EEV = Energy Efficient Vehicle = Volkswagen Vento 1.2TSI
Modern consumers are aware of the importance of that being careful with energy. Not only do they save money, but they preserve the planet for future generations by making conscious decisions on how they live their lives. Car companies too know that they have a part to play in this eco-revolution. Manufacturers like Volkswagen have been hard at work this last decade to bring energy-efficient solutions to the highest number of consumers.
The 1.2-litre TSI was the pinnacle of these efforts. It takes technology normally found on much larger, expensive vehicles and brings it to entry-level models like the Polo – or in Malaysia’s case, the Vento Highline. While Volkswagen Malaysia does offer this advanced engine alongside the older 1.6-litre MPI powerplant, the two couldn’t be any more different.
Yes, they both produce 105PS, but the TSI’s delivery of torque is instant and significantly higher. Plus, it has that ultra-quick shifting 7-speed DSG transmission to close the gaps between gear shifts. But the real reason for downsizing and turbocharging comes down to extracting the most energy out of every drop of petrol.
Think about it – the 1.2-litre TSI is more responsive than the MPI engine yet uses a whole litre less petrol every 100km travelled. For some, that’s up to RM10 saved each week. If you’re mindful on the throttle, you could make a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru for less than RM25 of petrol thanks to its 4.4L/100km rated highway efficiency.
How did they achieve such incredible figures? First of all, when we say it’s a modern engine, we mean really modern. A cast aluminium block and die-forged steel crankshaft offer the best combination of strength and lightness, while the latest computer controlled direct injection is able to offer a virtually perfect spray geometry while minimising injection times. Other examples of weight savings can be found on the timing chain casing, which consists of magnesium and plastic parts. This also lowers production and maintenance costs as an added benefit.
Complexity for the sake of complexity is pointless. That’s why Volkswagen’s 1.2 TSI engine comes with a single overhead camshaft. Not only does this mean fewer parts to replace once wear and tear set in, but another opportunity for weight savings. It gives the low-displacement cylinders adequate breathing room – leaving other electrically-controlled components to do the job normally assigned to multiple cam profiles.
It’s rare for companies to offer such well thought-out engines on entry level vehicles, but the Vento is one example of that. The turbocharger itself isn’t a simple piece of third-party equipment. The engineers at Volkswagen Group went to great lengths to perfect each component specifically for this low-displacement powerplant. The mixed flow turbine here offers a low moment of inertia and has minimum pressure loss. They’ve also reduced the volume of the entire device, which minimises turbo lag as less air has to be moved. An electrical wastegate controller, on the other hand, prevents backpressure in the exhaust system and can be securely shut when the engine is operating at high speed.
All this, combined with well-developed Fuel Stratified Injection technology, gives the 1.2-litre TSI engine an edge in every aspect. Not only does it offer the best fuel-efficiency in its class without compromising on power, but it does so while producing 50g fewer CO2 than the 1.6-litre MPI alternative – making the Highline trim of the Volkswagen Vento an Energy Efficient Vehicle in its own right.