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Fuel economy is a top concern these days as automakers, suppliers and consumers alike strive to stretch every drop of petroleum as far as possible. Cylinder deactivation is a key way of bolstering the large-print numbers on a vehicle’s window sticker.
Every car, whether it has a big V8 engine or an electric motor powering the wheels, is being equipped with fuel saving technologies.
Recall variable-valve timing. Introduced on the Acura NSX, and at one time a revolutionary technology, now practically all cars have some form of VVT. Now more technologies are being introduced as innovations for saving fuel. Let’s take a look at some of the more important and popular features being introduced on new models; many of which will soon be as prevalent as variable valve timing.
Cylinder shut off technology has been a staple in fuel-saving technology for many years now but it has yet to make its way into a four cylinder engine. At least not until now.
Volkswagen‘s 1.4 liter TSI engine will be the very first four cylinder to feature cylinder deactivation as two of its cylinders will shut off when operating at low to moderate rev ranges, resulting to a decrease in average consumption by 0.4 liters/100 km, or 2 mpg. In the illustration provided above, the left half shows all cylinders in operation, while in the right side, we see a diagram of cylinders 2 and 3 deactivated. Cylinder shut off is activated when engine revolutions are between 1400 to 4000 rpm while torque is between 25 to 75 Nm, or between 20 to 50 pound feet. Upon urgent acceleration, cylinders 2 and 3 will wake up from its nap to give the car its oomph.
If the 1.4 TSI is coupled with a start/stop system to prevent consumption during idling, fuel economy is expected to improve by another 0.6 liters/100 km, or 3 mpg.
Expect these engines to debut by the beginning of 2012.