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.
“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.