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AUSTRIA: VW hails natural gas, plug-in hybrids and is to add 10-speed DSG

Volkswagen has set out some views on future powertrain and drivelines at a symposium in Vienna, including an upbeat assessment on prospects for natural gas and plug-in hybrids, but with an emphasis on future alternative powertrains co-existing with the internal combustion engine.

The company announced that it is working on a high-performance diesel engine delivering 100kW per litre of displacement and a new 10-speed dual clutch gearbox that reduces fuel consumption.

Group Chairman Martin Winterkorn was speaking at a symposium in Vienna on future drivelines. He 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 95g of CO2/km by 2020, VW said.

Winterkorn emphasised that existing internal combustion engines still offer a lot of potential: “Since the year 2000, we’ve reduced the fuel consumption of our TDI and TSI engines by more than 30 per cent. I’m convinced that by 2020 we can achieve further increases in efficiency of around 15 per cent.” Factors making this possible, he said, would include enhancement of the combustion process, intelligent lightweight design, innovative operating strategies and optimisation of friction levels and thermal management.


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