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VW engine will be the first 4-cylinder in the industry to use cylinder deactivation tech

With more stringent fuel economy standards looming in the U.S. and elsewhere, auto manufacturers are looking to pull out all the stops to improve economy as much as possible. Carmakers are turning to technology like direct injection and automatic start/stop. Several automakers are also using cylinder deactivation on their larger engines.

Cylinder deactivation is something that some carmakers in the U.S. and abroad have used for years. Chrysler has used the technology in its Hemi engines, Honda uses it on some of its V6 models, and Audi will use cylinder deactivation in its new line of “S” performance models.

VW is set to make a first in the automotive market by offering cylinder deactivation on its 4-cylinder models.

The VW tech will turn off two engine cylinders under certain conditions. The engine is called the 1.4L TSI and VW promises that it will offer a fuel savings of 0.4-liters/100km and when combined with start/stop technology the vehicle would save 0.6-liters of fuel. For those more familiar with U.S. mpg ratings, that works out to an improvement of in the range of 
3 to 4.5 mpg on average. 

The engine would turn off two of the cylinders under low to medium loads, and VW says that the tech will meet the future European EU6 emissions standards. The cylinders will be deactivated when the engine is operating between 1,400 and 4,000 rpm and the engine torque is in the range of 25 to 75Nm.

VW claims that operating range applies to about 70 percent of the driving distance in the EU fuel economy driving cycle. VW also points out that as soon as the driver presses the pedal the cylinders will reactivate without the driver being able to tell it happened. The cylinders also would not turn off if the vehicle were being driven in a sporty manner apparently. 

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By Dr of crap on 9/6/2011 3:02:25 PM , Rating: 0
And for the inflated cost of which we do not know the gain is all of LESS than 5mpg!

I guess we're stuck to get small increases for big money investment and cost.

How about going the biofuel route instead?

RE: Really!?
By Smartless on 9/6/2011 3:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
I think 5mpg is a rather good amount of fuel savings. As for small increases for big money, look at most hybrids.

Biofuels are great and all but its going to take a few more years of research, process refining, infrastructure placement and probably some minor tweaking of a vehicle (excluding bio-diesel) to get it out. It's kinda hard to justify that kind of capital expense and then charge beans for it.

Heck if we're going to look that far ahead at bio-fuels, look further and see if we can get fuel cells moving. In Hawaii, private PV is all the rage. I've seen systems that charge fuel cells through solar. Won't work for the whole nation but hey we don't got the land or money to try everything else.

RE: Really!?
By seamonkey79 on 9/6/2011 4:16:06 PM , Rating: 2
On even a 30mpg vehicle, 5mpg is a 17% increase in economy, which isn't all that bad.

RE: Really!?
By zorxd on 9/6/2011 7:22:52 PM , Rating: 2
Almost, but you got it wrong, mainly because of the units you are using.

30 miles per gallon = 7.84048611 L/100km
35 miles per gallon = 6.72041667 L/100km

1 - 6.72041667 / 7.84048611 = 0.142857142

Therefore, it's a 14% (not 17%) decrease in fuel consumption. There is no such thing as car "fuel economy". A car doesn't economize fuel, it consumes fuel.

RE: Really!?
By Black1969ta on 9/7/2011 8:48:18 AM , Rating: 2
Therefore, it's a 14% (not 17%) decrease in fuel consumption. There is no such thing as car "fuel economy". A car doesn't economize fuel, it consumes fuel.

While that whole statement is half true it is also completely wrong.
While it is true that a car does consume fuel some do it more economically than others(Hummer Vs. Prius) so a car's fuel economy is a measure of consumption, standardized in such a way to make it comparable between vastly different models.


30 mpg to 35 mpg is 5 mpg increase
is 5/30=0.1666666666...
so, 17% increase in fuel economy, like he said.

RE: Really!?
By MonkeyPaw on 9/6/2011 6:33:34 PM , Rating: 2
My concern is reliability. I know some folks who own VWs, and they have issues already. Granted, it's the notorious Beetle, but....

RE: Really!?
By Spuke on 9/7/2011 12:10:45 AM , Rating: 2
My concern is reliability. I know some folks who own VWs, and they have issues already. Granted, it's the notorious Beetle, but....
The only marque lower than VW is Kia on JD Powers long term reliability. Is JD 100%? Who knows. But I doubt they would be that much higher.

RE: Really!?
By lagomorpha on 9/8/2011 8:45:23 AM , Rating: 2

You forgot about Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep, Land Rover and Mini.

The JD Power survey only took the number of problems per 100 vehicles. It could be a burnt out window motor or a blown engine and it was counted the same. German cars, especially VW, do have the reputation of having electrical components that will break constantly but engines and transmissions that will be working for decades. Then there's the issue that Beetles were made in Mexico and showed much less reliability than VWs made in Wolfsburg or Pennsylvania.

RE: Really!?
By YashBudini on 9/8/2011 9:24:32 PM , Rating: 2
Looking at the graphs, which don't expand shame on you JDP, we see BMW and Mini made by BMW far down the list. For what they charge there's simply no excuse.

RE: Really!?
By MrTeal on 9/6/2011 4:44:09 PM , Rating: 5
Right, so engine deactivation which is already used in many vehicles with little increase in cost is going to be a huge cost increase for VW, but biofuels are a way cheaper alternative.

Is that a corn cob in your pocket, or are you just happy to see everyone?

RE: Really!?
By barturtle on 9/6/2011 4:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
Actually with modern engine control systems, this can be achieved with a bit of programming and engineering time. Quite inexpensive to accomplish.

At low load operation (cruise on on flat terrain) and 1400 rpm it should be as smooth as at low idle.

Looking at the image, they have 1-4 and 2-3 paired, so if you shut off 1-4 and leave 2-3 running you'll have even firing cycles on those two cylinders, and the same if you shut off 2-3 and leave 1-4 running. There would normally be a preference to shut off 2-3 and leave 1-4, as 1-4 are supported by completely separate main bearings, while 2-3 share one in common.

RE: Really!?
By YashBudini on 9/6/2011 10:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
Quite inexpensive to accomplish.

In 2011 the GTI Turbo accomplished traction control by applying brake pressure to individual wheels via computer control. Inexpensive to implement, but that's not the only cost for us.

German hardware has never had the kind of reliability in league with their reputation. Factor in what we'll see of this will be made in Mexico and it will be "Version 1.0" and you should ask yourself if you really want to rush into this.

Why kind of real life savings is Honda's V6 seeing with this technology?

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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