in 2012 due to hybrid popularity in North America. The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid was unveiled in January 2012 at the North American International Auto Show. The Jetta Hybrid has an estimated combined fuel economy of 45 mpg-US (5.2 L/100 km; 54 mpg-imp). In North America, the base model (S in the US, Trendline in Canada) receives a 2.0-liter 8-valve four-cylinder engine with 115 horsepower and 125 lb·ft (169 N·m) torque. Sales of the 2013 model year Jetta Hybrid are scheduled to begin in the U.S. by late 2012.
The Jetta GLI, a sedan version of the Golf GTI based on the new Jetta, was revealed at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show with the 2.0 TSI 200 hp engine and a fully independent suspension, as well as the European Jetta's soft touch materials. A black honeycomb grill, aggressive lower intakes, side adorning foglights, smoked taillights, dual tailpipes, red painted calipers, and red stitching are all elements to separate it from its run-of-the-mill counterpart. The GLI, as well as the Jetta TDI, are the only two trims to receive Volkswagen's 6-speed manual transmission as well as the optional 6-speed DSG gearbox.
In Europe, the Jetta maintains its luxurious small saloon status. The engine range comprise of the 1.2 TSI, 1.4 TSI (122 or 160 PS), 2.0 TSI, 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI engines. The European version will differ in some respects, particularly in having multi-link suspension at the rear. The European version will also incorporate soft-touch plastics on most of the dashboard (not the doors for this generation), and the rear seat center air vents have been restored. The Jetta will also have a VR6-engined higher-performance version, to be called Jetta R, that is positioned directly against Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, although early speculation said it would be using a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as same as Golf R and Scirocco R.
The sixth-generation Jetta went on sale on July 22, 2010 in Mexico, thus becoming the only country in the world where both the fourth (sold as the Volkswagen Clásico), and sixth generation Jetta are available simultaneously. (Both models are also both available in Colombia and Argentina). The sixth generation Jetta replaced the fifth, known in Mexico as the Volkswagen Bora. A special edition called the "Volkswagen Jetta Edición Especial Bicentenario" and approved by the Mexican Federal Government commemorates that country's 200th anniversary of the beginning of its war of Independence, on September 16, 1810. It is also the first car in Mexico with granted permission to use an official government logo (a "2010" plaque). It was launched in India on 17 August 2011.][ It was launched in Australia and South Africa during September 2011.
In 2001, at the 18th International Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition in Berlin, Volkswagen released two environmentally friendly cars: the Bora HyMotion and the Bora Electric.
The Bora HyMotion was a hydrogen powered Mark 4 with a 75 kW fuel cell that could accelerate from 0 to 97 km/h (60 mph) in 12.5 seconds. With a 49-litre tank of cryogenically stored hydrogen, it had a range of 350 km (220 mi). Top speed was 140 km/h (87.0 mph).
In 2002, Volkswagen, along with Paul Scherrer Institute released another hydrogen powered car called the Bora Hy.Power. The car was powered by hydrogen compressed to a pressure of 320 bar (4600 psi). It had ratings very similar to the HyMotion; with a 75 kW (100 hp) power source. A special feature of the car was a 60 kilowatt super capacitor which could boost power when needed and also recover energy when coasting.
Volkswagen has considered producing a mild hybrid version of the fifth generation mainly for the North American market. However, no official plans have been promulgated, and the company will continue its clean diesel push regardless of the decision regarding hybrid technology.
Volkswagen released a Jetta MultiFuel in 1991, at first to the governments of the state of California and New York, and then for limited retail sale in those states to the public. They are an early example of an E85 vehicle, burning a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. These Jettas can still be found roaming the streets.
Volkswagen approves fueling Jetta TDIs with up to 5% biodiesel (B5). The diesel engine can sometimes be run with higher percentages of biodiesel, particularly during warm months. However, if the car experiences a fault, Volkswagen may deny warranty coverage if unapproved fuel is used.
Some owners have converted their diesel cars to run on vegetable oil used as fuel. There is a common misconception that this can only be done on indirect injected diesel vehicles, but in recent years pioneers in the SVO industry have developed fuel systems for Direct Injection engines. This can be obtained from most fast food restaurants for a minimal fee (if any). However, there has been at least one report of catastrophic engine damage resulting from the use of waste vegetable oil. Running the car on biofuels of any type has the advantage of being at least partly carbon neutral.
Volkswagen also released a Bora TDI which was powered by SunFuel, a synthetic fuel developed in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell. The company also displayed Bora TDI powered by SunDiesel that Volkswagen also developed with DaimlerChrysler along with Choren Industries.
Use of the two most popular blends of Biodiesel that are mostly Biodiesel, B80 and B100, is not recommended in 2009 and 2010 US TDI engines.
In Brazil the Jetta is being sold with the 2.0l Flexfuel engine. It can run on either E100 and Petrol.
In the early 1980s, Volkswagen released a limited production electric Jetta called the Jetta CitySTROMER. It featured a 24.8 hp (18.5 kW) powertrain (later 37.5 hp (28 kW)), with a range of 190 km (250 in the later version).
The second concept vehicle was called the Bora Electric. It had a power rating that varied according to the operating conditions. The Bora Electric could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 10 seconds with a range of 160 km. The energy needed to drive the vehicle is stored in a Lithium-ion battery. It was noted that its chance of success was limited in the marketplace given the high cost of the electric drive system.
From 2008 through 2010, Volkswagen and the Sports Car Club of America hosted the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, using factory prepared 2009 Jetta TDIs.
For the 2010 SCCA World Challenge season, Irish Mike's Racing is campaigning GLIs in the touring car class. Todd Buras won rounds 1 and 2 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and round 10 at Virginia International Raceway while Chip Herr won round 4 at Mosport.
On September 30, 2011, Volkswagen of America announced a recall involving 2009–2012 Jetta and Jetta Sportwagen models with the 2.0L TDI engine; this recall points to a resonance condition with the number 2 fuel injector line and the fuel injector pulses, causing small cracks in the line, which could leak.
See subgroups of the order Coleoptera
The Coleoptera order of insects is commonly called beetles. The word "coleoptera" is from the Greek , koleos, meaning "sheath"; and , pteron, meaning "wing", thus "sheathed wing", because most beetles have two pairs of wings, the front pair, the "elytra", being hardened and thickened into a sheath-like, or shell-like, protection for the rear pair, and for the rear part of the beetle's body. The superficial consistency of most beetles' morphology, in particular their possession of elytra, has long suggested that the Coleoptera are monophyletic, but growing evidence indicates this is unjustified, there being arguments, for example, in favour of allocating the current suborder Adephaga their own order, or very likely even more than one.
The Coleoptera include more species than any other order, constituting almost 25% of all known types of animal life-forms. About 40% of all described insect species are beetles (about 400,000 species), and new species are discovered frequently. Some estimates put the total number of species, described and undescribed, at as high as 100 million, but a figure of one million is more widely accepted. The largest taxonomic family is commonly thought to be the Curculionidae (the weevils or snout beetles), but recently the Staphylinidae (the rove beetles) have claimed this title.][
The diversity of beetles is very wide. They are found in all major habitats, except marine and the polar regions. They have many classes of ecological effects; particular species are adapted to practically every kind of diet. Some are nonspecialist detritus feeders, breaking down animal and plant debris; some feed on particular kinds of carrion such as flesh or hide; some feed on wastes such as dung; some feed on fungi, some on particular species of plants, others on a wide range of plants. Some are generalist pollen, flower and fruit eaters. Some are predatory, usually on other invertebrates; some are parasites or parasitoids. Many of the predatory species are important controls of agricultural pests. For example, beetles in the family Coccinellidae ("ladybirds" or "ladybugs") consume aphids, scale insects, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects that damage crops.
Conversely, beetles are prey of various invertebrates and vertebrates, including insects, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The Coleoptera are not generally serious pests, but they include agricultural and industrial pests, such as the Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata, the boll weevil Anthonomus grandis, the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum, and the mungbean or cowpea beetle Callosobruchus maculatus. Also included is the death-watch beetle, the larvae of which can cause serious structural damage to buildings by boring into the timbers.
Species in the Coleoptera have a hard exoskeleton, particularly on their forewings (elytra, singular elytron). These elytra distinguish beetles from most other insect species, except for the Dermaptera. The hemelytra of Heteroptera have a slight resemblance, but are not the same and their function is largely different.
Like all armoured insects, beetles' exoskeletons comprise numerous plates called sclerites, some fused, and some separated by thin sutures. This combines armored defenses with maintaining flexibility. The general anatomy of a beetle is superficially uniform, but specific organs and appendages may vary greatly in appearance and function between the many families in the order, and even more so between the suborders (such as Adephaga) that currently seem increasingly to be separate orders in their own right. All insects' bodies are divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen, and the Coleoptera are no exception. Their internal morphology and physiology also resemble those of other insects.
Beetles are endopterygotes; they undergo complete metamorphosis, a biological process by which an animal physically develops after a birth or hatching, undergoing a series of conspicuous and relatively abrupt changes in its body structure. Males may fight for females in various ways, and such species tend to display marked sexual dimorphism.
Beetles are by far the largest order of insects, with 350,000–400,000 species in four suborders (Adephaga, Archostemata, Myxophaga, and Polyphaga), making up about 40% of all insect species described, and about 30% of all animals. Though classification at the family level is a bit unstable, about 500 families and subfamilies are recognized. One of the first proposed estimates of the total number of beetle species on the planet is based on field data rather than on catalog numbers. The technique used for this original estimate, possibly as many as 12 million species, was criticized, and was later revised, with estimates of 850,000–4,000,000 species proposed. Some 70–95% of all beetle species, depending on the estimate, remain undescribed. The beetle fauna is not equally well known in all parts of the world. For example, the known beetle diversity of Australia is estimated at 23,000 species in 3265 genera and 121 families. This is slightly lower than reported for North America, a land mass of similar size with 25,160 species in 3526 genera and 129 families. While other predictions show there could be as many as 28,000 species in North America, including those currently undescribed, a realistic estimate of the little-studied Australian beetle fauna's true diversity could vary from 80,000 to 100,000.
Patterns of beetle diversity can be used to illustrate factors that have led to the success of the group as a whole. Based on estimates for all 165 families, more than 358,000 species of beetles have been described and are considered valid. Most species (about 62%) are in six extremely diverse families, each with at least 20,000 described species: Curculionidae, Staphylinidae, Chrysomelidae, Carabidae, Scarabaeidae, and Cerambycidae. The smaller families account for 22% of the total species – 127 families with fewer than 1000 described species and 29 families with 1000–6000 described species. So, the success of beetles as a whole is driven not only by several extremely diverse lineages, but also by a high number of moderately successful lineages. The patterns seen today indicate beetles went through a massive adaptive radiation early in their evolutionary history, with many of the resulting lineages flourishing through hundreds of millions of years to the present. The adaptive radiation of angiosperms helped drive the diversification of beetles, as four of the six megadiverse families of beetles are primarily angiosperm-feeders: Curculionidae, Chrysomelidae, Scarabaeidae, and Cerambycidae. However, even without the phytophagous groups, lineages of predators, scavengers, and fungivores are tremendously successful. Coleoptera are found in nearly all natural habitats, including freshwater and marine habitats, everywhere vegetative foliage is found, from trees and their bark to flowers, leaves, and underground near roots- even inside plants in galls, in every plant tissue, including dead or decaying ones.
Beetles are generally characterized by a particularly hard exoskeleton and hard forewings (elytra). The beetle's exoskeleton is made up of numerous plates, called sclerites, separated by thin sutures. This design provides armored defenses while maintaining flexibility. The general anatomy of a beetle is quite uniform, although specific organs and appendages may vary greatly in appearance and function between the many families in the order. Like all insects, beetles' bodies are divided into three sections: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen.
The head, having mouthparts projecting forward or sometimes downturned, is usually heavily sclerotized and varies in size. The eyes are compound and may display remarkable adaptability, as in the case of whirligig beetles (family Gyrinidae), where they are split to allow a view both above and below the waterline. Other species also have divided eyes – some longhorn beetles (family Cerambycidae) and weevils – while many have eyes that are notched to some degree. A few beetle genera also possess ocelli, which are small, simple eyes usually situated farther back on the head (on the vertex).
Beetles' antennae are primarily organs of smell, but may also be used to feel a beetle's environment physically. They may also be used in some families during mating, or among a few beetles for defence. Antennae vary greatly in form within the Coleoptera, but are often similar within any given family. In some cases, males and females of the same species will have different antennal forms. Antennae may be clavate (flabellate and lamellate are subforms of clavate, or clubbed antennae), filiform, geniculate, moniliform, pectinate, or serrate.
Beetles have mouthparts similar to those of grasshoppers. Of these parts, the most commonly known are probably the mandibles, which appear as large pincers on the front of some beetles. The mandibles are a pair of hard, often tooth-like structures that move horizontally to grasp, crush, or cut food or enemies (see defence, below). Two pairs of finger-like appendages, the maxillary and labial palpi, are found around the mouth in most beetles, serving to move food into the mouth. In many species, the mandibles are sexually dimorphic, with the males' enlarged enormously compared with those of females of the same species.
The thorax is segmented into the two discernible parts, the pro- and pterathorax. The pterathorax is the fused meso- and metathorax, which are commonly separate in other insect species, although flexibly articulate from the prothorax. When viewed from below, the thorax is that part from which all three pairs of legs and both pairs of wings arise. The abdomen is everything posterior to the thorax. When viewed from above, most beetles appear to have three clear sections, but this is deceptive: on the beetle's upper surface, the middle "section" is a hard plate called the pronotum, which is only the front part of the thorax; the back part of the thorax is concealed by the beetle's wings. This further segmentation is usually best seen on the abdomen.
The multisegmented legs end in two to five small segments called tarsi. Like many other insect orders, beetles bear claws, usually one pair, on the end of the last tarsal segment of each leg. While most beetles use their legs for walking, legs may be variously modified and adapted for other uses. Among aquatic families – Dytiscidae, Haliplidae, many species of Hydrophilidae and others – the legs, most notably the last pair, are modified for swimming and often bear rows of long hairs to aid this purpose. Other beetles have fossorial legs that are widened and often spined for digging. Species with such adaptations are found among the scarabs, ground beetles, and clown beetles (family Histeridae). The hind legs of some beetles, such as flea beetles (within Chrysomelidae) and flea weevils (within Curculionidae), are enlarged and designed for jumping.
The elytra are connected to the pterathorax, so named because it is where the wings are connected (pteron meaning "wing" in Greek). The elytra are not used for flight, but tend to cover the hind part of the body and protect the second pair of wings (alae). They must be raised to move the hind flight wings. A beetle's flight wings are crossed with veins and are folded after landing, often along these veins, and stored below the elytra. A fold (jugum) of the membrane at the base of each wing is a characteristic feature. In some beetles, the ability to fly has been lost. These include some ground beetles (family Carabidae) and some "true weevils" (family Curculionidae), but also desert- and cave-dwelling species of other families. Many have the two elytra fused together, forming a solid shield over the abdomen. In a few families, both the ability to fly and the elytra have been lost, with the best known example being the glow-worms of the family Phengodidae, in which the females are larviform throughout their lives.
