When a stop sign re­ally means stop

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

THE sound of si­lence at Aus­tralian traf­fic lights is grow­ing. Audi is launch­ing its lux­u­ri­ous all-al­loy A8 saloon this month with stop-start technology, be­com­ing Aus­tralia’s first car with a ful­lau­to­matic trans­mis­sion to use the fuel-sav­ing fea­ture.

It will be stan­dard on Audi’s 3-litre V6 tur­bod­iesel model with an eight-speed au­to­matic.

Bosch, which makes the stop-go sys­tem, says that in a full au­to­matic it can save up to 8 per cent of fuel by au­to­mat­i­cally turn­ing off the en­gine when the car is sta­tion­ary. The en­gine restarts when the driver takes pres­sure off the brake pedal.

Audi isn’t alone. BMW Aus­tralia says the new X3 SUV, ex­pected here early next year, will be the first fully au­to­matic petrol-fu­elled car with the fuel-sav­ing fea­ture.

Cur­rently, some car­mak­ers of­fer stop-start only in mod­els with man­ual trans­mis­sions. This month, BMW in­tro­duced its M3 range with stop-start, in­clud­ing the dual-clutch au­to­matic mod­els.

BMW Aus­tralia spokesman Piers Scott says: ‘‘Tech­ni­cally, the M3 has an au­to­mated man­ual gear­box and is un­like the X3’s full-auto with torque con­verter.’’

Bosch has made stop-go sys­tems for the DSG trans­mis­sion of the VW Pas­sat and Porsche Panam­era, the Fiat 500’s au­to­mated man­ual and the con­ven­tional auto of the Audi A8 diesel.

Bosch claims the stop-go sys­tem in an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion will re­duce fuel con­sump­tion and CO emis­sions by up to 5 per cent on the high­way and up to 8 per cent in the city.

NEIL DOWL­ING

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