What is happening in Europe at the moment? Last month we released news that Volvo had brought out some pretty fancy technology in the form of an electronic turbocharger, coupled with twin turbochargers to produce a 335kW (450hp) 2000cc four-cylinder engine, with zero turbo lag.
This month, Volkswagen have announced the release of a revised version of their 180kW (240hp), twin-turbo, four-cylinder diesel engine, which is said to deliver 200kW (268hp). It seems that in a bid to reduce carbon emissions and improve fuel economy, a fantastic trade-off is being seen of having higher power outputs in manufacturer’s diesel models.
Volkswagen have commented that the increase in power is thanks to a new ‘electronic booster’, variable valve timing (VVT) technology, and further optimized gas exchange cycles. If Audi’s electronic supercharger in their latest V6 diesel twin turbo is anything to go by, Volkswagen’s electronic booster could be the same as the supercharger, or it could be some form of hybridization.
The new 200kW four-cylinder diesel engine features a further 7kW than the recently updated 3000cc V6 diesel found in the revived Volkswagen Touareg.
Torque figures are said to increase into the region of 500–610N·m (369–450lb·ft) and to give you an idea as to how much that is, a factory Toyota Supra JZA80 with the 2JZ-GTE engine puts out 451N·m (333lb·ft) and an LS7, 7000cc, eight-cylinder V8 found in the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 puts out 640N·m (470lb·ft).
Limited details have also been provided for a new 10-speed dual-shift gearbox (DSG) as revealed at the Vienna Motor Symposium this year, and it’s said it’s to go into production in 2016. The 10-speed will be capable of handling up to 550N·m (406lb·ft) of torque. The shift to the 10-speed will be help to Volkswagen’s efforts to reduce fuel consumption.
With turbocharged diesel technology taking off in Europe, I wonder how long it will be before Japan catches on and starts building some diesel-sniffing, torque monsters of its own.