VW’s small family grows
In an attempt to downsize, Volkswagen looks under the bonnet, writes PAUL GOVER
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.