The abdomen is the section behind the metathorax, made up of a series of rings, each with a hole for breathing and respiration, called a spiracle, composing three different segmented sclerites: the tergum, pleura, and the sternum. The tergum in almost all species is membranous, or usually soft and concealed by the wings and elytra when not in flight. The pleura are usually small or hidden in some species, with each pleuron having a single spiracle. The sternum is the most widely visible part of the abdomen, being a more or less scelortized segment. The abdomen itself does not have any appendages, but some (for example, Mordellidae) have articulating sternal lobes.
The digestive system of beetles is primarily based on plants, upon which they, for the most part, feed, with mostly the anterior midgut performing digestion, although in predatory species (for example Carabidae), most digestion occurs in the crop by means of midgut enzymes. In Elateridae species, the predatory larvae defecate enzymes on their prey, with digestion being extraorally. The alimentary canal basically consists of a short, narrow pharynx, a widened expansion, the crop, and a poorly developed gizzard. After is the midgut, that varies in dimensions between species, with a large amount of cecum, with a hindgut, with varying lengths. Typically, four to six Malpighian tubules occur.
The nervous system in beetles contains all the types found in insects, varying between different species, from three thoracic and seven or eight abdominal ganglia which can be distinguished to that in which all the thoracic and abdominal ganglia are fused to form a composite structure.
Like most insects, beetles inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide via a tracheal system. Air enters the body through spiracles, and circulates within the haemocoel in a system of tracheae and tracheoles, through the walls of which the relevant gases can diffuse appropriately.
Diving beetles, such as the Dytiscidae, carry a bubble of air with them when they dive. Such a bubble may be contained under the elytra or against the body by specialized hydrophobic hairs. The bubble covers at least some of the spiracles, thereby permitting the oxygen to enter the tracheae.
The function of the bubble is not so much as to contain a store of air, to act as a physical gill. The air that it traps is in contact with oxygenated water, so as the animal's consumption depletes the oxygen in the bubble, more oxygen can diffuse in to replenish it. Carbon dioxide is more soluble in water than either oxygen or nitrogen, so it readily diffuses out faster than in. Nitrogen is the most plentiful gas in the bubble, and the least soluble, so it constitutes a relatively static component of the bubble and acts as a stable medium for respiratory gases to accumulate in and pass through. Occasional visits to the surface are sufficient for the beetle to re-establish the constitution of the bubble.
Like other insects, beetles have open circulatory systems, based on hemolymph rather than blood. Also as in other insects, a segmented tube-like heart is attached to the dorsal wall of the hemocoel. It has paired inlets or ostia at intervals down its length, and circulates the hemolymph from the main cavity of the haemocoel and out through the anterior cavity in the head.
Different glands specialize for different pheromones produced for finding mates. Pheromones from species of Rutelinea are produced from epithelial cells lining the inner surface of the apical abdominal segments; amino acid-based pheromones of Melolonthinae are produced from eversible glands on the abdominal apex. Other species produce different types of pheromones. Dermestids produce esters, and species of Elateridae produce fatty acid-derived aldehydes and acetates. For means of finding a mate also, fireflies (Lampyridae) use modified fat body cells with transparent surfaces backed with reflective uric acid crystals to biosynthetically produce light, or bioluminescence. The light produce is highly efficient, as it is produced by oxidation of luciferin by enzymes (luciferases) in the presence of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and oxygen, producing oxyluciferin, carbon dioxide, and light.
A notable number of species have developed special glands to produce chemicals for deterring predators (see Defense and predation). The ground beetle's (of Carabidae) defensive glands, located at the posterior, produce a variety of hydrocarbons, aldehydes, phenols, quinones, esters, and acids released from an opening at the end of the abdomen. African carabid beetles (for example, Anthia and Thermophilum – Thermophilum generally included within Anthia) employ the same chemicals as ants: formic acid. Bombardier beetles have well-developed, like other carabid beetles, pygidial glands that empty from the lateral edges of the intersegment membranes between the seventh and eighth abdominal segments. The gland is made of two containing chambers. The first holds hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide, with the second holding just hydrogen peroxide plus catalases. These chemicals mix and result in an explosive ejection, forming temperatures of around , with the breakdown of hydroquinone to H2 + O2 + quinone, with the O2 propelling the excretion.
Tympanal organs or hearing organs, which is a membrane (tympanum) stretched across a frame backed by an air sac and associated sensory neurons, are described in two families. Several species of the genus Cicindela (Cicindelidae) have ears on the dorsal surfaces of their first abdominal segments beneath the wings; two tribes in the subfamily Dynastinae (Scarabaeidae) have ears just beneath their pronotal shields or neck membranes. The ears of both families are sensitive to ultrasonic frequencies, with strong evidence indicating they function to detect the presence of bats by their ultrasonic echolocation. Though beetles constitute a large order and live in a variety of niches, examples of hearing are surprisingly lacking amongst species, though likely most simply remain undiscovered.
Beetles are members of the superorder Endopterygota, and accordingly most of them undergo complete metamorphosis. The typical form of metamorphosis in beetles passes through four main stages: the egg, the larva, the pupa, and the imago or adult. The larvae are commonly called grubs and the pupa sometimes is called the chrysalis. In some species, the pupa may be enclosed in a cocoon constructed by the larva towards the end of its final instar. Going beyond "complete metamorphosis", however, some beetles, such as typical members of the families Meloidae and Rhipiphoridae, undergo hypermetamorphosis in which the first instar takes the form of a triungulin.
Beetles may display extremely intricate behavior when mating. Pheromone communication is likely to be important in the location of a mate.
Different species use different chemicals for their pheromones. Some scarab beetles (for example, Rutelinae) utilize pheromones derived from fatty acid synthesis, while other scarab beetles use amino acids and terpenoid compounds (for example, Melolonthinae). Another way species of Coleoptera find mates is the use of biosynthesized light, or bioluminescence. This special form of a mating call is confined to fireflies (Lampyridae) by the use of abdominal light-producing organs. The males and females engage in complex dialogue before mating, identifying different species by differences in duration, flight patterns, composition, and intensity.
Before mating, males and females may engage in various forms of behavior. They may stridulate, or vibrate the objects they are on. In some species (for example, Meloidae), the male climbs onto the dorsum of the female and strokes his antennae on her head, palps, and antennae. In the genus Eupompha of said family, the male draws the antennae along his longitudinal vertex. They may not mate at all if they do not perform the precopulatory ritual.
Conflict can play a part in the mating rituals of species such as burying beetles (genus Nicrophorus), where conflicts between males and females rage until only one of each is left, thus ensuring reproduction by the strongest and fittest. Many male beetles are territorial and will fiercely defend their small patches of territory from intruding males. In such species, the males may often have horns on their heads and/or thoraces, making their overall body lengths greater than those of the females, unlike most insects. Pairing is generally quick, but in some cases will last for several hours. During pairing, sperm cells are transferred to the female to fertilize the egg.
A single female may lay from several dozen to several thousand eggs during her lifetime. Eggs are usually laid according to the substrate on which the larvae will feed upon hatching. Among others, they can be laid loose in the substrate (for example, flour beetle), laid in clumps on leaves (for example, Colorado potato beetle), individually attached (for example, mungbean beetle and other seed borers), or buried in the medium (for example, carrot weevil).
Parental care varies between species, ranging from the simple laying of eggs under a leaf to certain scarab beetles, which construct underground structures complete with a supply of dung to house and feed their young. Other beetles are leaf rollers, biting sections of leaves to cause them to curl inwards, then laying their eggs, thus protected, inside.
The larva is usually the principal feeding stage of the beetle lifecycle. Larvae tend to feed voraciously once they emerge from their eggs. Some feed externally on plants, such as those of certain leaf beetles, while others feed within their food sources. Examples of internal feeders are most Buprestidae and longhorn beetles. The larvae of many beetle families are predatory like the adults (ground beetles, ladybirds, rove beetles). The larval period varies between species, but can be as long as several years. The larvae are highly varied amongst species, with well-developed and sclerotized heads, and have distinguishable thoracic and abdominal segments (usually the tenth, though sometimes the eighth or ninth).
Beetle larvae can be differentiated from other insect larvae by their hardened, often darkened heads, the presence of chewing mouthparts, and spiracles along the sides of their bodies. Like adult beetles, the larvae are varied in appearance, particularly between beetle families. Beetles whose larvae are somewhat flattened and are highly mobile are the ground beetles, some rove beetles, and others; their larvae are described as campodeiform. Some beetle larvae resemble hardened worms with dark head capsules and minute legs. These are elateriform larvae, and are found in the click beetle (Elateridae) and darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae) families. Some elateriform larvae of click beetles are known as wireworms. Beetles in the families of the Scarabaeoidea have short, thick larvae described as scarabaeiform, but more commonly known as grubs.
All beetle larvae go through several instars, which are the developmental stages between each moult. In many species, the larvae simply increase in size with each successive instar as more food is consumed. In some cases, however, more dramatic changes occur. Among certain beetle families or genera, particularly those that exhibit parasitic lifestyles, the first instar (the planidium) is highly mobile to search out a host, while the following instars are more sedentary and remain on or within their host. This is known as hypermetamorphosis; examples include the blister beetles (family Meloidae) and some rove beetles, particularly those of the genus Aleochara.
As with all endopterygotes, beetle larvae pupate, and from these pupae emerge fully formed, sexually mature adult beetles, or imagos. Adults have extremely variable lifespans, from weeks to years, depending on the species. In some species, the pupa may go through all four forms during its development, called hypermetamorphosis (for example, Meloidae). Pupae always have no mandibles (are adecticous). In most, the appendages are not attached to the pupae, or they are exarate; with most being obtect in form.
Aquatic beetles use several techniques for retaining air beneath the water's surface. Beetles of the family Dytiscidae hold air between the abdomen and the elytra when diving. Hydrophilidae have hairs on their under surface that retain a layer of air against their bodies. Adult crawling water beetles use both their elytra and their hind coxae (the basal segment of the back legs) in air retention, while whirligig beetles simply carry an air bubble down with them whenever they dive.
The elytra allow beetles and weevils to both fly and move through confined spaces, doing so by folding the delicate wings under the elytra while not flying, and folding their wings out just before take off. The unfolding and folding of the wings is operated by muscles attached to the wing base; as long as the tension on the radial and cubital veins remains, the wings remain straight. In day-flying species (for example, Buprestidae, Scarabaeidae), flight does not include large amounts of lifting of the elytra, having the metathorac wings extended under the lateral elytra margins.
Beetles have a variety of ways to communicate, some of which include a sophisticated chemical language through the use of pheromones. From the host tree, mountain pine beetles have many forms of communication. They can emit both an aggregative pheromone and an anti-aggregative pheromone. The aggregative pheromone attracts other beetles to the tree, and the anti-aggregative pheromone neutralizes the aggregative pheromone. This helps to avoid the harmful effects of having too many beetles on one tree competing for resources. The mountain pine beetle can also stridulate to communicate, or rub body parts together to create sound, having a "scraper" on their abdomens that they rub against a grooved surface on the underside of their left wing cover to create a sound that is not audible to humans. Once the female beetles have arrived on a suitable pine tree host, they begin to stridulate and produce aggregative pheromones to attract other unmated males and females. New females arrive and do the same as they land and bore into the tree. As the males arrive, they enter the galleries that the females have tunneled, and begin to stridulate to let the females know they have arrived, and to also warn others that the female in that gallery is taken. At this point, the female stops producing aggregative pheromones and starts producing anti-aggregative pheromone to deter more beetles from coming.
Since species of Coleoptera use environmental stimuli to communicate, they are affected by the climate. Microclimates, such as wind or temperature, can disturb the use of pheromones; wind would blow the pheromones while they travel through the air. Stridulating can be interrupted when the stimulus is vibrated by something else.
Among insect, parental care is very uncommon, only found in a few species. Some beetles also display this unique social behavior. One theory states parental care is necessary for the survival of the larvae, protecting them from adverse environmental conditions and predators. One species, a rover beetle (Bledius spectabilis) displays both causes for parental care: physical and biotic environmental factors. Said species lives in salt marshes, so the eggs and/or larvae are endangered by the rising tide. The maternal beetle will patrol the eggs and larva and apply the appropriate burrowing behavior to keep them from flooding and from asphyxiating. Another advantage is that the mother protects the eggs and larvae from the predatory carabid beetles species Dicheirotrichus gustavi and from the parasitoid wasp species Barycnemis blediator. Up to 15% of larvae are killed by this parasitoid wasp, being only protected by maternal beetles in their dens.
Some species of dung beetle also display a form of parental care. Dung beetles collect animal feces, or "dung", from which their name is derived, and roll it into a ball, sometimes being up to 50 times their own weight; albeit sometimes it is also used to store food. Usually it is the male that rolls the ball, with the female hitch-hiking or simply following behind. In some cases the male and the female roll together. When a spot with soft soil is found, they stop and bury the dung ball. They will then mate underground. After the mating, one or both of them will prepare the brooding ball. When the ball is finished, the female lays eggs inside it, a form of mass provisioning. Some species do not leave after this stage, but remain to safeguard their offspring.
Besides being abundant and varied, beetles are able to exploit the wide diversity of food sources available in their many habitats. Some are omnivores, eating both plants and animals. Other beetles are highly specialized in their diet. Many species of leaf beetles, longhorn beetles, and weevils are very host-specific, feeding on only a single species of plant. Ground beetles and rove beetles (family Staphylinidae), among others, are primarily carnivorous and will catch and consume many other arthropods and small prey, such as earthworms and snails. While most predatory beetles are generalists, a few species have more specific prey requirements or preferences.
Decaying organic matter is a primary diet for many species. This can range from dung, which is consumed by coprophagous species (such as certain scarab beetles of the family Scarabaeidae), to dead animals, which are eaten by necrophagous species (such as the carrion beetles of the family Silphidae). Some of the beetles found within dung and carrion are in fact predatory. These include the clown beetles, preying on the larvae of coprophagous and necrophagous insects.
