Friday, September 25, 2015

How About a Little Respect for The Genius of Volkswagen?

So what if they found a way to work around the ridiculous American emissions standards?

VW is known for quality, tightly-screwed-together vehicles. They are known for engineering. They are known for their very German-ness. It's the poor man's BMW.

I drive a Jetta. Not a diesel Jetta like the ones the carmaker toyed with in their genius way. Mine is a 5-speed, stripped down, doesn't-even-have-cruise-control, smallest engine available, black Jetta. It is as German as it can be in its functional-ness. It gets me to work and back. In a sporting way. It has no guts on the takeoff, but at cruising speed I can downshift and gain some torque. It's a fun drive. It's a VW. Tight. The doors go, "shunhk" when you close them. It's what I expected from a VW.

So you're in the VW labs in Germany and you've built this very fine, tight, fast, efficient vehicle and along comes an email from the U.S. EPA that says, "You have to meet these requirements when it comes to emissions." You gather with your fellow engineers and you play around. You find that to meet these requirements your car will sacrifice something in the area that you stake your reputation on. Maybe it's fuel efficiency. Maybe it's power. I don't know. I'm not an engineer. But something made these engineers say, "Screw you, America. Here's what we're gonna do..."

So they rig the cars to pass the tests through software! Brilliant! They pass the stupid American tests and still get the car they wanted to build. THAT'S what I expect from Germany. Ingenuity, albeit in a dark and underhanded way. Still, sheer genius.

Makes me even prouder to own a VW.  

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