The age of engine downsizing is over, says Volkswagen

TDIMeister

Phd of TDIClub Enthusiast, Moderator at Large
Joined
May 1, 1999
Location
Canada
TDI
TDI
The age of engine downsizing is over, says Volkswagen

The trend of making engines smaller is over, says Herbert Diess, Volkswagen's chairman, marking an end to a decade-long development where engine capacity has been reducing leading to the current vogue for 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engines.

"The trend of downsizing is over," he said at the launch of the new updated version of the Golf – VW's most popular car.

"Emissions tend to go up as engines get smaller," he said, referring to the way that small-capacity engines can perform worse in real world Driving Emissions Tests (RDE) due to be introduced in Europe in 2019 as part of the Worldwide Harmonized Light-duty Vehicles Testing Procedure (WLTP).

Diess says VW will continue with its current 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine for its smaller cars such as the Up and Polo, but it will not be developing smaller petrol engines than that and its diesel units will not be getting smaller than that current 1.6-litre unit, either.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
That makes sense. If an engine needs to run "balls out" to do what it is asked to do, then it may not be much better than a slightly larger less stressed engine doing the same job.

Not sure where the line is with regards to emissions, but in other performance (power and fuel economy) there is usually something to be said for the smaller turbo engines.

Some examples:

Cruze with 1.4L turbo is much nicer to drive than the normal aspirated 1.8L (speaking of the previous gen Cruze)

Fusion with the 1.6L Ecoboost is suprisingly lively compared to the raspy and thirsty 2.5L.

Even VAG's new-for-us 1.4L turbo in the Jetta S is a night and day difference than the old 2.slo it replaced.

But, when it comes to longevity and low service costs, the bigger simpler engines pretty much always win out. And they generally cost less, too.
 

turbovan+tdi

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Location
Abbotsford, BC.
TDI
2003 TDI 2.0L ALH, auto, silver wagon, lowered, Colt stage 2 cam, ported head,205 injectors, 1756 turbo, Malone 2.0, 3" exhaust, 18" BBS RC GLI rims. 2004 blue GSW TDI, 5 speed, lowered, GLI BBS wheels painted black, Malone stage 2, Aerotur
No crap Sherlock, lol. Small engines belong in small cars, otherwise you to run the bag off it to make the car move.
 

pdq import repair

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Location
idaho
TDI
09 Jetta
Back in the day, I had a nearly new 4runner with a 3.0 engine, and my brother in law had a nearly new Bronco with the biggest engine they had, 400CI, I think. I got consistently 16, 17,or 18mpg tank after tank after tank. He got 20-22 mpg consistently, I witnessed it at the pump more than once.

That big engine rarely saw 3000 rpm and just ran along at low speeds sipping fuel. Hell he would almost match my 4 runner pulling a travel trailer with it. 14-15 mpg.

I don't know emmisions wise, but my thinking is less gas burned per mile should pollute less. Both vehicles met the standards of the day and still do. Yes we both still have them with over 250K on each and they can pass the sniff tests.

funny thing physics.
 

Dannyboy

Veteran Member
Joined
May 25, 2013
Location
Mb
TDI
2014
Problem in Europe is most countries use road tax system based on emissions output, usually CO2. The higher the output, the higher the tax.this is every year. Then insurance company comes along and basically says the higher the engine output the more you pay. So both together forces people to buy the smallest engined vehicle with best torque they can buy. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. Now they throw these new regulations in the mix. Should be interesting to see.

Usually any engine over 2 liter is out of most normal people's reach unless you've got a bit of money. North America has it soooo much easier to owning a vehicle in contrast, they only care about levels of emissions not how much is actually being blasted out the tailpipe. Think that 6.7 powerstroke is more environmentally friendly than my
2 liter tdi? According to EPA it is but we all know which one is actually better.
 

john.jackson9213

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
Miramar, Ca. (Think Top Gun)
TDI
1996 B4V
It seems the small turbo engines are well matched to the emissions test cycle. But in real world driving, they get pushed very hard by drivers. That pushes up operating temperatures and sends real world emissions well above the test cycle results.

So it is kind of like schools teaching to the test, because that is how results are measured.
 

