Volkswagen has found a new inexpensive way to boost fuel economy for traditional gas-powered vehicles such as the Passat by electronically cutting off half of its cylinder valves and converting them into “air springs. As a result, the company claims that the mid-size sedan is now capable of getting 42 mpg highway. This is well ahead of the Obama Administration’s mandate that all new vehicles sold in the US achieve fuel efficiency ratings of 34.5 mpg by 2016 and 54.5 mpg by 2025.
To do thus, VW closes off the two inside pistons, at the same time using turbo-charging and a “start-stop system” to conserve more fuel in its 1.4-liter engine.
The method if deactivating cylinders, has already been used by Honda to boost fuel efficiency on the V-6 Accord up to 34 mpg, as well as by General Motors to turn the new V8 Corvette Stingray into a V-4 when traveling at highway speeds.
The move is a complete u-turn from recent technology to down-size engines and add transmissions with as many as 10 speeds to increase power.