Beetles and their larvae have a variety of strategies to avoid being attacked by predators or parasitoids. These include camouflage, mimicry, toxicity, and active defense. Camouflage involves the use of coloration or shape to blend into the surrounding environment. This sort of protective coloration is common and widespread among beetle families, especially those that feed on wood or vegetation, such as many of the leaf beetles (family Chrysomelidae) or weevils. In some of these species, sculpturing or various colored scales or hairs cause the beetle to resemble bird dung or other inedible objects. Many of those that live in sandy environments blend in with the coloration of the substrate. The giant African longhorn beetle (Petrognatha gigas) resembles the moss and bark of the tree it feeds on. Another defense that often uses color or shape to deceive potential enemies is mimicry. A number of longhorn beetles (family Cerambycidae) bear a striking resemblance to wasps, which helps them avoid predation even though the beetles are in fact harmless. This defense is an example of Batesian mimicry and, together with other forms of mimicry and camouflage occurs widely in other beetle families, such as the Scarabaeidae. Beetles may combine their color mimicry with behavioral mimicry, acting like the wasps they already closely resemble. Many beetle species, including ladybirds, blister beetles, and lycid beetles can secrete distasteful or toxic substances to make them unpalatable or even poisonous. These same species often exhibit aposematism, where bright or contrasting color patterns warn away potential predators, and there are, not surprisingly, a great many beetles and other insects that mimic these chemically protected species.
Chemical defense is another important defense found amongst species of Coleoptera, usually being advertised by bright colors. Others may utilize behaviors that would be done when releasing noxious chemicals (for example, Tenebrionidae). Chemical defense may serve purposes other than just protection from vertebrates, such as protection from a wide range of microbes, and repellents. Some species release chemicals in the form of a spray with surprising accuracy, such as ground beetles (Carabidae), may spray chemicals from their abdomen to repel predators. Some species take advantage of the plants from which they feed, and sequester the chemicals from the plant that would protect it and incorporate into their own defense. African carabid beetles (for example, Anthia and Thermophilum) employ the same chemicals used by ants, while Bombardier beetles have a their own unique separate gland, spraying potential predators from far distances.
Large ground beetles and longhorn beetles may defend themselves using strong mandibles and/or spines or horns to forcibly persuade a predator to seek out easier prey. Many species have large protrusions from their thorax and head such as the Rhinoceros beetle, which can be used to defended themselves from predators. Many species of weevil that feed out in the open on leaves of plants react to attack by employing a "drop-off reflex". Even further, some will combine it with thanatosis, which they will close up their legs, antennae, mandibles, etc. and use their cryptic coloration to blend in with the background. Species with varied coloration do not do this as they can not camaflouge.
Over 1000 species of beetles are known to be either parasitic, predatory, or commensals in the nests of ants. Technically, many species of beetles and their larvae could be considered to be ectoparasites, because they feed on plants and some live inside the bark or wood of trees, but such relationships are generally regarded as herbivory (plant eating) rather than parasitism.
A few species of beetles are actually ectoparasitic on mammals. One such species, Platypsyllus castoris, parasitises beavers (Castor spp.). This beetle lives as a parasite both as a larva and as an adult, feeding on epidermal tissue and possibly on skin secretions and wound exudates. They are strikingly flattened dorsoventrally, no doubt as an adaptation for slipping between the beavers' hairs. They also are wingless and eyeless, as are many other ectoparasites.
Other parasitic beetles include those that are parasitoids of other invertebrates, such as the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) that infests honey bee hives. The larvae tunnel through comb towards stored honey or pollen, damaging or destroying cappings and comb in the process. Larvae defecate in honey and the honey becomes discolored from the feces, which causes fermentation and a frothiness in the honey; the honey develops a characteristic odor of decaying oranges. Damage and fermentation cause honey to run out of combs, destroying large amounts of it both in hives and sometimes also in honey extracting rooms. Heavy infestations cause bees to abscond; some beekeepers have reported the rapid collapse of even strong colonies.
Beetle-pollinated flowers are usually large, greenish or off-white in color, and heavily scented. Scents may be spicy, fruity, or similar to decaying organic material. Most beetle-pollinated flowers are flattened or dish-shaped, with pollen easily accessible, although they may include traps to keep the beetle longer. The plants' ovaries are usually well protected from the biting mouthparts of their pollinators. Beetles may be particularly important in some parts of the world such as semiarid areas of southern Africa and southern California and the montane grasslands of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
Amongst most orders of insects, mutualism is not common, but some examples occur in species of Coleoptera, such as the ambrosia beetle, the ambrosia fungus, and probably bacteria. The beetles excavate tunnels in dead trees in which they cultivate fungal gardens, their sole source of nutrition. After landing on a suitable tree, an ambrosia beetle excavates a tunnel in which it releases spores of its fungal symbiont. The fungus penetrates the plant's xylem tissue, digests it, and concentrates the nutrients on and near the surface of the beetle gallery, so the weevils and the fungus both benefit. The beetles cannot eat the wood due to toxins, and uses its relationship with fungi to help overcome its host tree defenses and to provide nutrition for their larvae. Chemically mediated by a bacterially produced polyunsaturated peroxide, this mutualistic relationship between the beetle and the fungus is coevolved.
Pseudoscorpions are small arachnids with flat, pear-shaped bodies and pincers that resemble those of scorpions (only distant relatives), usually ranging from 2 to 8 millimetres (0.08 to 0.31 in) in length. Their small size allows them to hitch rides under the elytra of giant harlequin beetles to be dispersed over wide areas while simultaneously being protected from predators. They may also find mating partners as other individuals join them on the beetle. This would be a form of parasitism if the beetle were harmed in the process, but the beetle is, presumably, unaffected by the presence of the hitchhikers.
A 2007 study based on DNA of living beetles and maps of likely beetle evolution indicated beetles may have originated during the Lower Permian, up to 299 million years ago. In 2009, a fossil beetle was described from the Pennsylvanian of Mazon Creek, Illinois, pushing the origin of the beetles to an earlier date, . Fossils from this time have been found in Asia and Europe, for instance in the red slate fossil beds of Niedermoschel near Mainz, Germany. Further fossils have been found in Obora, Czechia and Tshekarda in the Ural mountains, Russia. However, there are only a few fossils from North America before the middle Permian, although both Asia and North America had been united to Euramerica. The first discoveries from North America made in the Wellington formation of Oklahoma were published in 2005 and 2008.
As a consequence of the Permian–Triassic extinction event, the fossil record of insects is scant, including beetles from the Lower Triassic. However, a few exceptions are noted, as in Eastern Europe; at the Babiy Kamen site in the Kuznetsk Basin, numerous beetle fossils were discovered, even entire specimen of the infraorders Archostemata (e.g. Ademosynidae, Schizocoleidae), Adephaga (e.., Triaplidae, Trachypachidae) and Polyphaga (e.g. Hydrophilidae, Byrrhidae, Elateroidea) and in nearly a perfectly preserved condition. However, species from the families Cupedidae and Schizophoroidae are not present at this site, whereas they dominate at other fossil sites from the Lower Triassic. Further records are known from Khey-Yaga, Russia, in the Korotaikha Basin. There are many important sites from the Jurassic, with more than 150 important sites with beetle fossils, the majority being situated in Eastern Europe and North Asia. In North America and especially in South America and Africa, the number of sites from that time period is smaller, and the sites have not been exhaustively investigated yet. Outstanding fossil sites include Solnhofen in Upper Bavaria, Germany, Karatau in South Kazakhstan, the Yixian formation in Liaoning, North China, as well as the Jiulongshan formation and further fossil sites in Mongolia. In North America there are only a few sites with fossil records of insects from the Jurassic, namely the shell limestone deposits in the Hartford basin, the Deerfield basin and the Newark basin.
A large number of important fossil sites worldwide contain beetles from the Cretaceous. Most are located in Europe and Asia and belong to the temperate climate zone during the Cretaceous. A few of the fossil sites mentioned in the chapter Jurassic also shed some light on the early Cretaceous beetle fauna (for example, the Yixian formation in Liaoning, North China). Further important sites from the Lower Cretaceous include the Crato fossil beds in the Araripe basin in the Ceará, North Brazil, as well as overlying Santana formation, with the latter was situated near the paleoequator, or the position of the earth's equator in the geologic past as defined for a specific geologic period. In Spain, important sites are located near Montsec and Las Hoyas. In Australia, the Koonwarra fossil beds of the Korumburra group, South Gippsland, Victoria, are noteworthy. Important fossil sites from the Upper Cretaceous include Kzyl-Dzhar in South Kazakhstan and Arkagala in Russia.
The oldest known insect that resembles species of Coleoptera date back to the Lower Permian (270 mya), though they instead have 13-segmented antennae, elytra with more fully developed venation and more irregular longitudinal ribbing, and an abdomen and ovipositor extending beyond the apex of the elytra. At the end of the Permian, the biggest mass extinction in history took place, collectively called the Permian–Triassic extinction event (P-Tr): 30% of all insect species became extinct; however, it is the only mass extinction of insects in Earth's history until today.
Due to the P-Tr extinction, the fossil record of insects only includes beetles from the Lower Triassic (). Around this time, during the Late Triassic, mycetophagous, or fungus-feeding species (e.g. Cupedidae) appear in the fossil record. In the stages of the Upper Triassic, representatives of the algophagous, or algae-feeding species (e.g. Triaplidae and Hydrophilidae) begin to appear, as well as predatory water beetles. The first primitive weevils appear (e.g. Obrienidae), as well as the first representatives of the rove beetles (e.g. Staphylinidae), which show no marked difference in morphology compared to recent species.
During the Jurassic (), a dramatic increase in the known diversity of family-level Coleoptera occurred, including the development and growth of carnivorous and herbivorous species. Species of the superfamily Chrysomeloidea are believed to have developed around the same time, which include a wide array of plant hosts ranging from cycads and conifers, to angiosperms. Close to the Upper Jurassic, the portion of the Cupedidae decreased, but at the same time the diversity of the early plant-eating, or phytophagous species increased. Most of the recent phytophagous species of Coleoptera feed on flowering plants or angiosperms. The increase in diversity of the angiosperms is also believed to have influenced the diversity of the phytophagous species, which doubled during the Middle Jurassic. However, doubts have been raised recently, since the increase of the number of beetle families during the Cretaceous does not correlate with the increase of the number of angiosperm species. Also around the same time, numerous primitive weevils (e.g. Curculionoidea) and click beetles (e.g. Elateroidea) appeared. Also, the first jewel beetles (e.g. Buprestidae) are present, but they were rather rare until the Cretaceous. The first scarab beetles appeared around this time, but they were not coprophagous (feeding upon fecal matter), instead presumably feeding upon the rotting wood with the help of fungus; they are an early example of a mutualistic relationship.
The Cretaceous included the initiation of the most recent round of southern landmass fragmentation, via the opening of the southern Atlantic ocean and the isolation of New Zealand, while South America, Antarctica, and Australia grew more distant. During the Cretaceous, the diversity of Cupedidae and Archostemata decreased considerably. Predatory ground beetles (Carabidae) and rove beetles (Staphylinidae) began to distribute into different patterns; whereas the Carabidae predominantly occurred in the warm regions, the Staphylinidae and click beetles (Elateridae) preferred many areas with temperate climates. Likewise, predatory species of Cleroidea and Cucujoidea hunted their prey under the bark of trees together with the jewel beetles (Buprestidae). The jewel beetles' diversity increased rapidly during the Cretaceous, as they were the primary consumers of wood, while longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) were rather rare, and their diversity increased only towards the end of the Upper Cretaceous. The first coprophagous beetles have been recorded from the Upper Cretaceous, and are believed to have lived on the excrement of herbivorous dinosaurs, but discussion is still ongoing as to whether the beetles were always tied to mammals during their development. Also, the first species with an adaption of both larvae and adults to the aquatic lifestyle are found. Whirligig beetles (Gyrinidae) were moderately diverse, although other early beetles (e.g. Dytiscidae) were less, with the most widespread being the species of Coptoclavidae, which preyed on aquatic fly larvae.
Between the Paleogene and the Neogene is when today's beetles developed. During this time, the continents began to be located closer to where they are today. Around , the land bridge between South America and North America was formed, and the fauna exchange between Asia and North America started. Though many recent genera and species already existed during the Miocene, their distribution differed considerably from today's.
The suborders diverged in the Permian and Triassic. Their phylogenetic relationship is uncertain, with the most popular hypothesis being that Polyphaga and Myxophaga are most closely related, with Adephaga as the sister group to those two, and Archostemata as sister to the other three collectively. Although six other competing hypotheses are noted, the other most widely discussed one has Myxophaga as the sister group of all remaining beetles rather than just of Polyphaga. Evidence for a close relationship of the two suborders, Polyphaga and Myxophaga, includes the shared reduction in the number of larval leg articles. The Adephaga are further considered as sister to Myxophaga and Polyphaga, based on their completely sclerotized elytra, reduced number of crossveins in the hind wings, and the folded (as opposed to rolled) hind wings of those three suborders.
Recent cladistic analysis of some of the structural characteristics supports the Polyphaga and Myxophaga hypothesis. The membership of the clade Coleoptera is not in dispute, with the exception of the twisted-wing parasites, Strepsiptera. These odd insects have been regarded as related to the beetle families Rhipiphoridae and Meloidae, with which they share first-instar larvae that are active, host-seeking triungulins and later-instar larvae that are endoparasites of other insects, or the sister group of beetles, or more distantly related to insects.
About 450,000 species of beetles occur – representing about 40% of all known insects. Such a large number of species poses special problems for classification, with some families consisting of thousands of species and needing further division into subfamilies and tribes. This immense number of species allegedly led evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane to quip, when some theologians asked him what could be inferred about the mind of the Creator from the works of His Creation, that God displayed "an inordinate fondness for beetles".
About three-fourths of beetle species are phytophagous in both the larval and adult stages, living in or on plants, wood, fungi, and a variety of stored products, including cereals, tobacco, and dried fruits. Because many of these plants are important for agriculture, forestry, and the household, beetles can be considered pests. Some of these species cause significant damage, such as the boll weevil, which feeds on cotton buds and flowers. The boll weevil crossed the Rio Grande near Brownsville, Texas, to enter the United States from Mexico around 1892, and had reached southeastern Alabama by 1915. By the mid-1920s, it had entered all cotton-growing regions in the US, traveling 40 to 160 miles (60–260 km) per year. It remains the most destructive cotton pest in North America. Mississippi State University has estimated, since the boll weevil entered the United States, it has cost cotton producers about $13 billion, and in recent times about $300 million per year. Many other species also have done extensive damage to plant populations, such as the bark beetle and elm leaf beetle. The bark beetle and elm leaf beetle, among other species, have been known to nest in elm trees. Bark beetles in particular carry Dutch elm disease as they move from infected breeding sites to feed on healthy elm trees. The spread of Dutch elm disease by the beetle has led to the devastation of elm trees in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, notably in Europe and North America.
Situations in which a species has developed immunity to pesticides are worse, as in the case of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, which is a notorious pest of potato plants. Crops are destroyed and the beetle can only be treated by employing expensive pesticides, to many of which it has begun to develop resistance. Suitable hosts can include a number of plants from the potato family (Solanaceae), such as nightshade, tomato, eggplant and capsicum, as well as potatoes. The Colorado potato beetle has developed resistance to all major insecticide classes, although not every population is resistant to every chemical.