AnotherPerson

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Location
New Orleans
TDI
1999 Beetle
I don't see a reason to put out a under 1.6L diesel engine. The only thing i could see this being used for would be as an "Always on generator" for a hybrid system. A electric motor direct drive system with a diesel engine setup to run optimal at a set RPM for emissions and fuel economy would be a great setup.
 

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
The way I'd say to go is... size the base engine for naturally aspirated normal driving (not just naturally aspirated cruise), and sell the base model naturally aspirated. That means, in a Golf-class vehicle, somewhere around 1.8-2.0 liters is about right. And, you can use variable Atkinsonization (as VW is playing with on some engines now) to reduce pumping losses at light load, too.

Then, if you want to create a high-performance model, turbocharging that is OK - drive the high-performance model normally, and it'll do well - better than a large displacement engine. Drive it aggressively, and the mileage goes to crap, quite possibly worse than the large displacement engine, but truly aggressive driving isn't that common, and you can get away with it. (That said, with variable Atkinsonization, cylinder deactivation, and long gearing, the large displacement engine can get surprisingly good mileage when driven normally, too, and then you have higher reliability than the turbo engines.)

Aggressive downsizing to a 1.4T or smaller, OTOH, means everything's aggressive driving in a Golf.
 

jdulle

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2017
Location
Ithaca, NY
TDI
96 B4, 97 B4
I have a 1 liter 3cylinder engine in my insight. It is fairly slow, because of the tall gearing for FE. I have driven it without the electric and is even slower. If it had a lower 1,2, and 3rd gear it would do well enough without the electric but you would have to rev it up to get enough power. I would assume with many of the smaller engines longevity would be compromised, but the insight seems to be fine, with many having over 300k without having been apart. It is a really light car, around 1900lbs.
 

GWbiker

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Location
Arizona
TDI
2015 Golf S TDI 4dr.
I owned a 1987 Chevy Sprint. 2dr, 5sp, 3 cylinder motor, 12' wheels. No power steering, no power brakes, no AC, no power windows. Just 54MPG highway on RUG. Some would call it a "Tin can on wheels".

Made in Japan by Suzuki. Didn't sell too well, I'm told.....however I drove it for three years and 36,000 miles and sold it for what I paid.
 

GoFaster

Moderator at Large
Joined
Jun 16, 1999
Location
Brampton, Ontario, Canada
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI
My current daily driver is a Fiat 500 with the 1.4 FIRE 16v MultiAir non-turbo engine. No rocketship (not even close!) but it gets the job done. It is overgeared in the interest of mileage. Right now, in winter conditions, it's doing a little better than 6 L/100 km.

In europe the same car had either a 1.2 FIRE 8v or the "TwinAir" 0.9 litre 2 cylinder engine. Apparently the TwinAir was the engine to get (right number of cylinders, historically correct even though it's at the wrong end of the car) but real world fuel consumption isn't any better than with the 1.2 or 1.4 MultiAir.

The FIRE series of engines is in the process of being replaced. The new choices are a 1.0 3 cylinder (replacing the TwinAir and 1.2 FIRE) or a 1.3 4 cylinder (replacing the 1.4 16v FIRE). Interestingly, the new engines only have 2 valves per cylinder and are SOHC with VVT, but no MultiAir, and have a very high compression ratio (13:1) and the cam drive is by chain rather than belt. I think someone's been doing some optimizing to get the same or better power output and economy but with fewer parts and less complexity and less maintenance. I'm totally on board with that.
 

dubStrom

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Location
Kansas City Missouri
TDI
2003 A4 Jetta (sold), 2010 JSW (sold), 2013 Passat 6MT traded for 2014 JSW with 6MT-TOTALED in November 2016, 2003 ALH 5MT conversion (sold), NEW 2015 GSW/DSG and an '07 Ram 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel quad-cab Laramie 4x4 p'up
Why no Passat with 1.4TSI?

I drove the new-to-US 1.4L TSI in the Jetta in November when I was replacing my JSW. It had maybe 2 miles on it so I did not "work it", but it's a quiet and smooth power plant, and the torque was surprising for a small gasser.

