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
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
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.