Volkswagen is reportedly developing a new family of petrol engines, which will combine a host of new-age technologies to achieve high efficiency figures. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi chief technical officer, hinted that a single innovation won’t be able to achieve this and the new engine will incorporate much of the company’s technical know-how.
Volkswagen group has been displaying their technical prowess in fuel-saving through many of their cars at different auto shows around the world. Coasting is one such technology which was shown in the Passat BlueMotion Concept. Coasting increases fuel efficiency by decoupling the engine and transmission whenever the drivers lets go of the accelerator, allowing the car to move with the least amount of mechanical drag of the other components.
Audi, a subsidiary of Volkswagen group, had demonstrated ‘electrically assisted forced-induction technology’ with a twin-turbo V6 engine, back in 2012, which is something Ford uses in its 1.0-litre EcoBoost engines. This technology uses an electrically driven turbo to force air into the engine at low speeds, eliminating turbo lag, reducing the stress on the engine and subsequently improving the performance and efficiency.
Engine start-stop and cylinder deactivation are two technologies that have already been brought into production cars. While all the above technologies have been successful in concept cars, Audi has been extensively researching with ‘variable compression ratios’, a technology which has so far proved tricky to be implemented in cars.
With the next Euro regulations set to introduce efficiency norms for cars, manufacturers have been extensively developing new methods of getting more out of the engines from less. Though these efforts do help the environment, all this modernisation seems to come at a price and manufacturers have to invest huge amounts in developing these engines. They have been discovering newer techniques to reduce emissions and improve efficiency, all the while getting better performance out of their products. Ford was the first when it introduced the EcoBoost range and has now been joined by GM with their Ecotec family of engines. Suzuki also recently announced that they are developing small capacity turbocharged petrol engines for their next hatchback.