Recharge Wrap-up: VW Caddy TGI BlueMotion, VR tour of Tesla Model X

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid battery engineered, built in Michigan by LG Chem

Take a 360-degree virtual tour of the Tesla Model X. Best viewed in the YouTube app on your smartphone, the video above - courtesy of Canadian Press Video News – allows you to look around the inside of the Model X as though you were sitting inside it. While you're viewing it, keep in mind Tesla CEO Elon Musk's words about virtual reality: "It's quite transformative. You really feel like you're there." See the video above, and read more at Teslarati.

LG Chem's batteries for the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan will be the Korean company's first time engineering and manufacturing a complete battery pack in Michigan for a volume production North American plug-in hybrid. The packs include lithium-ion cells, electronics and control units. The batteries were engineered at LG Chem's Troy, Michigan facility, and will be built at the company's Holland, Michigan plant. "Our experience with entire battery packs, including cell design and manufacturing capability, as well as our expertise in vehicle integration, makes us the ideal battery supplier for the Pacifica Hybrid," says LGCPI CEO Denise Gray. "We believe our technical strengths, engineering and manufacturing expertise, position us as a leading battery and control system provider for electric vehicles today and in the future." Read more at Green Car Congress.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will debut its Caddy TGI BlueMotion van at the Geneva Motor Show. The van, which is suited to family, taxi or city delivery use, can run on CNG or bio-natural gas in addition to gasoline. It also features a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission – a first in its class. The multiple high-pressure tanks for compressed gas are located under the floor, preserving all the Caddy's precious cargo space. A TGI version of the Caddy Alltrack will also be available, initially with a six-speed manual transmission, with the DSG option arriving in the middle of 2016. Read more at Green Car Congress, and in the press release below.

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• World premiere in Geneva: The Caddy TGI is the first city delivery van equipped with a CNG drive system and a dual-clutch gearbox (DSG)
• Short wheelbase and Maxi versions available ex works
• Quasi-monovalent 1.4 l engine with 81 kW output and taxi-compatible, six-speed DSG
• New Caddy Alltrack also available with a natural gas drive system

Geneva/Hanover, 23rd February 2016 - The new Caddy TGI BlueMotion from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is the first vehicle in its segment to be equipped with a dual-clutch gearbox. The Hanover-based manufacturer will present this new combination of an alternative natural-gas drive system and six-speed DSG as a world premiere at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show.

Long-range king at Lake Geneva: The Caddy TGI BlueMotion, a family/city delivery van that runs on either CNG or bio-natural gas, is, besides its manual gearbox, now available for the first time with the DSG dual-clutch gearbox, which makes it unique in its segment. Both the panel van and passenger car variant of the Caddy can also be ordered with a short wheelbase or in the Caddy Maxi version.

With combined natural-gas consumption of 4.1 kilograms and 4.3 kg per 100 kilometres (short wheelbase and Caddy Maxi, respectively), Caddy drivers can achieve a range of approximately 630 km, or 860 km, in the pure gas mode. The CO2 emissions of the Caddy TGI amount to 112 g/km in the short-wheelbase version and 116 g/km in the Caddy Maxi version in combination with the six-speed manual gearbox, and 123 g/km* and 126 g/km*, respectively, with DSG (*= provisional data).

The new Caddy and Caddy Maxi TGI BlueMotion are equipped with high-pressure tanks especially designed to hold compressed natural gas. These tanks are mounted under the floor, which means cargo space remains the same - up to 3,200 l in the Caddy and up to 4,130 l in the Caddy Maxi. The models are also equipped with a 13-litre petrol tank. The canister-shaped steel gas tanks are filled with CNG compressed to more than 200 bar. The four underfloor tanks mounted in the Caddy with a short wheelbase hold 26 kilogrammes of natural gas; the Caddy Maxi TGI is equipped with five tanks that hold 37 kilogrammes.

The tanks power a TGI engine with 1.4 litres displacement that fulfils the requirements of the new EU 6 emissions standard. The engine is based on a new TSI petrol unit that was modified to enable the Caddy to run on compressed natural gas. Among other things, the cylinder head, valve train, crank drive, pistons, lines and valves were all adapted to the requirements for a natural-gas drive. The developers also made adjustments to the engine controller, catalytic converter and turbocharger. This natural-gas drive compatibility was taken into account in the early stages of development of the TSI petrol engine series.

Maximum torque of 200 Newton metres (Nm) is produced by the TGI engine in the Caddy between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm. The engine achieves its maximum output of 81 kW or 110 PS at 4,800 - 6,000 rpm. The Caddy TGI as a city delivery van or passenger car has a top speed of 174 km/h with a manual gearbox and 172 km/h with DSG.

Normally, the quasi-monovalent gas drive system in the Caddy TGI BlueMotion only uses the super lead-free fuel from the on-board petrol tank when the engine is started and warmed up at temperatures below minus 10 degree Celsius. However, this petrol mobility reserve can also be used if none of the more than 900 CNG filling stations in Germany or the approximately 4,200 such stations which now operate in Europe happen to be in the immediate vicinity.

The previous model was available as a CNG Caddy under the name Ecofuel, and the TGI engine has been available for ordering with the fourth generation of the Caddy with a manual gearbox since mid-2015. The new Caddy TGI with DSG will arrive at dealerships at the beginning of June 2016. The six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which makes the Caddy suitable for use as a taxi, is unique in the A Segment of city delivery vans with natural-gas drive systems.

The Caddy Alltrack, which was recently the subject of a dynamic presentation, can also be operated with natural gas. This off-road styled variant of the Caddy is the successor to the Cross Caddy and is available as a TGI model with a manual gearbox, although it will also be launched with the six-speed dual-clutch gearbox in mid-2016.

Prices: The Caddy TGI is available as an city delivery/panel van with a short wheelbase and a six-speed manual gearbox from €19,310.00 net (€22,978.90 gross); prices for the short panel van with six-speed DSG start at €21,010.00 net (€25,001.90 gross). Prices for the Caddy TGI as a passenger car with Conceptline equipment features and a six-speed manual gearbox start at €19,685.00 net (€23,425.15 gross); prices for the passenger car version with six-speed DSG start at €21,385.00 net (€25,448.15 gross).

The Caddy Alltrack is available from €21,010.00 net (€25,001.90 gross) as a panel van with a manual gearbox; prices for the passenger car version start at €24,685.00 net (€29,375.15 gross). Prices for the Alltrack variant with DSG start at €22,710.00 net (€27,024.90 gross) for the panel van version and €26,385.0 net (€31,398.15 gross) for the passenger car version.

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