• Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen
Cylinder deactivation is pretty easy to understand in, say, a V8 or V12, where not all the pistons need to be firing all the time. But cylinder deactivation on a four-cylinder engine? That's something new, and precisely what Volkswagen has in store for us at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

Variable displacement engine tech forms the backbone of the Passat BlueMotion Concept which VW is presenting in Detroit. The 1.4-liter turbocharged, direct-injection inline-four shuts down its second and third cylinders when their power is not called for, turning the four-pot into a twin and back into a four when the throttle is pressed a little closer to the floor.

VW has also fitted the Passat concept with the transmission decoupling system from the Jetta Hybrid to help it coast as freely as possible and stop/start technology. All in, VW says the Passat BlueMotion Concept can cruise down the highway yielding up to 42 miles per gallon from its otherwise conventional internal combustion engine while still offering 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque when needed. Scope out the details in the press release below for more.
Show full PR text
VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT BLUEMOTION® CONCEPT MAKES GLOBAL DEBUT AT THE NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

- Estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg
- Highly efficient powertrain uses 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine and DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission
- Engine is world's first inline four cylinder with cylinder deactivation

Chattanooga/Detroit - The Passat BlueMotion® Concept that is being presented by Volkswagen of America at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit shows just how fuel-efficient a non-hybrid, gasoline-engined mid-size sedan can be. Based on the current Passat that was developed specifically for North America, the BlueMotion label defines the version that has the best efficiency in the model lineup.

The Passat BlueMotion Concept features an all-new version of the Volkswagen 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine with direct injection and turbocharging. On top, this Passat also offers Active Cylinder Management (ACT) technology, previously seen on the European Volkswagen Polo and Golf models. ACT deactivates the valvetrain on cylinders two and three for situations when the driver only applies light throttle pressure to maintain specific city speeds.

Another Volkswagen innovation that helps save gas is the coasting function, used also on the Jetta Hybrid. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the DSG® transmission decouples the engine, allowing the Passat to roll with the lowest possible mechanical drag from the other moving components.

Additional fuel savings come from the stop/start system, which shuts off the engine when the car comes to a temporary stop. As soon as the driver lifts their foot off the brake, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine starts again. All these measures result in a manufacturer estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg. The Passat BlueMotion Concept also delivers 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.

The Concept's striking Reef Blue Metallic color will be introduced on other Passat models, too. The interior of the Concept also offers two-tone seats that carry blue dividing lines between the darker and lighter leather seating surfaces. The stitching indicates this is a member of the BlueMotion family, which has been rolled out globally since 2006 on many highly fuel-efficient Volkswagen models.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan and Touareg vehicles through approximately 630 independent U.S. dealers. Notes: This press release and images of the Passat BlueMotion Concept are available at media.vw.com. Follow us on @VWNews "DSG, "TSI", "VW", "Volkswagen", all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG.

