Currently reading: VW rules out 2cyl engines
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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LateKnight 11 November 2010

Re: VW rules out 2cyl engines

highland tourer wrote:
Can't really argue with that. Currently VW seem to have some of the poorest performing petrol 3 cylinder engines on the market. e.g. VW Fox 1.2 55bhp!! VW Polo 1.2 60bhp! Renault, for instance, have 75 bhp in their Clio, ditto Vauxhall and their Corsa. Currently VW, in some of their entry level cars, have really poor performing engines (0-60 in 17.5 seconds in the Fox, 16 seconds in the Polo, compared to 13.4 for a Clio).

You have picked the lower spec engines, conveniently forgetting they also have a 70hp 1.2 3 pot, which wouldn't look very good with your argument.

Anyway horsepower is not the ideal way of comparing engines, it should be torque for roadcar engines when comparing apples to apples. Thats more 'real-world'.

Not going to argue that VWs 1.2 engine in 6 or 12 valve versions are still not very good.

I'm of the opinion that engines with fewer cylinders have fewer bearing surfaces on the crank to spread out the load, therefore 'could' wear quicker than an equivalent size engine with more cylinders.

..or that VW cannot best the twin-air, so they are not going to bother.

Aly1000 9 November 2010

Re: VW rules out 2cyl engines

VW make a car that can do 270MPH with a W16 engine & 4 Turbos, 4 wheel drive & can be driven to Tescos for the Gin & Tonic yet cant make a 2 Cylinder engine work?

There has to be another reason....

disco.stu 9 November 2010

Re: VW rules out 2cyl engines

ischiaragazzo wrote:

disco.stu wrote:
Why? Do you have any empirical grounds to judge its durability in such a manner?

There may be no empirical data but I believe that it will be a nagging doubt in many peoples minds. I for one have to wonder how well the 1.8 in an E class Merc will fare in years to come. And no I have no evidence to back this up - it's just a doubt. And to back this up in some markets I notice that VW is not putting a 1.2 or 1.4 badge on the back of twincharged cars. They are all labelled TSi. To me thisi s evidence that VW think that if people see 1.2 or 1.4 on the rump of a reasonably big car they will be less likely to buy it.

OK, now you're mixing up durability with size.

Yes, people have a perception that a small engine can't move a big car as well as a big engine. For example, Audi have changed all their car badging for MY11, removing the capacity badge from the rear of the car and simply showing 'TFSI' or 'TDI' on everything from A1 to A8.

But that's got nothing to do with your irrational assumption that Fiat can't build a technically advanced and durable engine...