Volkswagen really is doing everything it can to reduce its environmental impact in the wake of its persistent diesel-related troubles. Its latest 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine actually shuts down all of its cylinders when you lift off the throttle.
There are two versions of the new 1.5 Evo engine, with 148bhp and 128bhp. The more powerful one uses technology similar to that which we’ve already seen in various VAG products, where half of the engine’s cylinders – two, in this case – shut down, but it seems that in this case it’s only when the driver lifts off completely, not under light throttle loads as well.
But the 128bhp model, which will arrive later this year, actually stops all four cylinders completely, eliminating engine braking completely and allowing drives to coast long distances without using a drop of fuel. Touching the brakes will reactivate the engine, and although we’re waiting for confirmation on this, it’s likely that dipping the clutch will do the same. The tech stops the engine in a decoupled state, so the car can simply glide along, unpowered.
VW says that the engine will go to the Golf first, but could be transferred to other models in due course. The 128bhp motor will slot into SE- and SE Navigation-spec cars, while the 148bhp upgrade will grace the GT and R-Line trim grades.
Performance figures for the lower-powered Evo unit haven’t been released yet, but 148bhp Golfs will be able to combine 55.4mpg and 116g/km with 134mph and 0-62mph potential in 8.3 seconds. Peak torque of 184lb ft will be yours from just 1500rpm, VW says, making it flexible as well as clever.