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Electric power, natural gas propulsion and a new coasting function for internal combustion engines – at the 38th Vienna Motor Symposium, Volkswagen is presenting solutions for the CO2-neutral, sustainable mobility of the future. In the case of electric power, the spectrum ranges from the new, affordable micro hybrid system all the way to further optimised battery-powered propulsion. For the first time, Volkswagen is presenting a coasting function for internal combustion engines with a ‘Coasting – Engine off’ function that shuts off the engine completely. The company is going on the offensive on the natural gas front as well – with a new, compact three-cylinder engine for the Polo.

“Partially and fully electric drive systems form a key pillar of our drive system strategy,” explained Friedrich Eichler, Head of Volkswagen Powertrain Development, who is giving a talk at the Vienna Motor Symposium. “Our range of technology, especially that available for the Golf, now covers all customer preferences. The new ‘Coasting – Engine off’ micro hybrid system represents a low-cost level of electric- powered motoring on a 12-volt basis.”

In the new Golf TSI BlueMotion, which launches this summer, the system works in tandem with a model DQ200 DSG gearbox. In a speed range of up to 130 km/h it offers the driver hybrid-style characteristics: lift off the throttle, and the Golf can coast with the engine completely deactivated. The system reduces fuel consumption in practical use by up to 0.4 litres/100 km and compared to the current coasting function with the engine running by 0.2 litres/100 km.

This new Volkswagen system adds a compact lithium-ion battery to the 12-volt vehicle electrics, with the battery supplying the electric consumer units with power when coasting. A so-called Q-diode regulates the current flow between the lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries. At the end of the coasting phase the Golf TSI BlueMotion’s engine, a highly efficient 1.5 TSI Evo1, is started in one of several different ways, depending on driving speed and situation: using the starter, using the clutches of the DSG gearbox or – particularly ingeniously – in combined fashion using starter and clutch.

In the middle of the electric power range is the plug-in hybrid concept of the Golf GTE4 and at its top end the 100% battery-powered drive system, such as Volkswagen is offering in the new e-Golf. In this latest upgrade, the new e-Golf’s electric motor delivers 100 kW of power and 290 Nm of torque, 15 kW and 20 Nm respectively more than before. The e-Golf now accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 9.6 seconds and its top speed has gone up by 10 km/h to 150 km/h. Through improvements to the chemistry of its cells and to their structure, the capacity of the lithium- ion battery system has also been increased from 24.2 to 35.8 kWh. This results in a big increase in range – in the NEDC cycle from 190 km previously to now up to 300 km.

Volkswagen is taking on the next big step in the switch to electric power using the all-electric architecture. The first model using this completely new drive system and connectivity architecture will be launched in 2020. The BUDD-e5, I.D.6 and I.D. BUZZ7 concept cars that the brand has already unveiled give a look ahead to the great potential of the new architecture.

“The all-electric architecture combines local zero-emission driving with superb long-distance mobility,” said Friedrich Eichler, Head of Volkswagen Powertrain Development. “It forms the basis for our new generation of electric vehicles that we will be offering globally in high volume. Its drive system and the system’s intelligent management provide for great efficiency and simultaneously convey to the passengers a new, highly comfortable driving experience, including with regard to automated driving.”

A second technology with which Volkswagen is shaping the transition to the sustainable mobility of the future is propulsion using compressed natural gas (CNG). Dr Wolfgang Demmelbauer-Ebner, Head of Volkswagen Petrol Engine Development, outlines the subject in his symposium speech as follows: “Due to its chemical composition, natural gas as a fuel already reduces CO2 emissions if it comes from fossil sources. If, however, it is produced in a sustainable way, for instance as biomethane from agricultural waste, then looked at from well-to-wheel it facilitates a form of mobility that produces appreciably less CO2. We use the term e-gas to describe synthetically produced CNG that is made out of water and CO2 from renewable power generation’s excess current. e-gas is ideal for making renewable power usable for the transport sector and for storing it. It is in practical terms a partner in the switch to renewable forms of energy.”

Volkswagen has been represented in the marketplace with CNG engines since way back in 2002. A special feature of the new three-cylinder turbocharged engine with a cubic capacity of 1.0 litre and high torque of 66 kW (90 PS) that is being shown at the Vienna Motor Symposium is its bivalent concept: it can be run on petrol or CNG. In gas-powered mode it works in a particularly low-emission manner – and that applies both to CO2 and NOx particulate emissions. The compact 1.0 TGI is a new engine specification for the small car class in the Volkswagen Group.

