At the 38th Vienna Motor Symposium on Friday, head of Volkswagen powertrain development Friedrich Eichler presented new developments in electric power, natural gas propulsion and a new coasting function for internal combustion engines.
In every current fuel-injected car on the market, when you lift your foot off the accelerator, fuel flow instantly drops to just enough to keep the engine alive at idle.
But in the new Golf TSI BlueMotion with DQ200 double-clutch auto transmission, due in European showrooms by the third quarter of 2017, it shuts down altogether. Eichler says this saves up to 0.4litres per 100km in real-world driving.
While the car is coasting with the engine off, an additional 12 volt lithium-ion battery keeps its systems running, to avoid draining the conventional starter battery, and the next time you touch the loud pedal, the 1.5-litre TSI Evo1 engine is started either using the gearbox clutches or the electric start or, depending on speed and load, a combination of both.
Eichler also presented a plug-in hybrid Golf GTE4 concept and the latest version of the e-Golf, with a more powerful electric motor, rated for 100kW and 290Nm – 15kW and 20Nm more than its predecessor. More importantly, improvements in the chemistry structure of the cells has upped the capacity of the e-Golf’s lithium-ion battery system from 24.2 to 35.8kWh, increasing its range from 190 to 300km in the now-discredited NEDC cycles.
Nevertheless, a 48 percent improvement in capacity can be expected to deliver a significant improvement in range, no matter how you measure it.
He also gave some more details of VW’s purpose-built pure electric platform, the first production derivative of which is scheduled for release in 2020, following on from the BUDD-e5, I.D.6 and I.D. BUZZ7 concept cars which we’ve already seen.
"It forms the basis for our new generation of electric vehicles that we will be offering globally in high volume," he said. "conveying to the passengers a new, highly comfortable driving experience, including with regard to automated driving."
Remember that last phrase.
Also looking to the future, but from a different direction, Volkswagen head of petrol engine development Dr Wolfgang Demmelbauer-Ebner presented a new three-cylinder, 66kW one-litre turbo that can run on either petrol or compressed natural gas, and which will be used in a number of small VW platforms.
It runs very clean in CNG mode, both in terms of CO2 and NOx particulate emissions, he said, and reduces the CO2 load on the planet even further if tbhe CNG it burns is made from agricultural waste rather than as a by-product of fossil fuels, or as e-gas from water and CO2, using excess hydro-electric power in the middle of the night.