The car I drove had a nice package, nice price, and I was tempted. But 5MT, not 6, and the cab felt kind of tight. My unscheduled impact with the handle over the window in my JSW (see signature below) makes me want a little space (gasp) to let the seat belt do its work. I ended up with a Passat. FE is not much lower, so I am happy. Plenty of space in the Chattanooga midsize. I'm happy, but guess what?... I think I'd be perfectly happy with the 1.4L TSI with a 6MT in the Passat. I almost never ask for what the 1.8 TSI can deliver.
 

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
Because the 1.4 TSI would be in boost more often (hurting real world fuel economy), as well as not meeting American power demands for that size of car. On a turbo gasser, you only want to be in boost when driving it hard, otherwise your fuel economy will go to crap.
 

jpltdi

Veteran Member
Joined
May 14, 2001
Location
N. Virginia
I am one of those people who got a 2017 Jetta S 1.4 TSI with my $500 dealer card that was going to expire in November. Just filled it up for the second time today, 577 miles on 13.3 gallons, which I calculate to be 43.4 miles per gallon in mixed driving. I tend to drive it like a diesel and use boost a lot. (Not sure if this is good for longevity, but it just feels good to me.) I'm certainly impressed - I can never get much more than 40 mpg with the 2014 Passat TDI DSG.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Because the 1.4 TSI would be in boost more often (hurting real world fuel economy), as well as not meeting American power demands for that size of car. On a turbo gasser, you only want to be in boost when driving it hard, otherwise your fuel economy will go to crap.
Well Ford seems to think the 1.5L turbo 4 is OK in the Fusion. And I have driven one, and it gets the job done. Not sure how well it will hold up long term, though. I still think I'd opt for the base non-turbo 2.5L in that car if I had to pick. There is a 2.0L turbo available, too.

And Chevrolet also has a 1.5L turbo option in the Malibu. Also a very similar car to the NMS Passat.



Hyundai Sonata also has a 1.6L turbo 4 available.

And I am betting the Camry and Accord will be getting a smaller turbo 4 available soon, as right now they only have the larger non-turbo 4s (or a V6) available.

Of course, one could argue the NMS' current 1.8L turbo 4 is "small enough", and since they do not have a larger non-turbo 4 available maybe VAG decided to just try and cover both possible engine choices with one.
 
Last edited:

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
Toyota's sticking with naturally aspirated engines on the 2018 Camry - they're replacing the 2.5 liter 2AR-FE and 2AR-FXE with a 2.5 liter "Dynamic Force engine" with 40-41% thermal efficiency, and it looks like the 3.5 liter 2GR-FE is getting replaced with the 3.5 liter 2GR-FKS. True, they don't have a suitable turbo engine - the 8NR-FTS (used in the European Auris and C-HR) at 1.2 liters is too small, the 8AR-FTS (used here in the IS and NX 200t) at 2.0 liters is too powerful. But, it seems like they're happy with the performance of NA engines for the Camry, especially seeing as they're doing a new engine family for it.

The Accord's probably getting the 1.5T from the Civic, seeing as the CR-V's gotten it now. And, I'm guessing a 2.0T as the top engine.
 

dubStrom

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Location
Kansas City Missouri
TDI
2003 A4 Jetta (sold), 2010 JSW (sold), 2013 Passat 6MT traded for 2014 JSW with 6MT-TOTALED in November 2016, 2003 ALH 5MT conversion (sold), NEW 2015 GSW/DSG and an '07 Ram 6.7L Cummins Turbo Diesel quad-cab Laramie 4x4 p'up
Because the 1.4 TSI would be in boost more often (hurting real world fuel economy), as well as not meeting American power demands for that size of car. On a turbo gasser, you only want to be in boost when driving it hard, otherwise your fuel economy will go to crap.
I think it would depend on how aggressively driven. City driving could suffer if forced to defend position in traffic often, but on the highway, it would not need much boost, and at the low end of boost, FE is enhanced, not penalized. It probably needs only 30hp to maintain 70. Linked to a 6MT, it could probably do surprisingly well.

Unfortunately, VW does not equip the Passat with a third pedal, period. Pity.
 