Pests do not only affect agriculture, but can also even affect houses, such as the death watch beetle. The death watch beetle, Xestobium rufovillosum (family Anobiidae), is of considerable importance as a pest of older wooden buildings in Great Britain. It attacks hardwoods such as oak and chestnut, always where some fungal decay has taken or is taking place. The actual introduction of the pest into buildings is thought to take place at the time of construction.
Other pest include the coconut hispine beetle, Brontispa longissima, which feeds on young leaves and damages seedlings and mature coconut palms. On September 27, 2007, Philippines' Metro Manila and 26 provinces were quarantined due to having been infested with this pest (to save the $800-million Philippine coconut industry). The mountain pine beetle normally attacks mature or weakened lodgepole pine. It can be the most destructive insect pest of mature pine forests. The current infestation in British Columbia is the largest Canada has ever seen.
Beetles are not only pests, but can also be beneficial, usually by controlling the populations of pests. One of the best, and widely known, examples are the ladybugs or ladybirds (family Coccinellidae). Both the larvae and adults are found feeding on aphid colonies. Other ladybugs feed on scale insects and mealybugs. If normal food sources are scarce, they may feed on small caterpillars, young plant bugs, or honeydew and nectar. Ground beetles (family Carabidae) are common predators of many different insects and other arthropods, including fly eggs, caterpillars, wireworms, and others.
Dung beetles (Scarabidae) have been successfully used to reduce the populations of pestilent flies and parasitic worms that breed in cattle dung. The beetles make the dung unavailable to breeding pests by quickly rolling and burying it in the soil, with the added effect of improving soil fertility, tilth, and nutrient cycling. The Australian Dung Beetle Project (1965–1985), led by Dr. George Bornemissza of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, introduced species of dung beetle to Australia from South Africa and Europe, and effectively reduced the bush fly (Musca vetustissima) population by 90%.
Dung beetles play a remarkable role in agriculture. By burying and consuming dung, they improve nutrient recycling and soil structure. They also protect livestock, such as cattle, by removing dung, which, if left, could provide habitat for pests such as flies. Therefore, many countries have introduced the creatures for the benefit of animal husbandry. In developing countries, the beetle is especially important as an adjunct for improving standards of hygiene. The American Institute of Biological Sciences reports that dung beetles save the United States cattle industry an estimated US$380 million annually through burying above-ground livestock feces.
Some beetles help in a professional setting, doing things that people can not; those of the family Dermestidae are often used in taxidermy and preparation of scientific specimens to clean bones of remaining soft tissue. The beetle larvae are used to clean skulls because they do a thorough job of cleaning, and do not leave the tool marks that taxidermists' tools do. Another benefit is, with no traces of meat remaining and no emulsified fats in the bones, the trophy will not develop the unpleasant dead odor. Using the beetle larvae means that all cartilage is removed along with the flesh, leaving the bones spotless.
Insects are used as human food in 80% of the world's nations. Beetles are the most widely eaten insects. About 344 species are known to be used as food, usually eaten in the larval stage. The mealworm is the most commonly eaten beetle species. The larvae of the darkling beetle and the rhinoceros beetle are also commonly eaten.
Many beetles have beautiful and durable elytra that have been used as material in arts, with beetlewing the best example. Sometimes, they are also incorporated into ritual objects for their religious significance. Whole beetles, either as-is or encased in clear plastic, are also made into objects varying from cheap souvenirs such as key chains to expensive fine-art jewelry. In parts of Mexico, beetles of the genus Zopherus are made into living brooches by attaching costume jewelry and golden chains, which is made possible by the incredibly hard elytra and sedentary habits of the genus.
Many beetles were prominent in ancient cultures. Of these, the most prominent might be the dung beetle in Ancient Egypt. Several species of dung beetle, most notably the species Scarabaeus sacer (often referred to as the sacred scarab), enjoyed a sacred status among the ancient Egyptians. Popular interpretation in modern academia theorizes the hieroglyphic image of the beetle represents a triliteral phonetic that Egyptologists transliterate as xpr or ḫpr and translate as "to come into being", "to become", or "to transform". The derivative term xprw or ḫpr(w) is variously translated as "form", "transformation", "happening", "mode of being", or "what has come into being", depending on the context. It may have existential, fictional, or ontologic significance.
The scarab was linked to Khepri ("he who has come into being"), the god of the rising sun. The ancients believed the dung beetle was only male in gender, and reproduced by depositing semen into a dung ball. The supposed self-creation of the beetle resembles that of Khepri, who created himself out of nothing. Moreover, the dung ball rolled by a dung beetle resembles the sun. Plutarch wrote:
The race of beetles has no female, but all the males eject their sperm into a round pellet of material which they roll up by pushing it from the opposite side, just as the sun seems to turn the heavens in the direction opposite to its own course, which is from west to east.
The ancient Egyptians believed Khepri renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon, then carried it through the other world after sunset, only to renew it, again, the next day. Some New Kingdom royal tombs exhibit a threefold image of the sun god, with the beetle as symbol of the morning sun. The astronomical ceiling in the tomb of Ramses VI portrays the nightly "death" and "rebirth" of the sun as being swallowed by Nut, goddess of the sky, and re-emerging from her womb as Khepri.
Excavations of ancient Egyptian sites have yielded images of the scarab in bone, ivory, stone, Egyptian faience, and precious metals, dating from the Sixth Dynasty and up to the period of Roman rule. They are generally small, bored to allow stringing on a necklace, and the base bears a brief inscription or cartouche. Some have been used as seals. Pharaohs sometimes commissioned the manufacture of larger images with lengthy inscriptions, such as the commemorative scarab of Queen Tiye. Massive sculptures of scarabs can be seen at Luxor Temple, at the Serapeum in Alexandria (see Serapis) and elsewhere in Egypt.
The scarab was of prime significance in the funerary cult of ancient Egypt. Scarabs, generally, though not always, were cut from green stone, and placed on the chest of the deceased. Perhaps the most famous example of such "heart scarabs" is the yellow-green pectoral scarab found among the entombed provisions of Tutankhamen. It was carved from a large piece of Libyan desert glass. The purpose of the "heart scarab" was to ensure the heart would not bear witness against the deceased at judgement in the Afterlife. Other possibilities are suggested by the "transformation spells" of the Coffin Texts, which affirm that the soul of the deceased may transform (xpr) into a human being, a god, or a bird and reappear in the world of the living.
In contrast to funerary contexts, some of ancient Egypt's neighbors adopted the scarab motif for seals of varying types. The best-known of these are the Judean LMLK seals (eight of 21 designs contained scarab beetles), which were used exclusively to stamp impressions on storage jars during the reign of Hezekiah. The scarab remains an item of popular interest due to modern fascination with the art and beliefs of ancient Egypt. Scarab beads in semiprecious stones or glazed ceramics can be purchased at most bead shops, while at Luxor Temple, a massive ancient scarab has been roped off to discourage visitors from rubbing the base of the statue "for luck".
Beetles still play roles in modern culture. One example is in insect fighting for entertainment and gambling. This sport exploits the territorial behavior and mating competition of certain species of large beetles. Enthusiasts collect and raise various species of insects for fighting. Among beetles, the most popular are large species of stag beetles, rhinoceros beetles, kabutomushi, and goliath beetles.
The study of beetles is called coleopterology (from Coleoptera, see above, and Greek , -logia), and its practitioners are coleopterists. Coleopterists have formed organizations to facilitate the study of beetles. Among these is The Coleopterists Society, an international organization based in the United States. Such organizations may have both professionals and amateurs interested in beetles as members. Research in this field is often published in peer-reviewed journals specific to the field of coleopterology, though journals dealing with general entomology also publish many papers on various aspects of beetle biology. Some of the journals specific to beetle research are:
117 km (73 mi) EPA
175 km (109 mi) NEDC
121 km (75 mi) EPA
135 km (84 mi) EPA range at 100% charge
200 km (120 mi) NEDC
1,521 kg (3,354 lb)
The Nissan Leaf (also formatted "LEAF" as a backronym for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car) is a five-door hatchback electric car manufactured by Nissan and introduced in Japan and the United States in December 2010. The US Environmental Protection Agency official range for the 2013 model year Leaf is 121 km (75 mi) and rated the Leaf's combined fuel economy at 115 miles per US gallon gasoline equivalent (2.0 L/100 km). The 2013 Leaf has a range of 200 km (120 mi) on the New European Driving Cycle.
Deliveries to retail customers began in the United States and Japan in December 2010, followed by various European countries and Canada in 2011, and as of February 2013[update], is available in 17 European countries, Australia and other international markets. The Leaf is the world's best selling highway-capable all-electric car ever, and global sales reached the 50,000 units sold milestone by mid February 2013. Worldwide sales are led by the United States with about 30,000 units, Japan with 28,000 units, followed by Europe with 12,000 units delivered, with global sales totaling about 71,000 Leafs by mid July 2013. The European market is led by Norway with more than 4,600 units sold.
As an all-electric car, the Nissan Leaf produces no tailpipe pollution or greenhouse gas emissions at the point of operation, and contributes to reduce dependence on petroleum. Among other awards and recognition, the Nissan Leaf won the 2010 Green Car Vision Award, the 2011 European Car of the Year, the 2011 World Car of the Year, and the 2011–2012 Car of the Year Japan.
Nissan introduced its first battery electric vehicle, the Nissan Altra at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on 29 December 1997. The Altra EV was produced between 1998 and 2002, only about 200 vehicles were ever produced, and it was mainly used as a fleet vehicle for companies such as electric utilities. Nissan also developed the Nissan Hypermini, ran a demonstration program and sold limited numbers for government and corporate fleets in Japan between 1999 and 2001. A small fleet of Hyperminis was also field tested in several cities in California between 2001 and 2005.
Unveiled in 2009, the EV-11 prototype electric car was based on the Nissan Tiida (Versa in North America), but with the conventional gasoline engine replaced with an all-electric drivetrain, and included an 80 kW (110 hp)/280 N·m (210 lb·ft) electric motor, 24 kW·h lithium-ion battery pack rated to have a range of 175 kilometres (109 mi) on the United States Environmental Protection Agency's LA-4 or "city" driving cycle, navigation system, and remote control and monitoring via a cellphone connection through Nissan's secure data center to the car. The technology in the EV-11 was previously developed and tested in the EV-01 and EV-02 test cars, built with an all-electric powertrain that used the Nissan Cube (Z11) as a development mule. The EV-11 prototype was on display July 26, 2009. A week later, on August 2, 2009, Nissan unveiled its production version at its Yokohama headquarters and committed to begin retail sales in both the North American market and Japan at end of 2010.
The Leaf's frontal style is characterized by a sharp V-shape design with large, up slanting light-emitting diode (LED) headlights that create a distinctive blue internal reflective design. The headlights also split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, which reduces wind noise and drag. The LED low-beam headlights consume less electricity than the halogen lamps. Nissan sought to make the Leaf appealing to mainstream drivers by giving it a familiar sedan- and hatchback-like design. The bottom of the car has aerodynamic paneling to reduce drag and improve aerodynamics as much as possible. According to Nissan, the 2011 Leaf has a drag coefficient of Cd=0.29, which was reduced to Cd=0.28 for the 2013 model year Leaf.
The Leaf uses an 80 kW (110 hp) and 280 N·m (210 ft·lb) front-mounted synchronous electric motor driving the front axle, powered by a 24 kilowatt-hours (86 MJ) lithium ion battery pack rated to deliver up to 90 kilowatts (120 hp) power. The pack contains air-cooled, stacked laminated battery cells with lithium manganate cathodes. The battery and control module together weigh 300 kilograms (660 lb) and the specific energy of the cells is 140 W·h/kg. Each battery pack costs Nissan an estimated (as of May 2010[update]). The 2011/12 model Leaf has a top speed of over 150 km/h (93 mph) Unofficially, 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) performance has been tested at 9.9 seconds.
The 24 kWh battery pack consists of 48 modules and each module contains four cells, a total of 192 cells, and is assembled by Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC) – a joint venture between Nissan, NEC and NEC Energy Devices, at Zama, Japan.
The Leaf's design locates the battery, the heaviest part of any EV, below the seats and rear foot space, keeping the center of gravity as low as possible and increasing structural rigidity compared to a conventional five-door hatchback.
The battery pack is expected to retain 70% to 80% of its capacity after 10 years but its actual lifespan depends on how often DC fast charging (480 Volts DC) is used and also on driving patterns and environmental factors. Nissan said the battery will lose capacity gradually over time but it expects a lifespan of over 10 years under normal use. The 2011/12 Leaf's battery was initially guaranteed by Nissan for eight years or 100,000 miles (160,000 km) (see Warranty sub-section below under United States for limitations).
In addition to the main battery, the Leaf also has an auxiliary 12-volt lead–acid battery that provides power to the car computer systems and accessories such as the audio system, supplemental restraint systems, headlights and windshield wipers. The small solar panel on the Leaf rear spoiler (in the United States, only comes with SL trim) helps to charge this accessory battery.
Nissan recommends owners the following preventive actions to help maximize the lithium-ion battery’s useful life and its ability to hold a charge:
As a result of the controversy regarding several U.S. owners reporting premature loss of battery capacity in places with hot climate, Nissan USA announced in January 2012 that it will offer an extended battery warranty on the 2013 model year Leaf which includes 2011 and 2012 model years as well. The 2013 Leaf is covered by a "State Of Health" clause which covers gradual capacity loss. This provision allows for the battery pack to either be repaired or replaced if the battery life reduces quicker than anticipated over the five years warranty period.
In June 2013 Nissan announced a battery replacement program to go into effect in 2014. At a cost of about (~ €76) per month, Leaf owners can sign up at any time for the program and immediately get a new battery pack with the latest available technology that is compatible with their vehicle. The replacement battery has a full 12 bars (100%) of capacity. Nissan provides assurance that the replacement pack will maintain at least 9 bars (70% capacity) or more capacity for the time that they own their car and make monthly payments. The program also provides protection from defects in materials or workmanship for the time they own their Leaf and remain in the battery program. In summary, all batteries installed under this program will have coverage similar to the terms of standard battery coverage under the "Nissan New Electric Vehicle Limited Warranty."
The United States Environmental Protection Agency official range is 117 km (73 mi), much less than the 160 kilometres (100 mi) promised by Nissan. The Federal Trade Commission, which is supposed to label all alternative-fuel vehicles, disagrees with the EPA rating, and considers that the correct range is between 96 to 110 miles (154 to 180 km). Although the FTC does not conduct its own tests as EPA does, it relies on a standard set by SAE International and the results reported by automakers. The Leaf has a range of 175 km (109 mi) on the New European Driving Cycle.
