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Winterkorn says Volkswagen developing 10-speed DCT and high-performance diesel; plug-in hybrids offer great potential

Volkswagen’s view of powertrain technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Source: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Leohold, Executive Director Volkswagen Group Research. Click to enlarge.

At the International Vienna Motor Symposium Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, gave a forecast of future drive system technologies. Areas of work being focused on by Volkswagen include the development of a high-performance diesel engine delivering 100 kW (134 hp) per liter of displacement and a new 10-speed dual clutch gearbox that reduces fuel consumption.

The high performance diesel engine features a variable valve-train assembly, a high-pressure injection system at up to 3,000 bar and combined charging with an innovative e-booster. Among alternative drive systems, plug-in hybrids in particular offer great potential, Winterkorn said. (The Volkswagen Group intends to launch at least 6 new plug-in hybrid models starting in 2014 and beyond. Earlier post.)

Winterkorn stressed that over the medium- and long-term, different drive system technologies would exist side by side. These would range from highly efficient internal combustion engines and natural gas systems all the way to hybrids and electric vehicles. On this basis the Volkswagen Group was working towards its declared objective of lowering the European new car fleet’s CO2 emission level to 95 g of CO2/km by 2020. (Earlier post.)

Since 2000, the group has reduced the fuel consumption of its TDI and TSI engines by more than 30%. Winterkorn said that he expects that by 2020, Volkswagen can achieve further increases in the efficiency of internal combustion engines by around 15%.

Short-term engine roadmaps
At the CAR Management Briefing seminars in Traverse City last year, Oliver Schmidt, General Manager, Engineering and Environmental Office (EEO) Volkswagen Group of America, outlined the roadmap for the three major Volkswagen engine lines currently in production: the EA 211 gasoline engines (1.0l to 1.6l); the EA 888 Gen3 gasoline engines (1.8l to 2.0l); and the EA 288 MDB Diesel engines.
For the EA 288 diesels, main development modules include exhaust aftertreatment close to engine; modular EGR system; optimized powertrain; indirect air cooling; innovative thermal management; and an intelligent control systems engine control unit.
In addition to lowering fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and emissions of criteria pollutants, Volkswagen is striving to standardize mounting orientation, to realize a compact architecture to enable short overhang in the vehicles, and to reduce engine weight by up to 30%.

Factors making this possible, he said, would include enhancement of the combustion process, intelligent lightweight design, innovative operating strategies and optimization of friction levels and thermal management.

Volkswagen also sees great potential for natural gas drive systems. The Volkswagen Group will be systematically rolling out natural gas technology with the Golf TGI BlueMotion and the Audi A3 g-tron.

We need to make the public even more aware of the benefits of natural gas engines. Everyone needs to play their part in this: carmakers, politicians and the fuel industry.

—Martin Winterkorn

The group-wide Volkswagen modular component system and its flexible architecture enable every kind of drive system to be integrated quickly into the new models.

Over the coming years we will electrify all vehicle classes in this way and help electrically powered motoring to make the breakthrough.

—Martin Winterkorn

In the medium term the first choice in terms of alternative drive systems is plug-in hybrid technology. The Volkswagen Group’s first plug-in hybrids, the Porsche Panamera and Audi A3 e-tron, will shortly be going into full production. They will be followed by the Golf and other models, such as the Passat, Audi A6 and Porsche Cayenne.


Patrick Free

Not one thing I would dream to buy in all that future! Only more slightly improved ICE cars, plus mild hybrids that just complexify everything for a just slightly further improved consumption, and 2nd cars full EVs with too small batteries.
Real innovation will not come from these guys ! I mean real single car replacement, with a Tesla like Full Electric drive train, a Tesla like >40KWH Battery with huge Instant power, plus the ICE Range Extender that is missing in the Teslas, to make a real car replacement vs 2nd car limited to +/- long local commutes. Who will build my car ?


Fisker have - I bet you did not buy one. Dream away but companies have to be more realistic or they go the way of Fisker.


A 400hp v6 that gets 45mpg? Eat my dust, 'Smart' car driver!


More complex, higher cost concepts are good for
- concept cars.

