As in the past, the Volkswagen Group’s fuel and powertrain strategy follows the approach of coexisting electric drive and conventional combustion engines.
On the way to the carbon-neutral mobility of the future, we see both of these drive concepts coexisting in the next decades with a clear trend toward the electrification of the drivetrain. This coexistence of drive concepts will be accompanied by a steady increase in the share of carbon-neutral energy sources, either in the form of power for electric vehicles generated from renewable sources or in the form of carbon-neutral biofuels, for example from waste materials, for use in combustion engines that are becoming ever more efficient. The Group’s successful TSI, TFSI and TDI engines, ideally combined with our innovative direct shift gearbox, form the foundation of this strategy.
The enhancement of conventional combustion engines reached a milestone at the Volkswagen Group in 2011. Development work on the completely new generation of three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines made tremendous progress and achieved its latest success with the market introduction of the up!. We believe that combustion engines will continue to provide the basis for a responsible approach to offering sustainable, forward-looking mobility in the medium term. This applies in particular to the cost-sensitive growth markets in Russia, India and the Far East.
The market introduction of the 1.0 liter three-cylinder engine, which has been available with 44 kW (60 PS) or 55 kW (75 PS) in the up! since September 2011, and the 1.8 l TFSI engine, available in the Audi A5 since October 2011, launched the first derivatives of the new generation of petrol engines. Additional members of this engine family will gradually follow in the coming months, with the roll-out of the MQB (see chapter ). These will set new standards for efficiency and economy in petrol engines, with innovations such as camshaft needle bearings, combined direct and manifold fuel injection, and integrated exhaust manifolds.
The cylinder shutoff system, which will be used in petrol engines at both Volkswagen and Audi in 2012, demonstrates our innovative strength especially well. This allows the respective four- and eight-cylinder engines to optimize fuel consumption by shutting down unneeded cylinders in certain driving situations, based on requirements. On the 1.4 liter TSI engine, as an example, this technology saves up to 0.7 l of fuel per 100 km and represents a world first in the field of four-cylinder engines in this performance and capacity class.
With the Modular Diesel System (MDB), Volkswagen is also nearing the introduction of a completely new generation of three- and four-cylinder diesel engines. These will debut in 2012 in the new Audi A3 and set new benchmarks for driving pleasure, cleanliness and efficiency. The Volkswagen Group has also continued to write the success story of the diesel engine in other areas. Steadily rising market shares in the North American market, which has a critical attitude towards diesel engines, and recognition in Europe in the form of five stars in the ADAC ecoTest for the 1.6 liter TDI Passat BlueMotion, are examples of this. We have also successfully advanced the diesel engine in the higher engine capacity classes. After introducing the 3.0 liter V6 TDI engine with 150 kW (204 PS), which is designed as the efficiency version in the Audi A7 in 2010, Audi expanded its range of engines for the A7 in 2011 with a high-performance version of this engine, the BiTurbo. With 230 kW (313 PS) and a torque of 650 Nm, this engine delivers superior driving performance and gives the A7 the ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.1 seconds. Impressive fuel consumption of 6.4 liters per 100 km and CO2 emissions of 169 g/km set new standards in the field of six-cylinder diesel engines.
To further improve efficiency in conventional combustion engines, Volkswagen also pressed forward with its activities surrounding the gradual electrification of the drivetrain in 2011. Technologies such as the start-stop system and regenerative braking are already used in many of our production vehicles. And new technologies such as engine coasting increasingly contribute to reductions in the Group’s fleet CO2 emissions. With this system, the wheels and the drivetrain are decoupled during continuous driving – on a motorway, for example – allowing a fuel consumption advantage of up to 0.5 l per 100 km to be achieved.
THE ROAD TO CARBON-NEUTRAL MOBILITY
Volkswagen gave an insight into what is possible using innovative drive technology in a state-of-the-art, forward-looking vehicle concept with the XL1 study at the Qatar Motor Show at the end of January 2011. Designed as a plug-in hybrid and equipped with a 0.8 liter two-cylinder TDI engine (35 kW) in combination with an electric motor (20 kW), the XL1 represents the peak of what is feasible today, with fuel consumption of only 0.9 l diesel per 100 km. The XL1 can cover a distance of about 35 km running solely on electric power, and thus completely emission-free.
Following the market introduction of the Touareg Hybrid in 2010, Audi also impressively demonstrated its hybrid capability in 2011 with the Q5 Hybrid quattro. This combination of a highly efficient 2.0 liter TFSI engine and an electric motor delivers a notably low consumption of just 6.9 l of fuel per 100 kilometers; emissions are 159 g of CO2 per kilometer. The vehicle, which is configured as a single-shaft parallel hybrid, offers an impressive performance of 180 kW (245 PS) and a torque of 480 Nm, thanks to the interaction between the combustion engine and electric motor. With an extra boost from the electric motor, the car can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.1 seconds. More hybrid vehicles will follow soon, for example in the shape of the Golf, Jetta, Audi A6 and Audi A8.
Other milestones on the road to pure e-mobility were also achieved in 2011. When the Audi A1 e-tron and Golf Blue- e-Motion successfully participated in the Silvretta Classic in July 2011 and we delivered the first 80 Golf fleet vehicles to customers, the Volkswagen Group proved that customers need not make sacrifices in terms of safety, comfort and suitability for everyday use when they opt for e-mobility. The fleet trials that started this year in Germany will be expanded to Austria, France, Belgium and the USA in 2012 in order to make electrified drive technology market-ready with uniform quality standards worldwide. The integration of e-mobility into the modular toolkit strategy underscores its significance for Volkswagen, and affirms that it has a place in the Group’s long-term product strategy. This will see us manufacturing not only the body, but also the electric heart of the electric vehicle. The plant in Kassel is now sharply increasing its capabilities in the area of electric motors. The Braunschweig plant will specialize in battery and power electronics. We will lift the electric car out of its niche and ring in the era of e-mobility. In mid-2013, Volkswagen will initially bring the e-up! to the market, followed shortly thereafter by the Golf Blue- e‑motion.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is also breaking into the electric age with the recent start of fleet tests of the Caddy Blue-e-Motion, and other Group brands will follow.