Based on third-party test drives carried out in the US, reviewers have found that the range available from a single charge can vary up to 40% in real-world situations; reports vary from about 100 kilometres (62 mi) to almost 222 kilometres (138 mi) depending on driving style, load, traffic conditions, weather (i.e. wind, atmospheric density), and accessory use. Nissan tested the Leaf under several scenarios to estimate real-world range figures, and obtained a worst case scenario of 76 kilometres (47 mi) and a best case scenario of 222 kilometres (138 mi). The following table summarizes the results under each scenario tested using EPA's L4 test cycle and presents EPA rating as a reference:
Consumer Reports tested a 2011/12 model Leaf loaner under cold-weather driven as a daily commuter. The average range obtained was 105 kilometres (65 mi) per charge with temperatures varying from 20 to 30 °F (−7 to −1 °C). The magazine also reported one trip under a temperature of that began with the range panel indicator showing 32 kilometres (20 mi) remaining. After 13 kilometres (8 mi) the Leaf drastically lost power and dropped its speed and continued to run slower until the last stretch was completed almost at walking speed. Consumer Reports concluded that the Leaf works as designed under cold temperatures but a more accurate range indicator is desirable.
In June 2011 Nissan reported, based on data collected through the Leaf's advanced telematics system, that most Leaf owners in Japan and the United States drive distances less than 60 miles (100 km) per day. Nissan also found that on average owners charge their electric cars for two hours a night, and occasionally some owners drive two days on one charge. In October 2011 Nissan North America reported that based on a bigger sample of 7,500 Leafs on the U.S. roads, the typical driver averages 37 mi (60 km) a day and the average trip length is 7 mi (11 km), measured as the distance between power on and power off.
In the second quarter of 2012 during the Finnish springtime, Finnish car magazine Tekniikan Maailma tested the Leaf in city driving at the temperature of , they achieved range of 59 kilometres (37 mi), this was with cabin and battery heaters on.
According to Nissan, the U.S. 2013 model year Leaf has a more efficient heating system that allows the Leaf to extend its range in cold-weather conditions by 20 to 25 mi (32 to 40 km). The EPA rating is 121 km (75 mi) from 117 km (73 mi) in the previous models. Nissan explained that actually these ratings are not comparable, because for the 2013 model year the EPA changed the test procedures to calculate range for electric cars. Before the agency estimated the range assuming the battery pack was charged to 100% of its capacity. Nissan estimates that the 2013 Leaf has a 135 km (84 mi) in the 100% charging (Long-Distance Mode charging), while the range drops to 106 km (66 mi) for a 80% charge (Long-Life Mode charging). The new EPA testing procedure considers the average of these two ranges. The range gains in 100% Long-Distance Mode range comes from improvements to the Leaf’s regenerative braking system, an overall weight reduction, and enhanced aerodynamics for 2013 model.
The 2013 European version has a certified range of at 200 km (120 mi) under the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), up from 175 km (109 mi) from the 2011/12 model.
Under its five-cycle testing, the United States Environmental Protection Agency found the 2011 model Leaf's energy consumption to be 0.212 kWh/km (34 kWh/100 miles) and rated the Leaf combined fuel economy at 99 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent - MPGe - (2.4 L/100 km), with an equivalent 106 mpg-US (2.22 L/100 km; 127 mpg-imp) in city driving and 92 mpg-US (2.6 L/100 km; 110 mpg-imp) on highways.
For the 2013 model year Leaf, Nissan achieved a 15% improvement of its EPA's fuel economy combined ratings. According to the EPA, the 2013 Leaf improved its energy consumption to 29 kWh/100 miles down from 34 kWh/100 miles, allowing the Leaf to increase its combined rating to 115 MPGe (2.0 L/100 km), 129 MPGe (1.8 L/100 km) in city driving and 102 MPGe (2.3 L/100 km) on highways.
According to Consumer Reports, as of December 2011[update] the Nissan Leaf has an out-of-pocket operating cost of 3.5 cents per mile (2.19¢ per km) while the heavier Chevrolet Volt has a cost in electric mode of 3.8 cents per mile (2.38¢ per km). These costs are based on the U.S. national average electricity rate of 11 cents per kWh and energy consumption was estimated from their own tests. The consumer magazine also compared the Leaf with the most fuel-efficient hybrid and gasoline-powered cars as tested by Consumer Reports. The results are summarized in the following table, and the analysis found that the Leaf operating cost is much less than half of the gasoline-powered cars for trips up to 70 mi (110 km), which is close to the Leaf's maximum range. The Volt while on EV mode has a close cost per mile but as the distance is larger than its electric range of 35 mi (56 km), the Leaf advantage is similar to the other cars. Consumer Reports also noted that even with a much higher electric rate of 19 cents per kWh, such as rural Connecticut, the Leaf still cost about 20% less to operate than the Prius and around 50% less than the Corolla.
According to Nissan, the operating cost of the Leaf in the U.K is 1.75 pence per mile (1.09p per km) when charging at an off-peak electricity rate, while a conventional gasoline-powered car costs more than 10 pence per mile (6.25p per km). These estimates are based on a national average of British Gas Economy 7 rates as of January 2012, and assumed 7 hours of charging overnight at the night rate and one hour in the daytime charged at the Tier-2 daytime rate.
According to Edmunds.com, the price premium paid for the Leaf, after discounting the federal tax credit, may take a long time for consumers to recover in fuel savings. In February 2012, Edmunds compared the mid-sized Leaf (priced at ) with the compact gasoline-powered Nissan Versa (priced at ) and found that the payback period for the Leaf is 9 years for gasoline at per gallon, 7 years at per gallon, and drops to 5 years with gasoline prices at per gallon. Considering gasoline prices by early 2012, the break even period is 7 years. These estimates assume an average of 15,000 mi (24,000 km) annual driving and vehicle prices correspond to Edmunds.com's true market value estimates. For the same two vehicles, the U.S. EPA estimates the Leaf's annual fuel cost at while the Versa's annual fuel cost is . EPA estimates are based on 45% highway and 55% city driving, over 15,000 annual miles; gasoline price of per gallon and electricity price of per kWh.
In a similar comparison carried out in April 2012 by TrueCar.com for The New York Times, the analysis found that at a gasoline price of per gallon, the payback period required for the Leaf to compensate the nearly difference in purchase versus a Nissan Versa, takes 8.7 years. The analysis assumes an average of 15,000 miles driven a year, a fuel economy of 33.6 mpg-US (7.00 L/100 km; 40.4 mpg-imp) for the Versa, priced at , and a Leaf price of , after discounting the federal tax. The payoff time drops to 6 years if gasoline is priced at per gallon. The newspaper also reported that according to the March 2012 Lundberg Survey, gasoline prices would need to reach a gallon for the Leaf to be competitive with a similar gasoline-powered car in the 6 years an average person owns a car, while the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid requires a gasoline price of a gallon to break even.
According to a study published in June 2013 by the Electric Power Research Institute, the total cost of ownership of the 2013 Nissan Leaf SV is substantially lower than that of comparable conventional and hybrid vehicles. For comparison, the study constructed average hybrid and conventional vehicles and assumed an average US distance per trip distribution. The study took into account the manufacturer's suggested retail price, taxes, credits, destination charge, electric charging station, fuel cost, maintenance cost, and additional cost due to the use of a gasoline vehicle for trips beyond the range of the Leaf.
The Leaf, with the SL option, has two charging receptacles: a standard SAE J1772-2009 connector for level 1 and 2 charging (120/220 volts AC) and a JARI high-voltage DC connector designed by TEPCO for DC fast charging (480 volts DC 125 amps) using the CHAdeMO protocol.
Using the on-board 3.3 kW charger the Leaf can be fully recharged from empty in 8 hours from a 220/240-volt 30 amp supply (5.2 kW allowable draw) that can provide the on-board charger its full 3.3 kW of usable power.
In North America and Japan using a standard household outlet (120-volt, 15 amp breaker, 12 amp maximum allowable draw, 1.4 kW) and the 7.5-meter (25 ft) cable included by Nissan, the Leaf will regain approximately 5 miles of range per hour. This type of charging is ideal for the commuter that can plug into standard outlets at home and at work during the typical 21 hours a day that the typical North American car is parked. It is also useful for emergency charging from any ubiquitous 120-volt outlet just about anywhere in North America.
United States electrical regulations require a 240-volt charging station to be permanently wired unless proper interlock mechanisms are available to ensure the charging current can be safely turned on and off. Nissan selected AeroVironment to supply its charging dock and installation services in North America (see the United States section below for more details).
Using DC fast charging, the battery pack can be charged to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes. Nissan developed its own 500-volt DC fast charger that went on sale in Japan for ¥1,470,000 (around ) in May 2010 and plans to install 200 at dealers in Japan. Nissan warns that if fast charging is the primary way of recharging, then the normal and gradual battery capacity loss is about 10% more than regular 220-volt charging over a 10-year period. Other companies make compatible charging stations, and companies and local government have various initiatives to create networks of public charging stations (see electric vehicle network).
For the 2014 model year, Nissan plans to introduce an inductive charger for wireless recharging. The system will be 80%-90% efficient, and existing vehicles will not be able to be retrofitted with the system.
The Nissan Leaf employs an advanced telematics system called "Carwings" which originally was only available in Japan. The system sends and receives data via a built-in GPRS radio similar to the connectivity of mobile phones. Carwings is connected any time the car is in range of a cell tower and it makes possible several user functionalities, such as position and possible range on a map and which charging stations are available within range. The system also tracks and compiles statistics about distance traveled and energy consumption and produces daily, monthly and annual reports of these and several other operational parameters. All information is available in the Leaf's digital screens. Through a smart phone application or secure web page, owners can remotely turn on the air-conditioner or heater as well as reset charging functions even when the vehicle is powered down. This remote functionality can be used to pre-heat or pre-cool the car prior to use while it is still charging so that less energy from the battery is used for climate control. An on-board timer can also be pre-programmed to recharge batteries at a set time such as during off-peak rates. The Leaf's SL trim has a small solar panel at the rear of the roof/spoiler that can trickle charge the auxiliary battery.
The Nissan Leaf won the "Top Safety Pick" awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Leaf received top ratings of "Good" for front, side, and rear impact crash tests, and also on rollover protection. All injury measurements except one were rated good, indicating a low risk of significant injuries in crashes according to the scale of severity employed in the IIHS’s testing. The European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) awarded the Leaf the highest five star car safety rating, earning the following ratings for each criteria:
In December 2010 Nissan published a guide for first responders that details procedures for handling a damaged 2011 Leaf at the scene of an accident. The steps include a manual high-voltage system shutdown, subsequent to the assumed automatic disconnects, built into the car's safety systems. Rescue personnel are instructed by Nissan to disconnect both the high voltage and 12V systems before performing any first response actions.
The Nissan Leaf's battery pack is shielded from crash damage by structural steel reinforcement. To prevent shock and fire hazards, the Leaf has a battery safety system that is activated in a crash that involves the airbags. The airbag control unit sends a signal which mechanically disconnects the high voltage from the vehicle.
In December 2011, Nissan reported, as an indication of the Leaf safety performance, that none of the around two dozen Leafs that were destroyed during the March 2011 tsunami caught fire and their batteries remained intact. As of December 2011, no fires after a crash have been reported in the U.S. associated with the Leaf or other plug-in electric cars available in the market.
Due to significant noise reduction typical of electric vehicles that travel at low speeds, the Leaf includes digital warning sounds, one for forward motion and another for reverse, to alert pedestrians, the blind, and others of its presence. For this purpose Nissan created the Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians (VSP) system, which was also be used in Nissan Fuga hybrid. The system developed makes a noise easy to hear for those outside in order to be aware of the vehicle approaching, but the warning sounds do not distract the car occupants inside. Nissan explained that during the development of the sound, they studied behavioral research of the visually impaired and worked with cognitive and acoustic psychologists. The sine-wave sound system sweeps from 2.5 kHz at the high end to a low of 600 Hz, an easily audible range across age groups. Depending on the speed and if the Leaf is accelerating or decelerating, the sound system makes sweeping, high-low sounds. The sound system ceases operation when the Nissan Leaf reaches 30 km/h (18.6 mph) and engages again as car slows to under 25 km/h (15.5 mph). For the 2011 model, the driver could turn off sounds temporarily through a switch inside the vehicle, but the system automatically reset to "On" at the next ignition cycle. The system is controlled through a computer and synthesizer in the dash panel, and the sound is delivered through a speaker in the front driver’s side wheel well. Nissan removed the ability to disable the pedestrian alert between model year 2011 and 2012 in anticipation of the U.S. ruling to be issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
After the new sounds were publicized, the US National Federation of the Blind commented that "while it was pleased that the alert existed, it was unhappy that the driver could turn it off." The Leaf's electric warning sound had to be removed for cars delivered in the UK, as the country's law mandates that any hazard warning sound must be capable of being disabled between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am, and the Leaf's audible warning system does not allow for such temporary deactivation.
In November 2012, Nissan announced the specifications of the updated 2013 model Leaf destined for the Japanese market. The improved version delivers a range increase of 14% on the Japanese cycle, allowing the travel distance on a full charge to go from 200 km (120 mi) to 228 km (142 mi). Besides adjusting the regenerative braking to improve power generation, Nissan reduced the Leaf weight by integrating the electric motor, inverter, and AC/DC converter, achieving a combined weight reduction for those parts of 10%. Also, lighter parts were used throughout, and an improved battery module and more integrated electronic units have together reduced the car mass by over 77 kg (170 lb), 5% of the previous version.
The 2013 Leaf has a larger trunk, with its volume increased from 330 to 370 litres (11.6 to 13 cu ft). The extra space was freed by moving a downsized charger from the back of the car to the front. Other improvements include a new gauge that tells the driver how much battery capacity is remaining by percentage, and a long-life battery mode is now available in any charging mode, which charges the battery to 80% to improve pack life. Also, Nissan will introduce in the Japanese market a lower price entry-level model with less equipment, called the S trim. This model will be priced at just under ¥2.5 million (around ), almost half a million yen (approximately ) cheaper than the previous year’s entry price.
The 2013 model year Leaf destined for the U.S. market has several key improvements similar to the Japanese version, better range, faster charging capabilities, a more efficient cabin heater, and a lower starting price. According to Nissan U.S.A., several of the changes seek to address shortcomings of previous versions of the Leaf, and feedback from Leaf owners was taken into consideration. The 2013 model year Leaf delivers a higher range than the 2012 model with the same 24 kWh battery pack. The efficiency gains come from a combination of improvements to aerodynamics through tweaks to the front fascia that allowed a reduction of the drag coefficient; a more efficient heater; the addition of a driver-selected B-mode that increases regenerative braking; and energy/range management.
The 2013 model year offers a dashboard display of the battery’s state of charge on a percentage basis, as has been demanded by Leaf owners. A 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger, available as an extra-cost option on the base model, reduces charging times using 240-volt power. This improvement means adding about 20 mi (32 km) in an hour of charging, rather than about 12 mi (19 km) that took with the 3.3-kilowatt charger on 2012 models. A complete charge from empty to full takes about four hours, instead of seven hours.
