These days as car-makers are finding new techniques to enhance the fuel efficiency of the cars, Volkswagen has introduced a large range of new technologies aiming to eke out better fuel efficiency from gasoline, electric and hybrid power-trains. These technologies are ‘Coasting – Engine Off’ micro hybrid system and compact three-cylinder engine powered by natural gas.
For the gasoline engines, Volkswagen has made some mutation in their trusted DSG transmission to serve better fuel efficiency. The new system is implemented in Volkswagen’s upcoming Golf GTI Blue-motion, which is about to be launched in upcoming months. In this, they have fitted DQ200 DSG gearbox, which literally shuts off the engine after reaching the speed of 131 km/h and decouple a transmission to float vehicle after releasing the foot from the throttle. Volkswagen claims that after using this ‘Coasting – Engine Off’ technology they can save the fuel up to 0.4 litre/100 km, compared to the current coasting setup which saves 0.2 litre/100 km. Okay, that is not much of fuel saving but at least that is a start. Not to forget that how fast (read slow) and less efficient the initial automobiles were and compare them to today’s technology.
To make it a hybrid, the system gets a new compact lithium-ion battery to the existing 12-volt vehicle electronics structure. The duty of the new members is to give power supply to vehicle when engine is off and coasting mode is on. The power output of the new batteries depends on the driving speed and situation of vehicle. However, when driver needs some power under his feet he can restart the engine by using the clutches in the DSG transmission.
Moving on from the gasoline engine, Volkswagen is working to develop a new three-cylinder engine for the next-generation Polo, but this time the power mill would be powered by CNG or natural gas. Since 2002, multitude of manufacturers are presenting the CNG engines and Volkswagen is not the only major automotive player to develop CNG engines, another German genius, Audi is also very adept when it comes to efficient engine technology. Maybe one of the reason why Volkswagen bought Audi, well you can call us theorists. Pursuant to Volkswagen, there are bunch of advantages when engines use such fossil fuels, it is cleaner than diesel and petrol in terms of emissions, it is available from renewable sources and industrial waste.
Now let’s move to next-gen Polo, it will be powered by 1.0-litre, three-cylinder TGI compact power house, to generate about 90 BHP of peak power. It can run on either gasoline or CNG. If we talk about CNG powered Polo particularly, obviously it spits lower pollutants (CO and NOx) in emission. Also the catalytic converter will help to reduce emissions.
Finally moving on to the current rising trends, electric power trains. Nowadays, all car makers are finding a way to pull out the maximum power without using gasoline or diesel, instead they try to squeeze it out only from electric platform. Meanwhile, Volkswagen has also put its new pawn in this battle, the new e-Golf. It’s a plug-in hybrid concept of the Golf GTE4 which is powered by only battery and electric power-train. This new tech Golf gets 20 BHP and 20 Nm more than the older one, in total it generates 134 BHP and whooping 290 Nm of torque. It can make a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 9.6 seconds and can hit the mark of 150 km/h. The range of NEDC cycle is now improved with 300 km from 190 km, thanks to some major improvisation in genetics of cells and structure. Also the capacity of lithium-ion battery has been increased from 24.2 KWh to 35.8 KWh.
There is a buzz that Volkswagen will launch its first car based on all-electric architecture by 2020, it is going to be a big step for the company. Since Volkswagen took a major hit due to the Diesel-Gate fiasco, their hard work has increased and they are trying very hard to fix the losses. But can they compensate with this? This question only time can answer, while we all wait in this transition period of getting to cleaner and greener automotive technology. The future does look promising from here.