A key factor in its low emissions is the optimum conversion of the methane in the exhaust gas. In order to bring the catalytic converter quickly up to operating temperature and keep it there, Volkswagen has developed a lambda split process. During warm running and under low load two cylinders are fired using a rich mixture and one using a lean mixture. An important component of the technology here is the so-called lambda probe with no dew-point end. Thanks to electric heating, it is able to take up its regulating function within no more than ten seconds of a cold start, even if the exhaust gas and exhaust system still contain certain amounts of condensation.

The activities promoting CNG drive systems go well beyond technical solutions. In addition to the Group’s extensive and attractive range of models, Volkswagen is also conducting an intensive dialogue with other market participants and political players. In collaboration with energy providers, the gas industry, other OEMs and federal government ministries, we are driving forward activities that continue to make CNG known and attractive as a fuel.

Volkswagen is thus pursuing every path leading to CO2-neutral mobility. In addition to systematic optimisation of the existing powertrains, alternative forms of drive system are being introduced into the portfolio. The scaling possibilities of electric-powered drive systems open up further areas of potential, as the example of the Golf shows. Looked at overall, the fuels’ CO2 relevance is a key factor. In this regard, CNG in the form of e-gas is playing an increasingly important role.

 

 

For more information: www.volkswagen.com

INFINITI’s VC-Turbo variable compression engine is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine and one of the most advanced internal combustion engines ever created.

The engine was named by the Automobile, Motor and Bicycle Association of Austria (ARBÖ) with the Grand Austrian Automobile Award in the category “Environment”. During the awards ceremony that took place in November, VC-Turbo was honoured for setting a new benchmark in terms of efficiency of next-generation combustion engines.

The experts of the automobile club acknowledged INFINITI for introducing the world’s first production-ready engine with variable compression. While in previous years, ARBÖ tended to award alternative propulsion systems, this year the organisation recognised the potential of the VC-Turbo engine which represents the next step in optimising fuel efficiency of the internal combustion engine.

Roland Krueger, President of INFINITI Motor Company said: “INFINITI would like to thank the ARBÖ members for recognising the VC-Turbo engine and the benefits it offers customers. The beauty of variable compression is that the engine makes an intelligent choice between performance and efficiency, giving drivers the performance they want combined with the efficiency they need. Not only that, it is quieter and smoother. We are excited to bring this ground-breaking technology to the road and, on behalf of the entire INFINITI team, we are grateful for the recognition.”

INFINITI engineers have worked for 20 years on the technology to make VC-Turbo production-ready. More than 100 prototypes were tested so as to deliver a truly innovative gas engine. Thanks to a multi-link system, which is able to adapt the travel of the pistons’ stroke, the all-new engine can seamlessly offer any compression ratio between 8:1 and 14:1. Lower compression ratios secure greater power and torque, whereas a higher compression improves fuel efficiency.

The result is an engine delivering the power output of a V6 and the fuel economy of a diesel powertrain without the emissions associated with a diesel engine. The development objectives of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with single-scroll turbocharger are: 268hp and 390Nm torque while offering at the same time 27% lower fuel consumption than similarly-powered V6 gasoline engines.

The first INFINITI cars equipped with the VC-Turbo engine will be on sale in 2018.

Scots Auto Scene had an exclusive interview with INFINTI to find out more about this ground-breaking engine.

 

 

In simple terms, how does the new variable compression engine work? 

INFINITI’s VC-Turbo technology uses an advanced multi-link system to seamlessly raise or lower the stroke of the pistons, detecting the car’s driving condition and driver inputs, and instantly selecting the most suitable compression ratio.

The engine is able to offer any compression ratio between 8:1 (typical for high performance engines) and 14:1 (used by many manufacturers for high efficiency).

The result is an engine that combines the power of a high-performance 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with the torque and efficiency of an advanced diesel powertrain – without the equivalent emissions – offering a compelling alternative to similarly-powered four-cylinder diesel engines. The VC-Turbo engine will be comparable to certain six-cylinder gasoline powertrains for performance, while significantly outperforming them in efficiency.

 

What were the main challenges in its inception?

A truly historic challenge, INFINITI has worked on this technology for more than 20 years. The first major breakthrough was the invention by INFINITI of a new multi-link technology in 1998, which held the key to a true variable compression ratio.

INFINITI has tested and developed more than 100 engine prototypes in perfecting the technology, covering over three million kilometres of equivalent road testing and spending over 30,000 hours on the test bed (equal to five million kilometres of on-road testing). The engine is now in its final stages of development on real roads.