The charge port area now comes with a light not provided on earlier models, and the ability to open the port door from inside the car or by using the key fob. The onboard charger in all 2013 Leafs has also been reduced in size and relocated to a new position under the hood, which increases cargo volume. The new base trim level is called the Leaf S model, and is the result of a strategy for affordability. The S trim replaces the LED headlights with less expensive projector beams, and uses 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers rather than alloy wheels. The base trim does not include the navigation system and the remote connectivity that allows drivers to turn on the climate control and monitor battery charging remotely using a smartphone. New features, including LED headlamps, fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels and leather seating, are reserved for the higher-end SL trim. Additional premium upgrades to the SL trim include a Bose seven-speaker audio system and around view monitor, which puts cameras in front, in back and on the side mirrors for parking assistance.
The new base-level 2013 Nissan Leaf S starts at , the mid-level Leaf SV at , and the high-end Leaf SL trim starts at . All prices have a mandatory destination fee added.
The 2013 European version has many of the same improvements of the Japanese and U.S. versions, including an extended range, greater recyclability, more interior space, better charging performance, and more equipment. Also three versions will be available: Visia, Acenta and Tekna. The Visia version has a lower starting price than the previous model, and the Tekna model features even more standard equipment than the 2011/12 Leaf. The European version was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, and production of the 2013 model began in March 2013 at the Sunderland plant in the UK, and sales started in June 2013. The price of the 2013 Leaf produced in Sunderland is lower than the one built in Japan, and to further reduce the purchase price by , Nissan offered a battery leasing option for all trims produced at Sunderland. The leasing option is also available in several European countries, reducing the purchase price by €5,900. This measure, among others, helped to reduce the sales price in Germany, for instance, from roughly €37,000 in April 2012 (with battery) to roughly €24,000 in July 2013 (excluding battery lease of €79 per month).
As of March 2013[update], Nissan has an installed capacity to produce 250,000 Leafs per year, 150,000 at Smyrna, U.S., 50,000 at Oppama, Japan, and 50,000 at Sunderland, England.
The first vehicles sold in the U.S. were produced at Nissan’s plant in Oppama, Japan, which started production on October 22, 2010. The plant has an annual production capacity of 50,000 vehicles. Production of the electric car was disrupted for several months beginning in March 2011 due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and as a result, Nissan announced it was not able to reach its 2011 production target of 50,000 Leafs. Nissan expected to increase sales in 2012 to 40,000 units from 20,000 in 2011, as production returned to normal output and the Leaf became available in more European countries and more regional markets in the U.S.
With cumulative sales of more than 49,000 Leafs through December 2012, Nissan achieved only a 22% increase in sales during 2012, which according with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn "was a disappointment for us.” Mr Ghosn cited the adverse dollar-yen exchange rate as one of the factors affecting the Leaf price. He also said that they realized the price of the original Leaf models was a problem, and the decision to drop the price on the 2013 model year Leaf by 18% is possible due to the start of U.S. production of the battery car on the new assembly line in Smyrna, Tennessee, which will reduce production costs. Nissan has also taken other steps to improve production efficiency and lower component costs – especially for the battery pack, the single-costliest part of an electric vehicle.
Commercial U.S. production began in January 2013 at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. This plant was modified with a loan granted by the US Department of Energy to allow the manufacturing plant to produce the Nissan Leaf and its advanced batteries. The Smyrna plant is expected to produce up to 150,000 vehicles and 200,000 battery packs annually. Nissan planned to unveil the upgraded 2013 model year version Nissan Leaf for the North American market in December 2012, once production of the electric car had begun in the Smyrna plant, but rescheduled the introduction of the 2013 model to January 2013, during the North American International Auto Show. The Smyrna plant began producing lithium-ion cells in December 2012. These cells are used in the battery pack of the 2013 model year Leaf built at the adjacent assembly plant. The cell fabrication factory in Smyrna is the largest plant in the U.S. that builds automotive-scale lithium-ion batteries, and it can produce batteries for up to 200,000 electric vehicles a year. Leaf production in the Smyrna plant began in January 2013, sharing the production line with the Altima mid-size sedan and Maxima full-size sedan.
Production of the Leaf at Nissan's plant in Sunderland, England, began in March 2013. Nissan benefited from a grant from the British government and up to from the European Investment Bank. The plant has the capacity to produce 60,000 lithium-ion batteries and 50,000 Leafs a year. The UK produced Leaf is destined for the European market. In January 2013 Nissan announced an immediate price reduction of or €3,000 for the Japanese-made Leaf model sold in the UK and other European markets. The price of the 2013 Leaf produced in Sunderland is lower than the model built in Japan, and Nissan is offering a battery leasing option for the three trims produced at Sunderland, which further reduces the purchase price by in the UK, and €5,900 in the other European countries where the leasing option is available. The first retail delivery of a 2013 Leaf built in the Sunderland plant took place in the UK in late May 2013.
In March 2013, the Chinese government announced that a partnership between Nissan and Dongfeng Motor to build Leafs is being planned. The initial production line will be able to produce 10,000 units per year until it is upgraded to 50,000 units by 2015.
Nissan officially introduced the Leaf in a ceremony held at its global headquarters in Yokohama on December 3, 2010. The first US customer delivery took place in Northern California on December 11, 2010 and the first delivery in Japan took place at the Kanagawa Prefecture on December 22. Deliveries to individual customers began in Ireland in February 2011, in the UK in March 2011, and in France in August 2011. Deliveries to corporate customers began in Portugal in December 2010, in the Netherlands in March 2011, and in Canada in July 2011. Retail deliveries began in Spain and Norway in September 2011 in Switzerland in November 2011, and in Germany in January 2012. Global market availability was planned for 2012.
Since December 2010, Nissan sold 49,117 Leafs worldwide during its first two years in the market, making it the world's best-selling highway-capable electric car ever. With global sales of more than 22,000 units in 2011, the Leaf surpassed the Mitsubishi i MiEV as the best selling all-electric car in history. Global sales during 2012 reached 26,973 Leafs, a rise of 22% over 2011 sales, led by Japan with 11,115 units, an 8% increase over 2011 sales; followed by the United States with 9,819 units representing a 1.5% rise over 2011 sales. During the first half of 2012, the Leaf had a market share of 49% of global sales of all-electric cars. The sales milestone of 50,000 units delivered worldwide was reached by mid February 2013.
Global sales reached over 71,000 units by mid July 2013, and the top selling markets are the United States with about 30,000 units, Japan with 28 units, followed by Europe with 12,000 units. The European market is led by Norway with 4,654 new Leafs sold plus 664 used imports registered through June 2013, followed by the UK, with 1,623 units delivered through March 2013, and France with 1,143 units sold through June 2013. A total of 1,000 units were sold in other markets by February 2013.
Initially the Leaf was sold in all markets including the battery pack and is not compatible with the QuickDrop battery swapping feature developed by its alliance partner Renault. In April 2013 Nissan announced that sales of the 2013 Leaf will begin in the UK in June 2013, and it will offer a battery leasing option for the three available trims. Pricing for the battery leasing in the U.K. starts at () a month for a 36-month lease limited no more than 7,500 mi (12,100 km) a year, with a maximum of () a month for a 12-month lease with no more than 15,000 mi (24,000 km) driven. The battery leasing option lowers the price of the level entry model to () before applying the Plug-in Car Grant.
In several European countries, except Norway, Finland, Ireland and the Baltic markets, the leasing option will also be offered, resulting in a purchase price reduction of €5,900. The battery monthly charge starts at €79 () for a 36-month lease limited no more than 12,500 km (7,800 mi) a year, with a maximum of €142 () a month for a 12-month lease with no more than 25,000 km (16,000 mi) driven.
In July 2011 Nissan Australia provided 16 Leafs for an electric vehicle trial in Victoria to be used by both personal and commercial users. The trial also includes 14 Mitsubishi i MiEVs and 3 Toyota Prius PHEVs.
Leaf sales in Australia began in June 2012 via 14 initial qualified dealerships in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth. The electric car is sold for A$51,500 without government subsidies as the Australian government does not provide any. Before purchasing, buyers will have their needs assessed to make sure the Leaf is suitable for them. A total of 19 Leafs were registered in the country in 2011, and 77 units were sold during 2012.
The 2011 Leaf price was set at , and the initial roll-out was limited to selected markets and in limited quantities. The 2011 Canadian Leaf came with additional equipment useful for colder weather, such as heated front and rear seats, steering wheel, and outside mirrors. Other modifications included a battery heater system and a HVAC duct to the rear seating area.
Fleet deliveries in Canada began on July 29, 2011, and deliveries to individuals began in late September 2011. The order process for individuals began on August 27, 2011, and the only 40 model year 2011 Leafs were allocated in two hours. For the 2012 model, Nissan expects to release initially only around 600 Leafs in the country. The Leaf is sold only through 27 Leaf-certified dealers for the entire country, and sales are limited to customers who live within a 65 km (40 mi) radius of one of those dealers. Cumulative sales through May 2013 reached 645 units.
Ontario residents are eligible for a rebate of . The rebate is available for purchasing or leasing a plug-in electric vehicles to the first 10,000 applicants who qualify. Residents of the Province of Quebec were eligible for a refundable tax credit that was replaced with a purchase or lease rebate program on January 1, 2012. Since January 2012, Communauto, the oldest carsharing service in North America, has 25 Leaf in operation, with 25 more to be added later. The Vancouver-based car co-op Modo has two Nissan Leaf on its fleet, a first for Western Canada.
In September 2011 Nissan announced it has received government's approval to begin selling the Leaf in China by October 2011. The Leaf is expected to be sold at around CN¥ 200,000 (). Initially Nissan plans to release the Leaf in limited quantities to government customers. In November 2011 Nissan began deliveries of the first 15 Leafs out of 25 allocated to the municipal government of Wuhan as part of a pilot outreach program. Another objective of the program is to provide feedback for planning the full-fledged rollout of electric cars in the Chinese market.
The Leaf was launched in Europe in early 2011. European prices, which include the cost of the battery, are almost €10,000 more than the US price. Most countries, except the Netherlands, have government incentives at the point of sale. Nissan also said that "the Leaf would allow owners to save €600 a year in fuel costs compared with an equivalent internal combustion model." Nissan explained that its decision to launch initially only in four countries was due to the existing government incentives for electric cars and the ongoing efforts to deploy charging infrastructure. According to Nissan, 12,000 European customers signed up to receive regular updates, and the company began taking orders in Portugal and Ireland on July 30, 2010. The process started in the UK in September 2010. By April 2012, deliveries of the Leaf had taken place in Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, and the UK.
Leaf retail deliveries in the Belgian market began in the third quarter of 2011 at a price of €36,990 including VAT and before a federal income tax credit of up to €9,190 is applied. The Wallonia regional government provides an additional €4,500 eco-bonus for cars registered before December 31, 2011. The reservation process started in late June 2011 and Nissan charged a fully refundable €300 reservation fee. A total of 174 Leafs were sold in the country and Luxembourg through October 2012.
Retail customer deliveries in Denmark began in early 2012, at a price of 290,690 Danish kroner (kr) including VAT. Even though the government does not have any purchase rebates, as an all-electric vehicle weighing under 2,000 kg, the Leaf is exempted from the new car registration tax, which can amount to more than 130,000 kr on a vehicle the size of a Leaf, and is also exempt from public parking fees and toll payments. Since 2011 a total of 153 Leafs have been registered in Denmark through June 2013.
Leaf deliveries in the French market began in August 2011 at a price of €35,990 before a €5,000 government subsidy is applied. A total of 1,143 Leafs have been registered through June 2013.
Due to the lack of government purchase subsidies, Germany is one of the last European countries where the Leaf was deployed. The only incentive available is an exemption from the annual circulation tax for a period of ten years from the date of first registration. Retail deliveries began in January 2012 and a total of 703 Leafs have been sold through May 2013.
The Leaf will launch in Hungary in the July of 2013, with pre-orders starting in the middle of June. The price was announced to be 8,774,500 ft.
The Leaf was launched in Ireland in February 2011 at a price of €29,995 after a €5,000 government incentive is applied. Buyers are exempted from the vehicle registration tax. The first Leaf was delivered on February 21, 2011, and cumulative sales reached 111 units through October 2012.
Deliveries began in September 2011 and 105 units have been sold through October 2012.
According to Nissan, the Leaf roll-out in the Netherlands was rescheduled from December 2010 to June 2011 due to the high demand. The price is €34,990. Existing incentives include total exemption of the registration fee and road taxes, which result in savings of approximately €5,324 for private car owners over four years and €19,000 for corporate owners over five years. Leaf buyers will also have access to parking spaces in Amsterdam reserved for battery electric vehicles, so Leaf buyers will avoid the current wait for a parking place in Amsterdam, which can reach up to 10 years in some parts of the city.
Deliveries to fleet customers began in March 2011, and the first Leafs were delivered to LeasePlan, the City of Amsterdam and BAM Building Contractors. These first units are part of a pilot program that Nissan had agreed on with the City of Amsterdam. A total of 754 Leafs have been sold in the Netherlands through June 2013.
Official sales of Leaf in the Norwegian market began in September 2011 at a price of 255,000 kroner. There are no direct government subsidies to the purchase price, but the Leaf, as all other electric cars, is exempt from all non-recurring vehicle fees, including sales tax (VAT), the annual road tax, all public parking fees, and toll payments, as well as being able to use bus lanes.
A total of 600 Leafs were sold in the first three days and deliveries for these customers were fulfilled in early 2012. In February 2012, Leaf sales represented a 2% market share of all new car sales that month, and by October had increased to 2.2%. Since September 2011, a total of 4,654 new Leaf cars have been sold and 664 used imports have been registered in the country, totaling 5,318 Leafs in Norwegian roads through June 2013, and representing more than 7% of the Leaf's global sales.
Leaf sales during October 2012 (277 units) allowed the electric car to rank for the first time ever among Norway's top 10 best selling new cars, making Norway the only country in the world where an electric car has ranked among the top 10 best selling cars. For 2012 total new car sales, the Leaf ended in the 13th place, representing a market share of 1.7% of all new car sales in the country in 2012, up from 0.3% in 2011. During the first quarter of 2013 the Leaf ranked as the 6th best selling car in Norway, and in April 2013, the Leaf climbed to become the second top selling new car in the country.
Leaf retail deliveries in Portugal began in January 2011 at a price of €30,250 after a €5,000 government subsidy. Some consumers could benefit from an additional €1,500 incentive if they turned in their used car as part of the down payment for the new electric car. These incentives were discontinued at the beginning of 2012 due to the financial crisis of the country. As of May 2010 there are only about a dozen recharging stations in the country, but the government expected to deploy 320 before the end of 2010 and 1,300 by the end of 2011. On December 22, 2010 in Lisbon Nissan delivered the first nine Leafs to its commercial customer the MOBI.E consortium, and another unit to the Portuguese government as a loan for trial purposes. Deliveries for individual customers began in early 2011. A total of 121 Leafs have been sold through October 2012.
The reservation process began in May 2011 and Nissan asked for a fully refundable €300 reservation fee. Pricing starts at a price of €35,950 before a €6,000 government subsidy is applied. Deliveries began in Barcelona in September 2011, followed by Madrid in October 2011. A total of 213 Leafs have been sold through December 2012.
