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  Volkswagen 1.4-litre TSI Twincharger

“A brilliant combination of a turbocharger and a supercharger in a small-displacement engine”
Marc Noordeloos, Automobile


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Volkswagen’s 1.4-litre Twincharger has been winning International Engine of the Year Awards since it first appeared in 2006. Pioneering at the time of its conception, it’s still a highly innovative powerplant, but in today’s downsize-friendly world the Twincharger is an engine whose time has now truly come.

In 2009 the Twincharger has been voted Green Engine of the Year, ahead of state-of-the-art hybrid and diesel competition.

Part of the reason for the Twincharger’s popularity lies in its flexibility. The supercharged and turbocharged motor does a fine job in applications as diverse as the practical VW Touran MPV and the fire-breathing Seat Ibiza Cupra hot hatch, where its most powerful incarnation puts out an impressive 178bhp. Nor will there be any let up for the engine in 2009, with a further application coming to market in the form of the Seat Ibiza FR 148bhp.

VW’s engineers worked hard to extract the full potential from the Twincharger’s combination of turbocharger and supercharger. Direct injection means a high compression ratio of around 10:1 can be used. Plus, the mechanical supercharger’s impact on fuel economy has been minimised. Restricting to low engine speeds – below 2,400rpm in normal use – limits its power consumption.

A major factor as to why TSI came first in the Green Engine category was down to the stats: Impressive power is combined with emissions output of 144g/km of CO2, while ensuring fuel economy of 6.2 litres/100km (45.5mpg). Such figures taken from the Golf stack up well when compared to TSI’s closest rival, the Honda Insight, which emits less CO2 and has better fuel consumption, but comes far worse off when it comes to power.

New Zealand freelance motoring journalist Brian Cowan was impressed. He asked, “This much power, this much economy... How the heck do they do it?!”

1. Volkswagen 1.4-litre TSI Twincharger (VW Golf, Golf Variant, Scirocco, Eos, Jetta, Touran, Tiguan, Seat Ibiza Cupra) 205
2. Honda Hybrid 1.3-litre (Insight Civic) 203
3. BMW Diesel 2-litre Twin Turbo (123d) 147
4. BMW Diesel 3-litre Twin Turbo (335d, 535d, 635d, X3, X5, X6) 133
5. Mercedes-Benz Diesel 2.1-litre (BlueEfficiency E-Class, BlueEfficiency C-Class) 115
6. Ford Hybrid 2.5-litre (Ford Fusion Hybrid, Mercury Milan) 82


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