 

Why is this new engine one of the biggest milestones for INFINITI?

“INFINITI has created an engine that adapts to conditions, and empowers drivers with the engine they want, when they want it. This is the world’s first truly driver-focused powertrain.”

Shinichi Kiga, Chief Powertrain Engineer, Gasoline Engine Project Group.

 

What are typical service intervals for this engine (UK spec)?

This information will be available closer to the time of the engine being available in the markets.

 

Will this engine eventually be available in all INFINITI models worldwide?

Currently this is equivalent to a 2.0ltr turbo petrol engine which will not suit every different model size or market. This is the one we are currently working on bringing to market as soon as possible.

“In future, new INFINITI products will benefit from the application of downsized, high-efficiency engines, such as VC-Turbo, which do not compromise performance. INFINITI’s progressive customer base is receptive to new technology, and the VC-Turbo engine is designed to meet this desire to buy innovative products.”

Roland Krueger, President INFINITI.

 

What will this engine mean for the future of INFINITI?

“Vehicle engineers believe that a breakthrough in internal combustion technology would come from mastering the variable compression ratio. INFINITI will be the first to bring this technology to the market in 2018. This new generation of powertrains will help our global growth and expansion of the INFINITI product portfolio.”

Roland Krueger, President INFINITI.

 

What will this engine mean for the future of engine technology in general?

“The VC-Turbo engine represents a new breed of engine which can transform continuously, and will establish new benchmarks for future internal combustion engines.”

Shinichi Kiga, Chief Powertrain Engineer, Gasoline Engine Project Group.

 

Anything else to add?

INFINITI’s partnership with the Renault Sport Formula 1 team has proved instrumental in accelerating the VC-Turbo’s prototype testing in the latter stages of its development program.

As part of the natural development process for the engine, testing of earlier prototypes saw INFINITI addressing the challenge of component material development and durability.

One such instance revolved around the engine’s bearings. Thanks to its advanced multi-link system, the VC-Turbo engine features around three times as many bearings as a conventional internal combustion engine. VC-Turbo engineers identified a small bearing vibration which manifested at the highest engine speeds under certain conditions.

INFINITI’s VC-Turbo project engineers worked with the Renault Sport Formula 1 team to identify and isolate the vibration, using the team’s expertise in dynamic motion analysis in conditions of up to 20,000 rpm – far higher than any production engine. The team’s experience in movement behaviour, and the use of bearing technology in a Formula 1 application, provided valuable insight into developing the engine. This stage of testing has confirmed the durability of the VC-Turbo engine under particularly challenging conditions.

 

For more information: www.INFINITI.com

To educate buyers on the availability of new products and provide technical information to professional mechanics, Dayco, a leading engine products and drive systems supplier for the automotive, industrial and aftermarket industries, today announced it will exhibit at Auto Trade Expo 2016, October 22 – 23, 2016 at the Citywest Exhibition Centre in Dublin, Ireland. The Expo, now in its third year, caters to all aftermarket sectors including passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, heavy commercial vehicles, trailers and buses.

Timing kit with water pump.
Timing kit with water pump.

“Our business in Ireland continues to grow and we welcome the opportunity to speak directly with mechanics, aftersales managers, parts managers, owners and managers of garages, motor factors, and anyone else working in the automotive aftermarket in Ireland,” said Steve Carolan, National Sales Manager Dayco in the U.K. and Ireland.

In addition to its renowned High Tenacity timing belt kits, Dayco will showcase its combined water pump and timing belt kits, chain kits, and its latest range addition, stand-alone water pumps.

“In order for workshops to supply their customers with OE quality products, we have expanded our traditional belt-related product offering with the addition of replacement timing chains, chain kits, and stand-alone water pumps,” added Carolan. “As a result, Dayco can truly supply the repair solution for every power transmission requirement.”

Dayco offers a range of more than 200 water pump kits that provide workshops and technicians with the opportunity to carry out a full and thorough repair.

“As the amount of water pumps driven by the primary drive system increases, it’s important we continue to focus on our kit range in order to provide our customers with a full system solution,” said Franca Pierobon, Marketing and Communications Manager of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India for Dayco. “Our strategy is to provide our customers with kits that bundle multiple engine components that work together with the timing belt and have similar lifecycles so all parts can be replaced concurrently.”

In addition to the exhibition portion of the Auto Trade Expo, expo organizers and manufacturers will conduct workshop and business seminars as well as training and demonstration sessions during the event.

 

For more information: www.dayco.com