Leaf deliveries in the Swedish market began in February 2012 at a price of 369,900 kr including VAT and before a 40,000 kr government subsidy is applied. All Leafs are equipped with the cold-weather package. A total of 129 Leafs have been sold through December 2012.
The Leaf was launched in November 2011 at a price of . The Swiss government does not have any subsidies or incentives for purchasing plug-in electric vehicles. A total of 113 Leafs have been sold in the country through December 2012.
The Leaf went on sale in the United Kingdom at a price of which includes the new 20% VAT and before discounting the Plug-in Car Grant of that came into effect in January 2011. Despite the government incentive, at that price the Leaf is still around more expensive than the price of a basic Toyota Prius. On February 24, 2011, Nissan announced that on March 1, 2011 the price of Leaf would increase by (about ). Orders and pre-orders placed before that date received the old price. Pricing of the 2013 model built in the UK starts at with the battery included, and at with the battery leasing option, which varies from to per month depending on the miles driven per year and length of the lease.
Nissan had to delay the beginning of deliveries in order to remove the Leaf's electric warning sound for pedestrians, as UK law mandates that any hazard warning sound must be capable of being disabled between 11:00 pm and 6:00 am, and at that time the Leaf's audible warning system did not allow for such temporary deactivation. Deliveries to individual customers began on March 21, 2011. The first retail delivery of a 2013 Leaf produced in the Sunderland plant took place on 31 May 2013, and Nissan chose the same retail customer who was the first person in the UK to take delivery of a Nissan Leaf in March 2011. Sales of the three trims of the 2013 model began in June 2013. A total of 1,623 Leafs have been registered in the U.K. through March 2013.
The price of the Leaf in Japan starts at ¥3.76 million (approximately ) before any current tax breaks. The Leaf is eligible for a ¥770,000 government tax credit if current incentives continue through fiscal year 2010, which reduce the net price to ¥2.99 million (). The Leaf is also exempted from the car-weight and car-acquisition taxes.
Nissan offers customers various purchasing methods, including a financing program that allows consumers to pay ¥2.4 million () and then a monthly fee of ¥10,000 (), which includes electricity costs. Other services that are available include assistance from Nissan dealers to customers in the installation of charging facilities in their homes. Nissan committed to install 200-volt regular chargers at 2,200 Nissan dealers nationwide before December 2010; about 200 dealers would also have quick-charging facilities that provide 80% of battery capacity in less than 30 minutes. Nissan guarantees the availability of at least one quick-charge unit within a 40-kilometer radius throughout the country. The 220 V quick charger went on sale on May 2010 for ¥1,470,000 (around ) excluding taxes and installation. The quick chargers were developed by Nissan but they also work with electric cars from other automakers. Nissan offers variants built for hot and cold climate for ¥1,732,500 () and ¥1,543,500 () respectively.
The Leaf pre-order process began on April 1, 2010 through Nissan dealers across Japan. During the first three weeks, individuals accounted for 64% of the pre-orders, and fleet orders represented the remaining 36%. Among individuals, older consumers (age 50 and higher) accounted for 61% of the orders. As of late May 2010, Nissan claimed it had already received 6,000 pre-orders, which allowed it to reach its Japan sales target for FY2010. The first Leaf delivery took place at the Kanagawa Prefecture on December 22, 2010. Ten units were delivered to the Kanagawa Prefecture Government, which decided to assign six Leafs for official use and the other four will be available for the car rental service run by the local government. Since December 2010, Nissan has sold 27,130 Leafs in Japan through June 2013.
In June 2012 Nissan launched a new fund for individual Nissan electric vehicle owners in Japan called the Nissan Zero Emission Fund. Through participation in this program, Leaf owners are able to generate CO2 emissions credits certified by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) based on the amount of emissions2CO that are offset by driving the Nissan Leaf to generate credits. Measurement and certification of the amount of CO2 emissions that are avoided by driving the electric cars is calculated based on the total annual distance traveled as automatically collected by Nissan's advanced telematics "Carwings" system. These credits are sold to an organization that promotes investment in low carbon emissions, the Green Investment Promotion Organization. All profits earned by the sale of the credits will be invested by the fund to support forest conservation activities of thinning forests in Japan and the installation of quick charging facilities in appropriate locations in the country.
Nissan offered the 2011 model year Leaf in SV and SL trim levels. The SV trim level included an advanced navigation system and Internet/smart phone connectivity to the vehicle. The SL trim level added features, including rearview monitor, solar panel spoiler, fog lights, and automatic headlights for an additional . An optional CHAdeMO fast charge receptacle was available for , but only as a factory installed option on the SL model. This second charge port is likely to differ from the SAE International standard for electric vehicle fast-charging equipment that is under development, and expected to be published by mid-2012. A cold weather package was available, standard in some states, optional in others. The package included a temperature management system for the lithium ion battery, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, rear seat heat duct and heated outside mirrors.
Minor upgrades for the 2012 model year Leaf included a quick charge port that is standard on the SL trim, and also the cold weather package is standard on all Leafs; but pricing for both trims of the 2012 model year Leaf was increased. Nissan explained that these changes reflect customer preferences in the US based on actual orders of the 2011 model in the seven initial launch market states, as the SL trim was chosen by 95% of the buyers, and of those Leaf SLs, 90% had the DC quick charge.
Leaf customers have the option to buy a home charging station through Nissan at cost of around including installation, which was eligible for a 50% federal tax credit up to until December 31, 2010, and afterwards the credit was reduced to 30% up to for individuals and for commercial buyers. The charging stations operate on a 240-volt supply and are built and installed by AeroVironment. This one-stop-shop process includes a home assessment by a certified technician to ensure that the buyer's garage is plug-in ready. The AeroVironment charging dock is also available as a cash and carry purchase, with installation by any electrical contractor arranged separately. It was originally available for , but the price was increased in April, 2011 to .
Other options for level 2 charging of the Leaf include the Blink charging dock from ECOtality (also available through the EV Project), the Schneider Electric Square-D, and the Evr-Green unit from Leviton. A complete list of charging stations is available at Plug In America. It is also possible to have the level 1 charging dock which comes with the Leaf modified to support both 120 volt and 240 volt charging, the latter at either 12 amps () or 16 amps (). The 16 amp modification provides the maximum current draw the Leaf can use, and thus charges at the same rate as the AeroVironment charging dock. Various adapters allow using the modified unit with a wide range of 240 volt sockets. The modified unit provides the cheapest charging solution for those with a 240 volt socket available and is portable for use at other locations. Possible disadvantages include the lack of UL certification and the potential for theft since the unit is not hardwired.
The US Department of Energy initially granted , and later awarded an additional , to Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec) for the EV Project, that involves the installation of up to 11,210 charging stations in strategic markets in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona; San Diego, California; Portland, Eugene, Salem and Corvallis, Oregon, Seattle, Washington; Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga; Washington D.C.; Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston, Texas. Nissan has partnered with eTec on this project and will supply 4,700 vehicles to individual and fleet customers in these areas.
The EV Project will collect and analyze data regarding vehicle use under different geographic and climatic conditions, for both commercial and public installations. The effectiveness of the deployed charge infrastructure will also be evaluated as part of the project and the lessons learned will be applied to improve the deployment of the full production number of Leafs and other EVs.
The base retail price for the 2011 model year Leaf in the US was before any applicable tax incentives (federal tax credit). Nissan also had a 36-month lease option for a month for the SV trim and a month for the SL trim, plus an initial payment of in both cases. For eligible customers there is an electric vehicle federal tax credit for up to a established by the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. The federal tax credit shrinks by automaker after it has sold at least 200,000 vehicles in the US, and then it phases out over a year. Nissan explained that it priced the Leaf lower in the US than in Japan because it wants to achieve higher sales in that market. Other state and local incentives are available and may further decrease the cost. California initially had a statewide rebate for FY 2010-2011 available through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP), and it was decreased to for FY 2011-2012. Georgia has a tax credit, and Oregon has a tax credit.
The base retail price for the 2012 model year Leaf SV was increased to including a destination charge, and the 2012 Nissan SL is also priced higher, at . Both 2012 model trims include more standard equipment than the 2011 model. These prices do not include any federal or local government incentives or tax credits. The three-year lease for the 2012 Leaf SV was increased to , a increased over the lease rate for a 2011 model. Kelly Blue Book (KBB) estimates the 2012 Nissan Leaf's resale value at 39.0% of its original price after 3 years and 25.5% after 5 years. KBB explained that the residual value for a plug-in electric car is lower than the market 35.5% average due to the federal tax credit, which lowers the transaction price and pushes the residual value lower. For the 2013 model year Nissan introduced a new stripped-down base-level Leaf S trim, with pricing starting at . The mid-level Leaf SV starts at , and the high-end Leaf SL trim starts at . All prices have a mandatory destination fee added.
Nissan began the online-only reservation process on April 20, 2010, charging a fully refundable reservation fee that allowed customers to secure a place on the list to purchase or lease a Leaf. It limited reservations to one per household and by July 2010 it had received approximately 17,000 reservations. The carmaker reported that more than 55% of the reservations were from what Nissan calls its primary launch markets in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee, where the carmaker has its US headquarters and an auto factory. By September 2010 Nissan announced it had reached 20,000 reservations, and it did not accept any more reservations for the remainder of 2010. In July 2011, Nissan stated that only 48% of Leaf reservations from the initial 2010 process materialized into firm orders. The reservation fee was ended in mid April 2012, and customers are since allowed to buy the Leaf directly from dealers, keeping the online reservation as optional.
Firm orders started in August, and deliveries began in select markets and limited quantities in December 2010. Nissan initially limited Leaf sales among states that are home to the EV Project, which was awarded a grant from the United States Department of Energy and is the largest electric vehicle and infrastructure deployment in the US. The first Leaf customer delivery took place in a Nissan dealership in Petaluma, California on December 11, 2010 to the first person to place an on-line order in the United States. A total of 19 units were delivered that month. On June 1, 2011, Nissan stated that it expected the total number of U.S. deliveries to be between 10,000 and 12,000 by the end of 2011, a drop from its original forecast of 20,000 sales. In 2011, a total of 9,674 Leafs were sold. Over 60% of the Leafs sold in the U.S. were bought in California up to November 2011. In May 2012, Nissan announced a sales goal of 20,000 Leafs for the year and the company expected to increase sales to meet such target once production starts in the U.S, however, only 9,819 units were sold in 2012, and cumulative sales through June 2013 reached 29,351 Leafs since its market launch in December 2010.
Nissan reopened online reservations for the 2011 model year Leaf on May 1, 2011 in the seven initial launch states of Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. Starting on July 27, 2011, Nissan opened up the 2012 model year Leaf ordering process to consumers with existing reservations the second group of launch markets, which includeed Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Then, on August 4, Nissan reopened the reservation process to the general public in the first and second launch markets. By October 2011 Nissan had also opened orders for the 2012 Leaf to residents of Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York. Deliveries of the first batch of 2012 model year Leafs began in November 2011. On December 6, 2011, Nissan began taking order in Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Since March 2012 the Leaf is available nationwide. Sales of the 2013 model year Leaf began in February 2013.
Based on the aggregate information compiled until late April 2011 through the telematics systems included in all Leafs and reflecting the patterns of early adopters, Nissan found that the average trip length is 7 miles (11 km) and the average charging time is 2 hours and 11 minutes, with most owners charging on a Level 2, 220-volt charger at their homes. Nissan also found that early adopters are a combination of conscientious environmentalists and tech-savvy individuals. According to additional information compiled until mid July 2011 and based on the owners profile from more than 4,000 Leaf delivered in the US market the Leaf was the primary vehicle for most owners; 60% of Leaf sales in the country took place in California, led by Los Angeles and San Francisco; Leaf owners drive less than 60 mi (97 km) a day; and the Toyota Prius is the number one vehicle also owned by Leaf buyers, with 19%. The information compiled allowed Nissan to build a profile of the first owners, finding that Leaf buyers are college educated; have excellent credit, with an average credit score of 750, and have a combined household income of a year.
The Nissan Leaf will also be available through two car rental companies and carsharing services in selected markets. Enterprise Rent-A-Car initially plans to offer about 500 vehicles at dealerships in Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, and Seattle beginning in January 2011. The Leaf became available for rental at their Santa Monica, California location in late March 2011. Hertz Rent-a-Car plans to offer the Leaf and other electric cars at select locations in the US and Europe, including New York City; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco in 2011. The Leaf will also be available at some Hertz on Demand carsharing locations, a service with operations in London, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, and 150 locations in the United States. The carsharing rental by the hour of the Leaf began in New York City in March 2011.
The 2011/12 Leaf's battery warranty is for eight years or 160,000 km (100,000 mi). The warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship, but initially did not cover gradual loss of battery capacity, nor does it cover damage or failure resulting from not following the preventive actions recommended in the Leaf Owner's Manual for the lithium-ion battery, such as exposing the car to ambient temperatures above for over 24 hours, or storing the Leaf in temperatures below for over 7 days.
Before the Leaf's market launch, Nissan conducted an e-mail survey in July 2010 among the 16,000 individuals that made a reservation in the US and a sample of other potential customers regarding the terms of the battery pack guarantee. The survey was sent two days after General Motors announced that the Chevrolet Volt's battery was guaranteed for eight years or 160,000 km (100,000 mi). The multiple-choice survey had a batch of battery warranty related questions focused on the responder's preference between a five-year or 97,000 km (60,000 mi) warranty or an eight-year or 160,000 km (100,000 mi) warranty. A Nissan spokeswoman commented that the company wanted to hear from future Leaf drivers to ensure Nissan was meeting the expectations of the marketplace before making a decision on its warranty policy.
The 2013 model year Leaf battery warranty covers a gradual loss of charge for five years or 60,000 mi (97,000 km). In Europe the battery warranty is for five years or 100,000 km (62,000 mi). Under the new warranty, Nissan will repair or replace the battery over the warranty period if it loses more than 30% of its charge capacity (below nine bars). This warranty is in addition of the original Leaf's batteries that covers defects and flaws for up to eight years or 160,000 kilometres (100,000 mi). But even with the new warranty, Nissan says the fix may only restore a diminished battery's capacity to nine bars out the twelve of a new car, as Nissan clarified that batteries aren't designed to last forever, and some loss of capacity is to be expected. According to Nissan, "the intent of this warranty is to provide consumers with confidence that despite this normal battery capacity loss, they will be assured of a minimum level of capacity throughout the warranty period." The new loss of charge warranty also benefits owners of the 2011/12 model year Leaf.
