VW’s small fam­ily grows

In an at­tempt to down­size, Volk­swa­gen looks un­der the bon­net, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

DOWN­SIZ­ING is tak­ing on a new twist at Volk­swa­gen. Many car­mak­ers talk about cut­ting body sizes to boost ef­fi­ciency, butVW is turn­ing to the en­gine room.

It has plans for a new fam­ily of high­ef­fi­ciency en­gines with smaller ca­pac­i­ties, start­ing with its twin-charge, 1.4-litre four that boosts out­puts with a tur­bocharger and su­per­charger.

The 1.4 twin-charge is al­ready fit­ted to the Golf GT in Aus­tralia and next year it will be slot­ted into a ver­sion of the Jetta at the ex­pense of the car’s reg­u­lar 2.0-litre four.

Other en­gines will fol­low in ev­ery­thing from the baby Polo to the Pas­sat and be­yond.

‘‘We are down­siz­ing en­gines be­cause of the re­quire­ments in Europe to go down in CO2 and that is eas­ier with small en­gines. But we also find we can have good per­for­mance with low emis­sions in smaller en­gines,’’ Jutta Dierks, head of Volk­swa­gen Group Aus­tralia, says.

‘‘We don’t start down­siz­ing, but Volk­swa­gen thinks down­siz­ing en­gines is a good strat­egy.

‘‘We can achieve th­ese tougher CO2 re­quire­ments and achieve good econ­omy and still have per­for­mance.’’

The new move on down­siz­ing comes, iron­i­cally, as Volk­swa­gen be­gins a stronger push for its high-per­for­mance R-se­ries cars. It now has a three-model line-up with the R32 Golf, R50 Touareg and the latest R36 Pas­sat.

The 2009 Jetta will pick up the TSI twin­charge en­gine from the Golf in a log­i­cal next step, but will lose the GT badge from the hatch.

‘‘That will be our new en­try model. We are not call­ing it GT, it’s called 118 TSi,’’ Dierks says. ‘‘And we don’t even men­tion that it’s a 1.4.’’

She says VW plans to grad­u­ally roll into more mo­tors with the same per­for­mance from a smaller size.

Good per­for­mance, low emis­sions: a 1.4-litre twin-charge is al­ready fit­ted to the Golf GT in Aus­tralia.

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