Last edited:

ssamalin

Veteran Member
Joined
May 13, 2007
Location
Southern CA
TDI
2015 Mercedes E250 Blutec. Previously: 2006 Jetta TDI
I've never seen information on the new emissions testing before. VW says "the new American tests have effectively added 40 per cent to the total emissions detected in tests".

This partially confirms what I have been saying about why Mercedes canceled it's 2017 Bluetecs, to catch up with the new testing requirements in 2018.
 
Last edited:

BKmetz

Administrator, Member #10
Staff member
Joined
Sep 25, 1997
Location
Illinois
TDI
2015 Passat, titanium beige, 6MT
A few years back I rented a Chevy Cruze with the ECO 1.4L turbo and 6-speed auto transmission. As I was in the Phoenix area I had to drive it aggressively just to keep up with traffic. It was a gutless wonder that was shifting all the time. In a large metropolitan area I wouldn't own one. In a rural setting it would be adequate.

By comparison the last time I was in Phoenix I rented a 2016 NMS Passat with the 1.8TSI and 6-speed auto transmission. It was great. When passing on the interstate the torque felt like my TDI. It did not hunt for gears all day like the Cruze had to. In fairness the Passat did return lower fuel mileage, but I had power when I needed it.

:)
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
If you did not like the 1.4L turbo Cruze, you'd REALLY hate the 1.8L non-turbo one. They are even worse. Because THAT engine is torqueless, and the Cruze platform is way overweight for its size. One of my son's nurses has one of those turds, and I get to drive it to and from work now and then for service. I'd rather lather my scrotum in diesel fuel and run through a truck stop naked than drive that car. Shame, because the car itself is not that bad.
 

TDIMeister

Phd of TDIClub Enthusiast, Moderator at Large
Joined
May 1, 1999
Location
Canada
TDI
TDI
I would be totally OK with a somewhat larger displacement engine that uses a Miller/Atkinson cycle, cylinder deactivation and/or throttling via valvelift, i.e. FCA Multiair, BMW Valvetronic.

There's something to be said about Toyota and Mazda favouring larger displacement, naturally aspirated engines with very high compression ratios. With the aforementioned additional measures, engine start-stop and high efficiency transmissions (wide ratio range, tall gearing, close spacings and low losses), fuel economy can be pretty good without the added complexity and failure modes of a turbocharged engine.

500cc/cylinder has been empirically found to give the best efficiency in passenger car-sized engines. Smaller than that, you have higher heat losses due to disadvantageous surface-to-volume ratio; larger than that increases pumping (throttling) and friction losses, particularly at low load.

VAG can very easily simplify its engine range to 1L 2-cylinder, 1.5L 3-cylinder, 2L 4-cylinder, 2.5L 5-cylinder, 3L 6-cylinder, 4L 8-cylinder, 5L 10-cylinder and 6L 12-cylinder engines with common bore, stroke and cylinder pitch, with NA/turbo, gasoline/Diesel/CNG variants for the entire group from the VW Up to Bentley/Lamborghini.
 
Last edited:

donDavide

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Location
Severna Park, Maryland USA
TDI
2003 Jetta ;2006 Golf; 2015 Jetta S
I am one of those people who got a 2017 Jetta S 1.4 TSI with my $500 dealer card that was going to expire in November. Just filled it up for the second time today, 577 miles on 13.3 gallons, which I calculate to be 43.4 miles per gallon in mixed driving. I tend to drive it like a diesel and use boost a lot. (Not sure if this is good for longevity, but it just feels good to me.) I'm certainly impressed - I can never get much more than 40 mpg with the 2014 Passat TDI DSG.
Just think if you get a tune also! I was hard pressed to get 40 in my 2012 Passat.
 

donDavide

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2005
Location
Severna Park, Maryland USA
TDI
2003 Jetta ;2006 Golf; 2015 Jetta S
500cc/cylinder has been empirically found to give the best efficiency in passenger car-sized engines. Smaller than that, you have higher heat losses due to disadvantageous surface-to-volume ratio; larger than that increases pumping (throttling) and friction losses, particularly at low load.
Would that apply to diesel engines too?
 

NSTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2002
Location
Nova Scotia
TDI
13 Passat Sep 12
I will quote in Canadian MPG, 30 MPG converts to about 10L/100KM. These are average fuel economy numbers for mixed driving, except as noted. I am anal about recording fuel consumption and these numbers are actual.

My 2003 Passat 1.8L driven hard gave about 30-32 MPG with manual.
My Dad's 1982 Olds 98 4 door automatic 5.0L driven at 65MPH on the highway gave better than 30 MPG.
My 98 Beetle manual TDI gave better than 50MPG driven hard.
My 87 Dakota 4WD auto, 18 MPG. 3.9L V6 with a Holley 2 barrel.
2002 Tacoma 4WD 3.4L FI V6 manual, about 21 MPG on a good day.
84 Camry 4 cyl manual, 46 mpg highway (worst car I ever owned).
75 Nova 5.7L auto, 25 MPG highway, city a whole lot less. Bought it new.

Computerized FI is much more efficient than a carb 9 times out of 10. What amazes me is how little the fuel economy has improved over the 75 Nova, 82 Olds, 84 Camry, and 87 Dakota with the new fuel systems, better transmissions, etc.

As to how long a turbo small displacement motor will last, those 1.8L VW's ran forever without major issues. My 2003 was chipped and I drove the crap out of it.

Ford's turbo V6 in trucks is relatively new, it will be interesting to see how it stands up over time. Fuel economy wise they are much better on fuel than a V8, until you get into the boost. When towing, the fuel economy gets cut in half.

I think the next big change possible is a major improvement in batteries will get us into all electric cars. Electric motors are proven technology, lots of torque, last forever, low maintenance, zero emissions, no sensors, no exhaust, no turbo, no transmission. Check out electric car drag racing.

The weak link is the batteries- if a new battery is developed that is half the weight, has a range comparable to a gas car, say 600KM's or 400 miles, and a quick charge or changeout (like say trading your propane BBQ tank).

New gas or diesel small cars will go the way of the dodo. It could be in the next 5-20 years?
 
Last edited:

Dannyboy

Veteran Member
Joined
May 25, 2013
Location
Mb
TDI
2014
My current daily driver is a Fiat 500 with the 1.4 FIRE 16v MultiAir non-turbo engine. No rocketship (not even close!) but it gets the job done. It is overgeared in the interest of mileage. Right now, in winter conditions, it's doing a little better than 6 L/100 km.

In europe the same car had either a 1.2 FIRE 8v or the "TwinAir" 0.9 litre 2 cylinder engine. Apparently the TwinAir was the engine to get (right number of cylinders, historically correct even though it's at the wrong end of the car) but real world fuel consumption isn't any better than with the 1.2 or 1.4 MultiAir.

The FIRE series of engines is in the process of being replaced. The new choices are a 1.0 3 cylinder (replacing the TwinAir and 1.2 FIRE) or a 1.3 4 cylinder (replacing the 1.4 16v FIRE). Interestingly, the new engines only have 2 valves per cylinder and are SOHC with VVT, but no MultiAir, and have a very high compression ratio (13:1) and the cam drive is by chain rather than belt. I think someone's been doing some optimizing to get the same or better power output and economy but with fewer parts and less complexity and less maintenance. I'm totally on board with that.
I had 2 fiat punto 55s as my daily for many years, 1.1 8v fire engine like yours had just bit slower. Could change the cambelt in 20 mins including water pump. No a/c, no power steering, no cruise control, manual windows and 3 doors. Like you said, no rocket ship but being single point injection and wasted spark, diagnosis was simple.

I loved it for simplicity, put fuel in. Changed oil whenever and that was it
 

TDIMeister

Phd of TDIClub Enthusiast, Moderator at Large
Joined
May 1, 1999
Location
Canada
TDI
TDI
Comparing 70s and 80s cars to those of today don't really do a lot of service. A full-size car back then had about the same weight (~3200-3800 lbs) as a modern mid-compact due to all the safety reinforcements and amenities. Physics is physics, and it takes a certain amount of energy to propel a metal box of a given weight at a given speed, no matter the powertrain technology employed. Not to mention that cars of old spewed about 95X more emissions. No thanks, I have no nostalgia for old cars.
 
Top