German manufacturing company Schaeffler ran its own Step2 electric car in the Silvretta E-Car Rally in Austria. The car is a Volkswagen Golf, stripped of its internal combustion guts and equipped with an electric powertrain supplied by one of Schaeffler's subsidiaries. The thing that makes the Step2 a little different, though, is the inclusion of a two-speed transmission.
While cylinder deactivation is hardly commonplace in modern engines, it's certainly not unheard of, especially from automakers hoping to eek out a little better fuel economy from larger displacement mills. It's not just for pickup trucks either; Lamborghini and Mercedes-Benz both shut down cylinders as a solution in some of their vehicles. However, automotive supplier Schaeffler thinks that there might be a reason to bring the tech to some of the smallest engines on the market – namely, th
German-based Schaeffler Group, a leading supplier of torque converters, says that it has developed an easily integrated stop-start system for vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions. According to Schaeffler, fitting a slushbox with stop-start tech is difficult because the torque converter between the engine and trans is always engaged. However, Schaeffler claims it has designed a permanently engaged starter that transforms the torque converter into, as Ward's Auto says, "a useful weapon i