Where stated, fuel economy values are forecast manufacturer values for the USA: EPA estimates were not available at the time of release. Mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 48 Comments
      miketim1
      • 1 Year Ago
      The passt used to be cool looking.....
        Bill
        • 1 Year Ago
        @miketim1
        It's conservative, but in 10 year it will look ok. Whereas a Sonata will look like a 15 year old Pontiac looks to us today.
          paqza
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bill
          It's a box. The GLI pulls off the styling much more effectively. The Passat looks like a lame attempt to make a big car.
          Scott Kane
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bill
          I totally agree on that point. Compare a 1995 Grand Prix and a 1995 Camry and one looks pretty silly.
      loopless
      • 1 Year Ago
      VW had to get into the US manufacturing before the MQB platforms were ready. It would have made much more sense to base the US Jetta off the MQB but that would have delayed everything. Once they align US manufacturing with the overall platform strategy it should mean better/faster/cheaper models in our market. And the 1.4 with COD is widely reported to be undetectable when switching from 2 to 4 cylinders and has available been in Europe for some time to wide-acclaim.
      audisp0rta4
      • 1 Year Ago
      Or I could just get a Passat TDI and cut out all that technical crap while still achieving 42mpg.
        D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @audisp0rta4
        I was thinking the same thing.. There is so much smear against the new diesels because it undermines the whole hybrid and green thing that people and government been hounding. We've had and still have the technology all along to get 40-50 MPG and still maintain 200HP for cheap... While they claim the hybrid jetta is 42/48 MPG on conventional motors this is overstated and even more so with hybrids...If driven at a very slow acceleration and calmly (it's how they are tested) you will achive this MPG... Keep in mind every 8-12 years the $7500 to $10,000 battery has to be replaced on hybrids. With a diesel motor they last much longer and still get 200lbs of tq no matter how you drive it.. These EPA ratings are 30/42 and usually underrated. While costing $6,000 less than the hybrid it makes perfect sense...Sure it costs an extra 20-30 cents per gallon ($3-5 per fill up) but you don't sacrifice your deriving experience. You also don't need to worry about another $10,000 purchase when you have owned it for 10 years. When driving hybrids it's a clear difference in acceleration...It's almost comical now. besides do a little searching and most turbo diesel drivers report 10 even 30 more MPG than what is advertised...whereas most hybrid driver report the same or less...
      Turbo_S60
      • 1 Year Ago
      hmmm I interested to see how well this works. Seems like it would cause some shuddering with the engine.
        Narom
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Turbo_S60
        Honestly you hear or feel nothing. On my dashboard to the left of my gearstick i have a mode button, eco and sport are my main options but it has normal and custom aswell. In sport mode you can feel the engine is really responsive feels incredibly sporty and fast. Stick it in eco (which is usually is tbh) and acceleration is more sluggish but acceptable. This can be done on the fly while driving and it really is just a touch of the button.
        DooMMasteR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Turbo_S60
        it works pretty well and has been available to european models since ~2years now... you cannot hear nor feel the change between the two opmodes
      timber
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't know about the US but this engine (with this system but offering 140 PS) is already offered in the Golf and the Polo in Europe
      PJPHughes1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems like another great step towards better efficiency, but the TDI still makes more sense in my opinion.
        seabetterright
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PJPHughes1
        Why does it make more sense? Because diesel costs more? Gas engines are becoming more and more efficient, while diesels are just becoming more and more expensive and more complex. 40+ miles per gallons has become the norm for gas powered cars, but paying thousands more for the diesel engine premium upfront, paying more for maintenance and repairs, paying $0.50 to $1.00 per gallon is the norm for diesels.
          TopGun
          • 1 Year Ago
          @seabetterright
          I like the simplicity vs the TDI and Hybrid approach. I was looking at a big $ repair for my (older) hybrid and it got me thinking I'll keep it simple next time.
          PJPHughes1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @seabetterright
          I bought a BMW 335d in 2009. It was $2k less than the equivalent equipped 335i due to eco-credits from BMW so I didn't pay a premium. My old 335i got 12-14mpg around town in LA (very inefficient in stop and go) and 25-26 on the highway. My 335d gets 23-24 around town, and 36-37mpg on the highway and the mileage is improving as the engine continues to break in. Diesel in CA is priced the same as premium, so over four years, I'm WAY ahead financially. Not to mention during that four year period, diesel ranged from 20 cents less than REGULAR, to 10 cents more than premium. I think it made sense of me, as I've DOUBLED my mileage in the city and I love the massive torque curve and get (almost) the same performance and handling. It's nice to have a choice, and I made the choice to save fuel and enjoy the torque. CA may be unique because of the higher taxes on fuel and requirements for unleaded blends. That puts its price much closer to diesel.
