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NAIAS Detroit 2009 – Volkswagen powertrain and fuel strategy

The exciting path to the future

  • Clean Diesels are a clean answer to today’s parameters
  • Gasoline, diesel, electric, hybrid and fuel cell systems will drive mobility in parallel

The paths that the future of mobility will take are being set today. What is certain is that today’s technologies, such as TDI and TSI from Volkswagen, will continue to remain dominant for a long time. Combustion engines, some supported by electric motors, pure electric drives and fuel cell systems will co-exist. At the end of this evolutionary chain is independence from fossil fuels. The Volkswagen Group has defined the path to this future in a convincing powertrain and fuel strategy:

In the first stage of this path, it is important to utilize existing fossil fuels as efficiently as possible. One way in which Volkswagen is making its mark on this phase is with the Clean Diesel models, a fleet of TDI engines that are all economical, highly efficient and unique TSI engines, natural gas vehicles (EcoFuel) that are very successful in Europe and a range of models that leaves plenty of space for automotive dreams. Stage by stage these base technologies will be further refined.

The next step on the way to the future is to obtain fuels from renewable raw materials. SunFuel from biomass and cellulose-ethanol are among the second generation bio-fuels. The use of CO2-neutral biomass in particular must enter the picture; it can be used to produce these synthetic fuels. When used as a fuel in conventional diesel engines, SunFuel – which is extremely high in quality and pure – is able to reduce particulate emissions and nitrogen oxides by nearly 30 percent – even in older vehicles.

At the same time, SunFuel is the fuel for the next stage of our powertrain and fuel strategy: implementation of entirely new internal combustion engines that operate with renewable fuels and can be used worldwide without any major changes to infrastructure. Background: homogenization effects will open up the gates for the highly pure SunFuel in intensive advanced development of the diesel and gasoline combustion process, which will culminate in the Combined Combustion System (CCS). It unifies the best properties of both the diesel and gasoline worlds.

Continuing along the path to the future, Volkswagen is researching and developing all potential drive types and will implement them as soon as it makes sense and is technically feasible. This includes the hybrid drive, such as the one already being tested in a large study in Germany’s capitol Berlin. It takes the form of a Golf/Rabbit prototype as a Golf TwinDrive with the highly efficient combination of a new 1.5 liter common rail TDI, electric drive and dual clutch transmission (DSG). In contrast to other hybrid vehicles of today, which can only cover about two miles (about three kilometers) on average in pure electric mode, the Golf TwinDrive is able to cover about 30 miles (approx. 50 kilometers) in this zero-emissions mode – and that is sufficient for many downtown drives. It is easy to refuel at an electrical outlet.

The fuel cell also shows the innovative force with which Volkswagen pursues its research of new technologies: Volkswagen Research has developed a high-temperature fuel cell (HTFC) that is unique in the world. It eliminates the numerous disadvantages of previously known low-temperature systems (LTFC). The HTFC will make the total system in the automobile lighter, more compact, durable and economical. And these are the decisive criteria for advancing the fuel cell toward mass production. The first prototypes should be launched in 2010. The future will then be part of our present.

Note:
All data and equipment contained in this press release apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries. All information is subject to change or correction.

TDI, TSI, DSG and Twincharger are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG or other companies of the Volkswagen Group in Germany and other countries.


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