VW's new Polo BlueGT - 60 mpg and 140 bhp
Volkswagen's Polo BlueGT went on show in Geneva this week running a very interesting turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine, the first of a new series of engines which shut down two of the engine's four cylinders under light and medium loads (below 4,000 rpm, and at torque outputs of less than 100 Nm). Does it work? You bet 140 bhp, a top speed of 210 km/h (130 moh) and using the seven-speed DSG tranny, 4.5 liters per 100 km (62.8 mpg) consumption and CO2 emissions of 105 g/km.
The new EA211 series of engines will be used in all future modular transverse matrix (MQB) Volkswagen models. By automatically shutting down the second and third cylinders under light loads, VW claims it can achieve fuel savings of up to 0.4 liters per 100 km in the EU driving cycle. At a constant 50 km/h (30 mph) the savings can be as much as one liter per 100 km, and even at 70 km/h (44 mph) in fifth gear, around 0.7 liters per 100 km can be saved.
Obviously there's a lot of technology involved in a smooth transition from one mode to another to ensure there is no jerk or snatch, and the dashboard keeps the driver informed of how many cylinders are activated.
The Polo BlueGT goes on sale in Europe in July. Plans for other markets have not yet been released.
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But on another note, do we really need Hybrids? - Either go for this (is this petrol or diesel?), a small turbo diesel, or a full electric.
VW has had 60 mpg cars for some time. Honda had one in the original Insight. Seems like they're all setting on their thumbs when the opportunity for diesel-electric hybrids, capable of utilizing biofuels, is now... and build a 200W solar panel into the roofs, ya' goobers...
Typically combustion engines in cars are required to function over a very wide range of loads, to do this they are coupled to a gearbox to maintain available and driveable levels of torque. They are "tuned" to have a flexible, and mostly completely excessive motive force in order to make the vehicle drivable. Without a gearbox the motor, even a V8 will just stall. Most combustion engines only achieve maximum efficiency at full RPM, but typically they are never driven in this range. The problem is that even a conventional larger engine running on a low load still requires a minimum amount of fuel just to idle (determined by it's compression & air/fuel ratio). However, a smaller engine running at full load will always consume less, and provide more usable torque, especially if it can be tuned to a smaller range of RPM. A hybrid makes good use of this small engine advantage by using a electric motor with full torque available from "0" RPM, to compensate for not having a gearbox or larger under utilised engine. This makes it drivable, regardless of the load on the combustion engine, which in turn gives the motor management the ability to optimise the combustion process. This drivetrain "de-coupling" obviously allows a more aggressive engine switching off profile, which can never be achieved with non-hybrids.
I have had various Prius's (hybrids) over the last 9 Years, and still have my original one without fault, apart from a injector overhaul because of poor Aussie fuel quality. A hybrid is less complex than a standard vehicle. Amongst other things, the Prius does not have a gearbox, only a single planetary gear. There are no other "automatic" green cars with such a simple drive train as the Prius (Bar the same system in the Chevy Volt).Note that typically automatics consume 1 liter more per 100km, in comparison to there manual counterpart. VW DSG gearboxes are a bit better, but some automatics are even more complex than the engines that drive them. The electric motor, battery and electrics require no servicing ever, only the petrol motor needs to be serviced. My current Prius doesn't even have a fan belt, all accessories are only driven on demand electrically, further reducing wear and fuel consumption. Our local security firm is still driving a Prius with 700,000km, and still with the same battery.
The statements that the Hybrid are more complex or a joke is simply not true. Find out about the Prius drivetrain before making such claims. Also the battery is much smaller than required on a e-car, reducing resource use and cost. Besides, the efficiency of a pure electric drive is a compromise also, it simply consumes energy from a (much worse) coal power station, with all it's associated losses from distribution etc. Physically you can not determine which source of power is used to charge an e-car, unless you install dedicated solar on your house roof (BTW the ROE is not that great with PV either). The electrons could be coming from anywhere on the network, paying for RE does not make your electricity supply so. Plus there are serious range, remote emissions, charging infrastructure issues. in comparison the Prius drivetrain is nearly as efficient as a turbine 35%, because of it's atkinson cycle engine. The Prius is the best "compromise", given the current available fuel sources, and available technology. Add a Biogas sourced CNG fuel conversion, and the Prius is 100% RE, using a combustion engine, without having to wait for it to charge as it can be refuelled normally at a CNG bowser, or waiting for any technology to mature, or it having any range phobias.
Chk this out: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/hybrid-car7.htm