          l5kream
          • 1 Year Ago
          @seabetterright
          Diesels have high resale value because supply outstrips demand. Well, more diesels are entering the market to meet demand. If that isn't enough, people demanding diesels think diesel is way to save money. What happens when people starting realizing the actual cost of operating a diesel? I've owned diesels before, but they do not save you money. They can be extremely expensive to keep running. If something like a diesel HPFP or a DPF fails (and DPF's and HPFP's are known for being problematic on VW's newer diesels), it can cost thousands to repair these systems. Besides that, modern gas engines can now produce as much torque with direct injection and turbocharging, while fuel economy is also improving for gas engines. The reasons to buy diesel are being eliminated by the advancement of gas engines.
          zedf150
          • 1 Year Ago
          @seabetterright
          While i am one that jumped on the diesel bandwagon with hopes of incredible fuel economy and savings, i have to admit that it's pretty much been a wash with the added cost of diesel fuel. I owned a Civic before this TDI, and the TDI is my first diesel ever. I haven't had any of the problems at all with it in the last few years, but i do worry about when and how much it will cost once this EPA stuff starts failing. The regular servicing alone for this car is astronomical. If you own a new TDI, be prepared to grab your ankles for the 40,000 mile servicing.
        Doug Danzeisen Sr
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PJPHughes1
        Perhaps for you it does, but it is always good to have choices is it not? VW is doing some interesting work.
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      42mpg is still the best they can do? What if it was going 55-60mph? I expected to see 60+ mpg.
        Terry Actill
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        Exactly. It's laughable how these manufacturers are touting 40mpg as significant for a diesel. In Europe these numbers are piss poor.
      Terry Actill
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am waiting for the first US car to deliver 60mpg. 40mpg in a diesel is nothing to brag about.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Matt
        • 1 Year Ago
        You misspelled "Mitsubishi". VW is a top 3 automaker worldwide, they aren't going to abandon North America, especially at the rate they've been building factories here. VW/Audi are going to release dozens of new models over the next decade; what we've seen to date is just what they've half-assed into the U.S. market while focusing on Europe. Once their Mexico plant is up and running and Chattanooga starts building a 3-row crossover, you'll see a massive VW U.S. sales push not unlike what Hyundai/Kia have done over the last decade. Right now, they are just treading water, but that's by design, and not a "failure" by any measure.
          Tweaker
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matt
          Actually, it is the lack of new product in the pipeline that has VW scrambling right now. They just blew their wad trying to gain market dominance with the new Passat. It did not work. Their only hope this moment is the Golf.
          Matt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matt
          Tweaker, they aren't trying very hard with the Passat. It is only offered in one body style, and is severely lacking in optional equipment (no Xenons? come on). Like I keep saying, it's not like VW went all out and came up short in the US. They didn't invest much, so they still don't sell a lot. When the Passat offers all the options available in the Accord (+diesel), and they offer a CRV/RAV4 competitor, a 3-row crossover, and the Amarok pickup, you can say they are actually trying to gain market share in the US.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matt
          [blocked]
      Tweaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is VW admitting that they have been hoodwinking us for years by comparing TDIs with their sh*tty gas engines.
      Paul Mezhir
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Passat has been rendered invisible again by VW. You would have thought that VW would have learned a lesson from Ford's Five Hundred failure.......boring, plain cars simply don't sell. The last generation Passat was anonymous, too.
        montoym
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Paul Mezhir
        And yet the boring Camry, Accord, Altima etc. sell hundreds of thousands of copies each year with pretty mediocre designs. Whether you want to admit it or not, bland actually does sell in great numbers because for most people a car is just an appliance to them. We enthusiasts are really the only ones who care about much more and we're is a very small minority compared to the market as a whole.
      Matt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is there a butterfly valve or something that closes on the intake/exhaust ports of the deactivated cylinders? Otherwise, I can't imagine how it could be any more efficient while pumping all that air through two cylinders.
        Brian P
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        It doesn't pump air through the cylinders. It uses a mechanism to completely disengage the cam lobes from the valves. Whatever air is trapped in the cylinder just acts as a spring. Nothing is pumped in or out. The American V8 engines with displacement-on-demand (GM 5.3, Chrysler Hemi 5.7) are conceptually similar but the mechanism is different because those are pushrod engines whereas the VW 1.4 is a DOHC engine. Same idea ... the valves are completely disengaged and no longer open or close, with the air trapped inside acting as a spring.
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