In November 2009, Nissan launched the Zero Emission Tour, with stops in 22 North American cities. At each stop on the tour, visitors were able to view the car and learn about the benefits of zero-emission driving. The first stop of the tour was in Los Angeles on November 13, 2009, a event that marked the unveiling of the Leaf in North America. Other stops on the tour included San Francisco; Seattle; Vancouver; Las Vegas, Nevada; Houston; Washington, D.C.; and Orlando, Florida. The tour ended in February 2010 in New York City after visiting 24 cities, including two (Atlanta and Boston) that were added to the original itinerary due to requests. Nissan estimates that 100,000 people saw the company’s lithium-ion battery car.
Nissan conducted a test drive tour—dubbed the Drive Electric Tour—in several cities in the initial US launch markets. The tour began on October 1, 2010, at the AltCar Expo in Santa Monica, California, and continued in Anaheim, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Jose. In November, the tour moved to Hillsboro, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and San Francisco. The following month the tour continued in Tucson and Tempe, Arizona; and Austin, Texas.
As winner of the Taxi of Tomorrow competition, Nissan is sponsoring a pilot program in New York City with six Leafs and their charging stations to study the use of zero-emission electric vehicles as taxis. The program was launched in April 2013, and by June 2013, four Leafs are providing cab service in the city.
In April 2010 Nissan signed an agreement with the municipal government of São Paulo to deploy 50 Leafs for use in the city's Traffic Engineering Agency fleet. In exchange, the municipality had to conduct feasibility studies regarding the use of the electric car in the city, including the deployment of the charging infrastructure required, and how it will help to reduce air pollution. Deliveries were scheduled to begin during the first semester of 2011 and the demonstration project would end on December 2012. In another agreement between São Paulo's Municipality, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, AES Eletropaulo and the Association of Taxi Fleet of São Paulo, ten Leafs were deployed for taxi service on pre-defined routes in the city. The first two units began service in June 2012, and the remaining eight were deployed in December 2012. A total of 15 dedicated charging stations were installed around the city designed to offer recharging, of which Eletropaulo provided five to allow rapid charging.
In March 2013, the first two Leafs out of a fleet of 15, were deployed in Rio de Janeiro to operate as taxis. This program is a partnership between the government of Rio de Janeiro City, Nissan do Brasil (NBA) and Petrobras Distribuidora. The first two electric taxis are available at the Santos Dumont airport stand, and charging is provided in two Petrobras service stations at the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas and in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood. The program is part of the city's goal to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 16% by 2016 compared to emission levels of 2005.
According to Nissan, a timeline for retail sales has not been set because of the high prices of electric cars in Brazil. The car maker is pursuing an exemption from the 35% import tax and the enactment of other federal government incentives to make the car affordable and competitive within the Brazilian market. In June 2013, Nissan and the government of the State of Rio de Janeiro signed a memorandum of understanding to study the possibility of manufacturing the Nissan Leaf in the state, and the entire infrastructure necessary for running electric cars. The state government would provide fiscal incentives during the investment phase, and the electric car will be exempted from import taxes.
In February 2012 Nissan signed an agreement with the Costa Rican government to implement a pilot program as part of the introduction of the Nissan Leaf in the country. A task force was created through the agreement to assess the infrastructure requirements for the deployment of electric cars and the identification of necessary government incentives for consumers to purchase electric cars. Retail sales are scheduled to begin by late 2013.
In March 2011 an EV Pilot Program was launched in Hong Kong as a collaboration between the government of Hong Kong special administrative region and Nissan. The program began with a four-day test drive event open to the public. Nissan scheduled to deliver 200 Leafs to be used by the government, power companies and other private companies. During 2012 a total of 89 Leafs were delivered.
A pilot program began in May 2012 with 10 Leafs. The pilot will be conducted mainly in the Klang Valley, where the general public will have the opportunity to test drive the Nissan Leaf. Also some volunteers will be selected to keep the electric car for daily use for an extended period of up to two months.
In October 2009 Nissan reached an agreement with the local government of Mexico City, by which 500 units of the Leaf would be delivered by 2011 for use of government and corporate fleets. In exchange, recharging infrastructure will be deployed by the city government, and an exemption from the ownership tax is being pursued. The city government of Mexico D.F. also reached an agreement with Nissan in November 2010 in order for the first 100 Leafs to be introduced in the country to operate as part of the capital's taxi fleet. The first Leafs destined for the taxi fleet were delivered by late September 2011, allowing the country to become the first Latin American market where the Leaf is available. As of February 2013[update], there were in the country about 70 Leafs deployed as taxis, 20 in Mexico City and 50 in Aguascalientes. Carrot Mexico, a carsharing company operating in Mexico City, acquired 3 Leafs which are available to their 1,600 customers. Sales to retail customers are scheduled to start by late 2013.
Leaf sales were scheduled to begin in July 2012 at a price starting at ().
Sales were scheduled to begin in January 2013, allowing Puerto Rico to become the first Latin American market where the Leaf will be sold to the general public. The island's government enacted a 100% excise tax reimbursement for the purchase of electric vehicles up to .
The introduction of the Nissan Leaf is scheduled for late 2013.
About 70,000 Leafs have been sold worldwide by mid July 2013. The following table presents retail sales since deliveries of the Nissan Leaf began in December 2010 for the top selling national markets by year through June 2013.
In April 2011 Nissan announced that customers in the United States and Japan reported problems in restarting their Leaf vehicles after switching the motor off. Nissan said the problem does not pose any accident risk. On April 15 Nissan announced that the problem only affected a small proportion of Leafs. Nissan engineers identified a programming error in an air conditioning system sensor that sometimes triggers an erroneous high voltage alert when the air conditioning unit is switched on, due to the increased demand for power. The system issues an Inhibit Restart command, which does not prevent driving the vehicle, but does prevent it restarting after it is turned off. The solution requires reprogramming of the Vehicle Control Module by a Nissan dealer. Nissan announced a "service campaign" to apply the software fix to all 5,300 Nissan Leafs in operation around the world, but it was not an official recall because it was not a safety issue. The applied software update also improves the car’s on-board range calculation system, which several Leaf owners reported was overestimating the number of miles left. In addition, the update changes the state-of-charge bars display to provide a true reserve capacity; the driver now has up to five miles to find a charging spot after the car reaches the zero miles remaining mark.
A number of customers have reported safety problems with the antilock brakes: after an emergency braking event, and once the driver has released the brake pedals, the brakes remain in full force for some amount of time, increasing the risk of rear collisions.
In May 2012, several U.S. owners reported seeing only 11 of 12 battery capacity bars on the in-car display which led them to believe they had lost some battery capacity. As time went on, more people reported seeing the issue, and some had lost two, three, and even in rare cases, four battery capacity bars. The battery capacity loss problem seems to be concentrated in regions with hot climate, and Phoenix, Arizona and the state of Texas in particular. In July 2012 Nissan responded by saying they were investigating the issue, and a carmaker spokesman also said that "the problem is isolated to maybe 0.3 percent of the 13,000 Leafs on U.S. roads, and the company reportedly has loaned cars to some Leaf owners in Arizona as it researches the issue." This is equivalent to around 40 vehicles have experienced a loss of any battery capacity bars.
Crowd sourced reports of Nissan Leafs with premature battery degradation have been collected at the MyNissanLeaf.com forum and have been tracked on the website's wiki page.
By early September 2012, Nissan Executive Vice President said that there is “no problem” with the LEAF battery, and that the any customer complaints were merely the result of instrument problems." As a response, a group of 12 Phoenix Leaf owners participated in an independent test in controlled conditions organized by LEAF driver and EV advocate Tony Williams that took place on September 15, 2012. The test confirmed that the Leaf has poor instruments, but the test also found significant loss of range in some cars reflecting battery capacity loss. The worst affected Leaf showed around 60 to 65% of its original battery capacity remaining, and was only capable of driving 59 mi (95 km) before running out of charge.
Based on a complete evaluation that Nissan Americas conducted with seven different Leafs in its Arizona Testing Center, the carmaker found that the common link among the seven Leafs from Arizona was that all of them had covered much higher mileage than the 12,500 mi (20,100 km) Nissan used to estimate the rate of battery capacity loss over time. All of them had covered at least 50% more than Nissan estimated average, with 19,600 mi (31,500 km) as the average mileage for the cars evaluated. According to Nissan, that average is "more than double the average Phoenix customer mileage of 7,500 miles per year." Nissan concluded that "the cars and the battery packs are behaving as we expected." As a result of this assessment, Nissan published an open letter to Leaf owners explaining the results of the assessment and the details of normal battery capacity loss expected over time. The company also decided to set up an independent advisory board to study how the company may improve its communication with customers about the performance of the Leaf. The group will be led by Chelsea Sexton, known for its prominent role on the marketing of the GM EV-1 electric car. She will select the members of the advisory board that would make recommendations to Nissan. By late September Nissan reported that around 450 Leafs have been sold in Arizona, and in the interest of customer satisfaction, two units with battery loss problems were repurchased using the buyback formula modeled on Arizona's lemon law. By mid September, Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that there is an improved second generation battery coming online that will cost less than the previous one.
A federal class action lawsuit was filed by a California Leaf owner accusing Nissan of concealing in its advertising that its Leaf vehicles have a design defect that causes them to prematurely lose battery life and driving range. The class action suit says that “before purchase or lease, Nissan failed to disclose its own recommendations that owners avoid charging the battery beyond 80% in order to mitigate battery damage and failed to disclose that Nissan’s estimated 100 mile range was based on a full charge battery, which is contrary to Nissan’s own recommendation for battery charging.”
In January 2013 Nissan USA announced that it will offer an extended battery warranty on the 2013 model year Leaf and will include 2011 and 2012 model years as well.
Nissan unveiled the Nissan Leaf Aero Style concept car at the 2011 Tokyo Auto Salon. The Leaf Aero Style exterior features a new front bumper, extended side skirts, restyled mirrors, LED daytime driving lights, and special wheels.
Nissan unveiled the Leaf Nismo RC (Racing Competition) demonstration car at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. This electric car has the same battery pack and motor as the Leaf but is designed and constructed as a racing car with a full carbon fiber monocoque body which makes it about 40% lighter than the production Leaf. Leaf Nismo RC is projected to have a running time of around 20 minutes under racing conditions, and in preliminary testing it accelerated from 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 6.85 seconds and has a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h). Nissan built eight of these rear-wheel drive cars.
Another concept from Nismo was unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, the Leaf Nismo Concept. It was designed as normal highway-capable automobile and uses the same 80 kW electric motor as the Leaf. In January 2013, Nissan announced that the Leaf Nismo will be produced in low volumes by mid-2013, and sold in Japan only. The Leaf Nismo uses the Leaf's all-electric drive train with no extra power or performance improvements, but has an aerodynamic body kit with styling influenced by the electric Leaf RC demonstrator, new alloy wheels, and interior improvements.
The Nissan Infiniti LE concept all-electric car was unveiled at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. It is based on the same platform as the Leaf, but it is expected to become Nissan's luxury electric car. It is expected to go into production in 2014.
Nissan and its joint venture partner Dongfeng Motor unveiled a production version of the Venucia e30 electric car at the 2012 Auto Guangzhou. An earlier version, the Venucia E-Concept, was unveiled at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show. The car is scheduled for production in China by 2015, and shares the bodywork, dimensions, electric-drive specifications and several other features of the Leaf. Dongfeng Nissan plans to start pilot projects in 15 Chinese cities to promote the Venucia e30 with local governments.
An Electric Production Class was formed for the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Chad Hord raced a Leaf in the event. The off-road racing driver ascended the 19.99 km (12.42 mi) course in 14 minutes and 33 seconds to win the class. The interior of the car was removed and replaced with mandatory racing seats, safety harness, and a roll cage.
The Leaf was enthusiastically received by consumers. There were 20,000 pre-orders in the United States for the vehicle's debut. After hitting this milestone in September 2010, Nissan stopped taking reservations in the United States until many of the initial orders had been delivered in early 2011.
The Leaf has received awards from multiple organizations. Notable awards include the inclusion by Time magazine as one of the 50 best inventions of 2009. At the 2010 Washington Auto Show, the Leaf was given the 2010 Green Car Vision Award by the Green Car Journal (GCJ), who noted that the Leaf "will provide the features, the styling, and the driving experience that will meet the needs of a sophisticated and demanding market, while producing zero localized emissions and requiring no petroleum fuels." Popular Mechanics, upon awarding the Leaf its 2010 Breakthrough Award, explained that the Nissan Leaf is "not the first pure EV, but [...] hits the mainstream like none of its predecessors." Popular Mechanics also alluded to the Leaf's 160 kilometres (100 mi) range, which is said to be "enough for most commuters for the price of an average vehicle – and with a much lower operating cost than gasoline-powered vehicles."
Other awards received by the Leaf include the 2011 European Car of the Year, EV.com’s 2011 EV of the Year, 2011 Eco-Friendly Car of the Year by Cars.com, 2011 Green Fleet Electric Vehicle of the Year, it was listed among the 2011 Greenest Vehicles of the Year by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, also listed by Mother Earth News among its "Best Green Cars" of 2011, and also was ranked first in Kelley Blue Book Top 10 Green Cars for 2011. The Leaf won the 2011 World Car of the Year, and was a finalist for the 2011 World Green Car. Ward's Auto listed the Leaf's 80 kW electric motor in Ward's 10 Best Engines for 2011. Until October 2011 the Leaf was ranked as the most efficient EPA certified vehicle for all fuels ever. In December 2011 the Leaf was awarded with the 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan at the Tokyo Motor Show.
In 2009, a former Tesla Motors marketing manager criticized Nissan about the cooling system chosen for thermal management in lithium-ion battery packs,. He also claimed there may also be an overestimation of the 160-kilometre (100 mi) range that was computed using LA-4 or "city" mode, which may underestimate the energy draw during highway driving conditions.
The American magazine Consumer Reports noted that while charger costs vary between and , an at-home charger and its installation cost more than even for simple installations. Nissan estimates a typical charger installation costs . The article did not mention that home charger installations are eligible for a 50% federal tax credit up to . Consumer Reports noted that the first 5,700 Leaf buyers will get free chargers with federal support in 13 cities. The consumer group also reminded that many older houses with only a 60–100 amp supply may need a panel upgrade to install a 240-volt circuit, which can cost several thousand dollars. The additional 220–240-volt charger is only required for countries (mainly the North / South American continent) that do not have a 220–240-volt domestic grid and want faster charging than under 110–120-volt.
There are a variety of EVSE manufacturers for the Nissan LEAF including SPX, Schneider, Leviton, Aerovironment, Blink and GE. Some are priced at less than $850. Since the on-board charger in the LEAF only draws 16 Amps, many home installations can be as simple as adding a dedicated 20 Amp circuit and receptacle in the garage.
Consumer Reports also called buyers' attention to the fact that the Leaf's total out-of-pocket costs include a acquisition fee and a disposition fee. The consumer group also emphasized that the lease price of -a-month applies only to buyers with good credit (Tier 1, or a FICO score of 700 or above); for those with less than optimum credit, the monthly rate would increase. They reminded buyers that the lease comes with a 23,000 km/year (15,000-mile-per-year) allowance, but additional miles will cost extra.