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Schmidt Talks Future of VW Diesel Engines

Sections: Fuel Economy, Powertrain

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Diesel Fuel Pump Insertion

(Photo courtesy auto.howstuffworks.com)

When you claim your diesel cars account for “nearly 78% of the diesel sales for passenger cars” in the U.S., you want to improve your diesel engine options without screwing up a good thing. To that end, Volkswagen Group of America Energy and Environment Office General Manager Oliver Schmidt is talking about the future of VW diesel engines.

According to a press release from Volkswagen, Schmidt delivered a speech at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI. There, he reportedly announced a new diesel engine family, dubbed EA288, will power the Beetle, Golf, Jetta, and Passat for the 2015 model year. Those cars will hit showrooms in the second half of 2014, the release said.

Schmidt said, “The Volkswagen Group is a leader in clean diesel technology. With the introduction of the new EA288 engine, we are excited that our family of TDI Clean Diesel vehicles is continuing to improve and will be even more clean, fuel efficient and powerful.

According to Volkswagen, the EA288 “will eventually replace all the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engines fitted in Audi and Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel models.” The engine is reportedly turbocharged with common-rail direct injection pumping fuel to its four cylinders and making 150 horsepower — an increase of 10 horsepower over current Volkswagen TDI engines at the time of this writing. As expected of a diesel, the engines will make plenty of torque, as well, with 236 ft-lbs of torque.

VW says it made “a number of changes” to the TDI powerplant to help reduce emissions, such as:

  • Use of a complex exhaust gas recirculation system (with high pressure EGR and a cooled low-pressure EGR)
  • Integration of the water-cooled intercooler and the EGR valve with the intake manifold, which also improves throttle response
  • Packaging the exhaust after-treatment components close to the engine by combining the DPF with the SCR Catalyst

While emissions are the focus for just about anyone building a diesel these days, the fuel economy aspect cannot be overlooked — after all, it’s probably the biggest reason a typical consumer would ever consider buying a diesel-engined car in the first place. VW said it has made modifications to the engine to help its fuel economy, as well — mostly by reducing friction.

[T]here are low-friction bearings for the camshaft and balancer shafts, piston rings that have less pre-tension, and the oil pump is a two-stage device with volumetric flow regulation.

No word on expected fuel economy numbers in the release. However, the release did say VW sold more than 47,000 diesel vehicles in America year-to-date, moving more than 10,000 of those in the month of June alone. Without a doubt, Vee Dubya will hope they can build upon that kind of mainstream diesel success when the new engine bows.

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