When a stop sign really means stop
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.