15 February 2012 ~ 4 Comments

Polo 1.4 Active Cylinder Technology due for late 2012 launch

According to recent reports, a technology-laden Polo 1.4 Active Cylinder Technology (ACT) model is to be launched in late 2012. The revolutionary-engined Polo employs Volkswagen’s new 1.4 TSI unit with ACT, the first four-cylinder engine in the world with cylinder deactivation technology. Soon to be introduced in the new Audi A1 Sportback., and improving both fuel consumption and C02 emissions under light engine loads, the 138bhp engine shuts down two cylinders when the unit is less stressed, displaying a ‘two-cylinder mode’ warning telltale in the dashboard display.

Prototypes (like the Braunschweig-registered car pictured above on the roads outside Wolfsburg) are already doing the rounds. UK motoring title What Car? Has already tested the car, and states that ‘VW sources suggest the Polo ACT will be a stand-alone model in the range. A price of around £17,000 seems likely.’ The new engine, a member of Volkswagen’s new EA211 family, is one of the first fruits of the company’s flexible new Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) chassis and platform technology.

VW states that MQB (the German translation is Modularer Querbaukasten) exploits synergies in key technologies across vehicle classes, making luxury technologies accessible to high-volume models. The first products of the new transverse-engined system are reportedly the Mk 7 Golf and Audi A3, both due for launch later this year. The MQB will also extend down to the Polo (we presume the next generation model) and also covers Beetle, Jetta, Scirocco, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touran and Sharan.

Making production easier, all of these models could theoretically be produced on the same assembly line, despite their different wheelbases and track widths. All the engines will be mounted uniformly, with the EA211 petrol family (engines with 59-149bhp) and EA288 diesel family (engines with 89-189bhp) key ingredients of the new system. Hybrid-drive and other alternative-fuel powerplants will also see modules mounted in the same place on every variant, cutting production costs considerably. Volkswagen says that MQB will also allow the group to deliver individually-tailored vehicles which can be sold much more competitively in the company’s diverse global markets.

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