This week at an Innovation Workshop held at its Ehra-Lessien test facility in Germany, Volkswagen AG revealed a number of new components and technologies it intends to use on the way to becoming "the world's most sustainable carmaker" by 2018 - a goal that includes trimming energy and water consumption, waste generation and emissions (including CO2) levels by 25 per cent in all of its business areas. 

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Highlighting a lengthy list of hardware enhancements is a more potent version of its 2.0-liter/4-cylinder EA288 turbodiesel engine that features a modified variable valvetrain, ultra-high-pressure direct injection and a two-stage turbocharger assisted by electrically driven third compressor that helps bump output from 237 to 268 horsepower. VW also showed off a more efficient mild-hybrid system. Dubbed Start-Stop 2.0 and fitted to the new Euro Passat, it shuts the engine off at speeds below 5 mph as well as anytime the driver lifts off of the accelerator while cruising. Finally, the firm showed the world's first 10-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. Capable of handling up to 406 lb-ft of torque, VW says its delivers smoother, quicker shifts and has optimized ratio spread that contributes to better economy and lower CO2 counts. 

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In addition to even more connectivity capability and better integration of various devices via the car's on-board infotainment/telematics systems and VW's Car-Net, the automaker also previewed a predictive navigation system that learns the driver's preferred routes, heat-rejecting coatings for the glass and dash surfaces along with a range-manager/monitor and super-efficient needs-based climate control system that have even greater appeal for VW's future electric/zero-emission models.

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