The 10 speed "manual" transmission better not need a manual clutch.


100 kW/l might sound impressive but BMW already achieves 93.6 kW/l with more conventional turbocharging (albeit tri-turbo) and "only" 2200 bar injection system. When VW have their engine ready for production, BMW might have moved on to something more exotic… Recall that VW is currently leading the anti-downsizing league. Their 1.6-liter engine has the lowest specific power of any (European) diesel engine on the market. If they realize that this is a wrong approach and that they have to increase pressure on development, it is at least some kind of insight.


I would say VW are doing very well, and plan to do better.
They seem to be using the EUs 95 gms/km limit for 2020 seriously - obviously they have figured out how to get there using the existing or almost existing technologies outlined above.
They will use this limit to defend Europe from the outside world, (though I expect the Koreans and Japanese will hit 95 gms by then at will.

A question - how many gms/KM is a Leaf rated at with an electricity mix at say 525 gms / KwH ?


Electricity mix varies hour by hour and from place to place and will probably vary more as more solar and wind units are being incorporated into the networks.

Night time charging could become wind power predominant as more wind turbines are added.

In our area, we are moving from 2% Nuke, 95% Hydro and 3% Wind towards 0% Nuke, 96% Hydro and 4% wind in early 2013. The next step may be to 93% Hydro and 7% wind in 2020 or so.


You must live close to a river.


He probably lives in Quebec.


"They seem to be using the EUs 95 gms/km limit for 2020 seriously"

Kinda hard to tell, 8 years before.


It is serious. At least, the EU Commission has realized that voluntary commitments from the auto industry are not worth the paper they are written on. In the mid 90’s the auto industry was under the threat of a regulation for 2008, i.e. 140 g/km. They managed to “escape” by proposing a voluntary commitment for the same target. This was not fulfilled and at the same time the opportunity for voluntary commitments in the future was lost.


These technologies are just partly efficient. They should derive a method to use the waiste heat from the ice gasses exhaust that is actually blown into the air and not tapped in any way. they can boil some water to pressurized water vapor and spin a turbine that produce electricity. it will add weight and cost but the overall systen with added 'energy ' can be scale down.

Roger Pham

@Patrick Free,
If you have money burning in your wallet, and you want to buy a performance PHEV, why not buy a Porsche Panamera for now? If charged twice daily,(at night and at work), then you can drive 40 miles daily on electricity. Not bad, and is adequate for most people, who commute less than 40 miles/day.

If you want something more affordable, then please give a Ford C-Max Energi a try. Charged twice daily and you can realize 40 miles on electricity alone. Meanwhile, write to Tesla to propose your dream car!


Tesla recently claimed that their new extended range EVs will do (500 miles or 800 Km) per full charge by 2017/18, with lighter battery packs. It is probably doable?

Shortly thereafter, (early in the next decade) BEVs total drive train weight (including batteries, controls and e-motors) will not weight more than equivalent ICEVs drive train (including ICE engine, transmission, radiator, fans, exhaust system, heat shields, drive shafts, gas tank and 15 gallons of gas etc).

Eventually, (early in the 2030-2040 decade) BRVs will be lighter than the most ICEVs we drive today.

Peter and Mann...If it matters to you, I was born in USA but raised and lived in Canada. Yes, we currently live by a River (about 60 feet). We also see Lake Placid, NY, 5200-ft Mountains (on clear days) about 93 Km from our place (according to Google Maps).


Harvey! May I state that by 2020 we are not going to have 500 miled electric cars. Unless a breakthrough occurs in technology I am not familiar with at this point I would say that the plug ins are the future. There are so many problems to be resolved with motors, motor drives, battery management systems, batteries themselves that seven years are not enough by any optimistic means. Looking into electrical drive train of Volt makes the rest of hair to stand up. The prime mover has not been substantially changed for many years? And it determines the overall efficiency of the car on a highway. 50% efficient diesel is still a dream and it will be a game changer. Have somebody wondered why hybrid drive train is not widely accepted in 18 wheelers yet? Well, too many questions - too little answers but ... the hope lives!!!!

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