At the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show last month Audi showed off three new models powered by its latest twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, which will eventually power models from Bentley
and perhaps elsewhere.
One of the standout features of the new engine, which is debuting in the new 2012 Audi S8
, and S6
, is cylinder deactivation technology, something U.S. automakers have been using for a while now.
So far, we’ve only seen the technology, which Audi likes to call “cylinder on demand”, on V-8 engines but it will soon be coming to smaller engines.
Volkswagen recently announced plans
for a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation, a technology that could potentially boost gas mileage by as much as 3.9 mpg.
Now What Car?
is reporting that Audi may launch its own four-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation, with the next-generation 2013 Audi A3
most likely to be the first recipient.
An insider revealed that the engine would first appear in the new A3, due next spring, before filtering across to the A1 and potentially the facelifted 2013 Audi A4
. Overall gas mileage is expected to be boosted 10 percent.
Cylinder deactivation technology essentially shuts down cylinders in an engine during low load situations, such as cruising on the highway or rolling in heavy traffic. In a V-8 engine, two or even up to four cylinders can be deactivated while on a four cylinder engine it’s usually just two. Importantly, once the shut down cylinders are required, they fire back to life with the whole process being totally imperceptible to the driver.