New diesel engines from Volkswagen

It makes me nervous when major changes are made to Volkswagen’s TDI engines, but according to a NYTimes Wheels blog article there are new efficient diesel power plants planned for Golf, Beetle, Passat and Jetta models next year. A few years the Pumpe Düse unit injector PD engine displace VW’s ALH motor which was one of the more reliable engines and then not too long after another common rail and emission change was made. What were suppose to be improvements each time had many customers complaining and facing some very expensive repairs (not to mention the hassles of having their relatively new cars serviced). I’m not sure where the status of those issues are today, but I always worry about design flaws and the normal black-eye producing bugs that show up when drastic changes are made to engines.

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Volkswagen announced Tuesday that its EA288 TDI Clean Diesel engine would be available in the 2015 Golf, Beetle, Passat and Jetta models, which were scheduled to go on sale in the United States during the second half of 2014.

Volkswagen said in a news release that the new EA288 diesel would eventually replace the current generation of 2-liter TDI engines offered in some VW and Audi models. At 150 horsepower, the new engine gets a 10-horsepower increase over the version being phased out, and aside from similar bore spacing, will be completely different. VW has released neither displacement nor fuel mileage numbers.

A notable change will be in the EA288’s emissions control system. A complex exhaust-gas recirculation system, which VW says will improve throttle response, will work with a diesel particulate filter and a selective catalytic reduction (S.C.R.) system to reduce engine emissions. Mark Gillies, a spokesman for Volkswagen, confirmed that the S.C.R. would be fed by a urea tank that needed refilling at 10,000-mile service intervals.

Volkswagen said low-friction bearings on the crankshaft and balance shafts, as well as a two-stage, variable-flow oil pump, were among design cues that would make the EA288 more fuel efficient than its predecessors.

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