Volkswagen shows new ultra-efficient 6.0-liter W12 TSI engine

By Bob Nagy on May 11, 2015 8:04 AM

Following on Audi's reveal of its new 2.0-liter TFSI 4-cylinder, Volkswagen rolled out its own powertrain news at the 36th International Vienna Motor Symposium, highlighting the announcements with word of its next-gen 6.0-liter W12 gasoline engine that will be fitted to a variety of upcoming premium vehicles in the Volkswagen Group's Audi, Bentley and VW brands. Saying it has "the highest technology density" of any engine in the world, Friedrich Eichler, Head of Powertrain Development for the Volkswagen brand, also claimed this new motivator will be "the most economical twelve-cylinder engine in the luxury car segment."   

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Developing 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 664 lb-ft of peak torque between 1,500 and 4,500 revs - stats that promise to let it serve up 0-60 mph times of less than 4.0 seconds and tops speeds in excess of 186 mph -- the new twin-turbo aspirated W12 does offer an impressive technical pedigree, starting with a block that features air plasma sprayed (APS) low-friction cylinder-bore coatings, a cooling system with integrated temperature management and a lubrication system with a switchable oil pump that gives the engine enhanced off-road capability. 

On the induction side, VW's W12 matches a pair of twin-scroll turbos with innovative dual-mode fuel injection that pairs Audi's high-pressure direct and Bentley's low-pressure multipoint manifold systems. It also incorporates dual management controllers, cylinder-bank deactivation and start/stop technology to further bolster fuel economy and reduce emissions. To ensure a proper degree of isolation, the engine also will be mounted in new adaptive mounts that use electromagnetically controlled hydraulic dampers to create phase-shifted counter-vibrations that effectively cancel any shaking sensations.

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In closing out the presentation, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, Member of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand with responsibility for Development and Volkswagen Group Head of Powertrain Development, offered some insight into some upcoming VW powertrain innovations, including a new "laser roughening" coating technique that it will deploy in the coming years to further reduce internal friction levels. He also confirmed a new 3-cylinder high-performance turbocharged gasoline engine based on VW's EA211 1.4-literTSI 4-cylinder. Borrowing design elements from the engine used in VW's World Rally Championship Polo and using a monoscroll mechanical turbocharger coupled with as a supplemental "e-booster" like the one fitted to the Audi TT Clubsport Turbo Concept, this 1.0-liter three-banger can turn out 268 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. 

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