New technology innovation in cars!

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Published: 09th July 2012
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Of note on the technology side is a new direct injection turbocharged engine slated for introduction by the end of this year. And that's just part of Subaru's power train plans. According to a source close to Subaru, the company is currently working on a three-stage plan:
Stage 1 (completed) - Direct injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder boxer incorporating Toyota's DS-4 technology for the BRZ
Stage 2 - Direct injection turbocharged variant of the FA20 2.0-liter
Stage 3 - High-powered four-cylinder turbo boxer for the next generation WRX. While the final engine capacity has not been decided yet, the consensus inside Subaru is leaning towards downsizing and tweaking the BRZ's FA20 2.0-liter unit into a 1.6-liter turbo featuring new lean-burn technology.
This is where the story gets interesting. We hear the turbo destined for production later this year and the one being developed for the WRX are two different beasts. That is to say that the WRX, which is expected to return in three-door hatchback and sedan forms (check out our CG image to see how one artist visualizes the hatch), is rumored to employ a turbo with some form of electric device. This has been a while coming as Subaru took out a patent on an electrically-operated turbo back in 2007.
While the internals are still secret, our source did mention that the new turbo would use heat energy from exhaust gases to generate the necessary electricity. That means that the new turbo will do away with the complicated piping prevalent in current turbos. This new system will generate greatly improved energy efficiency which will in turn basically eradicate turbo lag. Toyota, Nissan, and Mazda have all dabbled with electric turbos, but Subaru could be the first to bring the idea to production.
"We are always fighting this, in a positive sense, and I always say our creativity is beyond the market," Hackenberg says of the BlueSport. "Up to a level, we are developing, or we are pre-developing, such cars." Then VW needs to go to the market to determine if the potential volume for the car is there. If VW can find a global market for 40,000 or 50,000 BlueSports a year, it's a go.
"The market of such cars is dominated by the Mazda, which is a good car. It has maybe 80 percent of the market. It's a small market."
If VW can count on no more than 20 percent of the Miata's potential market, Hackenberg will not build the car.
Typically, automakers rely on the U.S. market taking a large share of global sports car sales. It's no accident that VW unveiled the BlueSport concept at the 2009 Detroit show.
Whether the WRX will stage a comeback to the WRC is undecided, but Subaru did say that we can expect to see the car in competitive events from road racing to rallying.
In China, where hatchbacks are considered entry-level cars, there's room on the roads for larger cars and sport/utilities. If VW sells a B-segment Polo in the U.S., it'll be a three-box version with a trunk, as in China, Hackenberg says. If VW chooses to enter the B-segment in the States, it would likely be with a Polo sedan like the car planned for China.
China has tax thresholds at 2.0 and 3.0 liters of displacement. A six-cylinder engine in the Phaeton [probably VW Group's 3.0-liter turbo V-6] would be "the most effective engine," though Hackenberg says the W-12 will not go away.
"This is also a car which demonstrates that Volkswagen is a brand with a widest array of models and technology," he says of the Phaeton, "from the smallest segment to the big, premium segment. We are proving that we can bring quality and features to a luxury car that are competitive."
Hackenberg says the project for the next Phaeton is ongoing, and while he's sure VW will bring the car to the United States, there's no official decision yet.
MQB allows VW to build a bigger SUV model off the Passat with bigger wheels while sharing engines, and Chattanooga is designed to accommodate such a vehicle, Hackenberg says.
He acknowledges that VW is now in the "decision phase" on where in North America it will build a successor to the 2.5-liter five-cylinder gas engine that serves as the mainstream motor in the Beetle, Golf, Jetta, and Passat. The replacement is tipped to be the 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter TSI turbo four-cylinder engines, though Hackenberg says larger engines might be built in North America, including the five-cylinder engines already built in Mexico, "and more."
VW previewed the next-generation Tiguan with its Cross Coupe 2011 Tokyo show concept. The U.S. market's next Tiguan will converge with the Chinese-market Tiguan. China's current Tiguan is more than 3 inches longer than ours.
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