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VW shelves new TDI, says engine downsizing is also over


Amidst the ongoing decline in sales of diesel vehicles in Europe, Volkswagen has reportedly confirmed the halting in development of a new 1.5 TDI engine earmarked for the next generation Polo, in favour of a petrol-electric mild-hybrid setup.

According to Britain's Autocar, the new aluminium-block mill would have served as a replacement for the current 1.6 TDI in the forthcoming Polo and recently unveiled facelifted Golf, but plans to introduce it have been scrapped due to ever tightening emissions regulations and in the wake of the emissions saga.

Speaking at the launch of the refreshed Golf in Spain last week, Volkswagen Head of Research and Development, Frank Welsch, stated that developing the 1.5 would cost between "€600-€800 in material costs for the after treatment system alone", and "to add a diesel in the Polo is 25 percent of the car itself".

"In a time not so far away, people will go for petrol engines in combination with a mild hybrid. A mild hybrid, in the end, is cheaper and has the same CO² [levels as a small capacity diesel] with a lot less NOx," he said.

Welsch also stated that while the 1.6 TDI will continue to be offered "for another three to four, or maybe five year", it will eventually fall by the wayside with production of the smaller 1.4 TDI expect to end soon. The mainstay 2.0 TDI is however expected to continue albeit adapted to suit legislation.

As the same time, Welsch also remarked that Volkswagen had reached the end of replacing some of its bigger engines with small downsized units often making use of forced induction.

"Downsizing worked for us but maybe in some cases the approach was too strong. We will not go lower than 1.0-litres in a three-cylinder or below 1.5 in a four. The Polo will go to a small four-cylinder engine," he said.

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