VW won't be copying Fiat by making two-cylinder engines for its city cars

Volkswagen has ruled out using two-cylinder engines in its Up city car, due next year.

The firm has been at the forefront of engine downsizing technology with its three-cylinder petrol and diesel motors. But R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg believes downsizing is now nearing its limits, despite the recent introduction of Fiat’s new two-cylinder TwinAir engine.

Red Autocae's first drive of the Fiat 500 TwinAir

“Improvements can now only be made in performance and economy, not in making the engines any smaller,” he said. Instead, the Up will make use of three-cylinder engines that “will really advance the technology and make strong use of it”, he said.

VW Jetta technical boss Michael Hinz admits that the firm has experimented with two-cylinder technology, but says it needs to improve its three-cylinder engines before developing smaller engines. “I’ve seen two-cylinder cars running,” he said, “but from a production point of view it’d be very hard.

“Even three-cylinder engines are very expensive as they’re not as smooth or refined as we’d like. But we’re not going to abandon them,” he added.

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The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

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Comments
20

8 November 2010

Sounds like sour grapes because they can't get around the MultiAir patents which make the TwinAir engine so effective...

8 November 2010

It is indeed. Previous comments from VW stated it was 'impossible' to make a viable two cylinder engine on NVH grounds.

Really!

8 November 2010

So, if VW have come up with a workable solution, then it can't be done?? Good grief, talk about belief in yourself!!

To live is to drive

8 November 2010

Should have said HAVE NOT come up with a workable solution,,time to go on the typing course me thinks...

To live is to drive

8 November 2010

First the Skoda thing, then this. Sounds to me like VW's boss is throwing all the toys out of the cot because they are no longer top of the pile!!

8 November 2010

So VW say you cannot make a successful two-cylinder car and Fiat say hang on here is our answer, at the moment advantage Fiat.

8 November 2010

Let's wait and see whether Fiat's TwinAir will be really so fuel efficient and sufficiently durable, especially the latter raises my doubts...

8 November 2010

[quote miecio]

Let's wait and see whether Fiat's TwinAir will be really so fuel efficient and sufficiently durable, especially the latter raises my doubts...

[/quote]

Why? Do you have any empirical grounds to judge its durability in such a manner? Plenty of other manufacturers have had inferior and more complex variable valve timing systems for years without problems.

8 November 2010

[quote disco.stu]Why? Do you have any empirical grounds to judge its durability in such a manner? Plenty of other manufacturers have had inferior and more complex variable valve timing systems for years without problems.[/quote] In theory a 2cyl engines pistons will have done the same work in 50,000 miles as a 4 cylinder doing 100,000 miles I used to have a 3cyl smart and the engines in them will only do about 80,000 miles without needing major work (even before 80,00 miles it wasn't a reliable engine). it won't necessarily be unreliable but I can see it being less durable that a 4 cylinder as the parts have to do twice as much work to achieve the same output

Here's to the crazy ones......

8 November 2010

[quote iamthestig] In theory a 2cyl engines pistons will have done the same work in 50,000 miles as a 4 cylinder doing 100,000 miles[/quote]

...and presumably therefore the same work as a V12 does in 300,000 miles? Surely, if a crankshaft is rotating at a given speed, each piston will rise and fall the same number of times, regardless of the number of cylinders?

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