VW reveals new 600bhp W12 and 268bhp three-cylinder engines

Turbocharging and e-boost technology to up power across VW Group

Volkswagen has revealed the performance details of two new engines at the International Vienna Motor Symposium. The first, a twin-turbo 6-litre TSI W12, is destined for the likes of the Bentley Continental GT and Audi A8. It produces 600bhp at 6000rpm and 664lb ft of torque between 1500-4500rpm, while emitting just 250g/km of CO2 (NEDC).

This improves on the outgoing W12 engine, which managed 33bhp and 148lb ft of torque less. CO2 output is also considerably higher at 338g/km of CO2. The new lower emissions figure comes in part to improved cylinder deactivation technology and start/stop systems. VW goes so far as labelling the W12 as the ‘most economical twelve-cylinder engine in the luxury car segment.’

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Another clever piece of tech attached to the W12 is its vibration minimising adaptive hydraulic dampers. Using electromagnetic actuators, the mounts can cancel out vibrations by creating their own ‘counter-vibrations’. That should address one of the biggest issues of the outgoing unit; we experienced a little too much ‘vibration through the steering wheel’ in the current W12 Continental GT for our liking.

Also on show in Vienna is VW’s latest 1-litre turbocharged three-cylinder TSI engine. Despite its size, it produces 268bhp and 199lb ft of torque, utilising boost from a monoscroll turbocharger and e-booster. To put those numbers into perspective, the current VW Golf GTI’s engine is almost double the capacity and features an extra cylinder, but even with the optional Performance Pack it produces 227bhp…

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While the turbocharger helps the 1-litre produce its impressive peak power figures, the e-booster acts as a torque fill device, adding most benefit at low revs before the turbo then comes into play. The e-booster electrically spins up the turbo when exhaust gas supply to drive the turbo is low, helping reduce turbo lag and sharpening up throttle response.

Also adding to the efficiency of the three-cylinder unit is VW’s use of ‘laser roughening’ technology during manufacturing. The results of this new coating technique include reduced engine friction, enabling freer revving performance. VW says that by using a laser, tool wear is eradicated. This ensures consistent results can be achieved in large-scale production, and all materials can be worked with.

While there’s no word as to what cars this new 1-litre could feature in, its healthy performance figures suggest it could be effective at powering Polos, Golfs and even larger models like the Passat.

Carmakers like Ford have already demonstrated that turbocharged 1-litre engines are strong sellers in larger cars (the Focus and Mondeo are both available with a 123bhp 1-litre EcoBoost engine), so VW’s latest three-cylinder suggests its range will continue to receive downsized units in a bid to better efficiency. But as confirmed by the accompanying spec sheets, this will also be met with more power and sharpened throttle response.

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