Archive for July, 2010

Eaton TVS r1320 supercharger on Cayenne or Touareg hybrid – can it be swapped for a power upgrade?

The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid, VW Touareg hybrid, and the just announced Porsche Panamera hybrid all use the same Audi S4 supercharged engine.  With older supercharged engines, it was as easy as changing the pulley to increase boost and increase power.  Does this this work on the engines in the aforementioned models?  Will a chip tune also work?  This is part 1 of an ongoing series of articles of how to increase the power of your hybrid.

Long story short, at this time, a smaller pulley will not increase the power of your VW Touareg, Cayenne, or Panamera hybrid.

The pulley is small to begin with so it would be a challenge to make it much smaller.  Eaton makes the TVS r1320 supercharger that is on the hybrid and S4 engine and does not make smaller pulleys for it.  Each supercharger is designed to operate most efficiently within a performance envelope (if you chart effiency on a graph it forms a “box”, really more of a blob) and going outside of the envelope is inefficient.  Physically, the supercharger might be able to make up to 20 psi but it’s ecu limited to about 11.6 psi (0.8 bar).  Any extra is recycled back to the supercharger through a bypass valve.  ECU changes can close this valve and direct all the air to the engine.  The reason the bypass valve is often open is to complement the design envelope of the supercharger with the engine performance for both high and low end power. Below is a video showing the insides of the supercharger showing the bypass valve.

Below is the compressor map for the r1320 supercharger (from

Some tuners for the Audi S4 have made up to 420 hp with just a chip and tune so I don’t see why the hybrid engine can’t be tuned as well.  However, will the hybrid motor’s decoupler stand up to the abuse?  The decoupler is essentially a clutch – can it hold the extra power?  This is completely unknown and other than the additional engine tuning, will be the unknown factor in tuning the Cayenne Hybrid or VW Touareg Hybrid.

See the next article for more information on the supercharger and chip tunes.

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A closer look at the Audi S4 supercharged V6 engine in the VW Touareg hybrid and Porsche Cayenne

This article takes a closer look at the supercharged engine in the 2011 VW Touareg hybrid and Porsche Cayenne.

In the last few posts in the “how it works” series, we looked at the transmission, hybrid module, and battery.  The VAG engine code when used in the Audi S4 is “CAKA” (it’s anything but caca) or “CCAA” but they use a different engine code when the engine is used in the Touareg and Cayenne because of the electric power steering pump and air conditioning.  The mounts, auxiliaries, and tuning may be different but the basic engine is the same and even makes the same peak horsepower.  The engine code for the 2011 VW Touareg hybrid is either “CGEA”  or “CFGA”.

To start, what the heck is that metal square cover on the engine?  The black part is just a painted plastic beauty cover but the silver part is the supercharger and air-water intercooler.  This is the heart of the engine.  It is the new supercharger by Eaton, the TVS (twin vortices supercharger) r1320 roots-type supercharger.  This type of supercharger looks like two interlocking twisted screws.  As the screws turn, it compresses air which lets the engine make more power.  Each screw is twisted 160 degrees and features 4 vanes.  Boost for the S4 engine is 0.8 bar (11.6 psi) and since peak power is the same in the Touareg and Cayenne, I imagine it’s also the same.  At rated hp, the parasitic energy loss is 20 hp which is quite good.

The bulky part is the water-air intercooler.

As the air is compressed, it’s heated up.  Heat is bad because it expands the air and doesn’t increase air density and it makes the fuel more likely to detonate.  To cool off it passes through a heat sink right next to the supercharger called an intercooler.  There are two intercoolers in the assembly.

The engine is so good that it replaces the V8 engine in the last Audi S4 resulting in a faster car despite having 11 less hp.  This is because although peak power is slightly lower, overall power and torque at the various rpms other than peak (power under the curve) is more.  It also reduces weight, increases fuel economy, and reduces tax in countries which tax by engine displacement.

It uses direct fuel injection which injects fuel directly into the engine cylinders under high pressure.  This has two major advantages: greater control over fuel delivery and a decrease in the likihood of detonation.  As fuel is injected, it instantly vaporizes and cools down the air charge and engine.  Not having fuel present during engine comrpession also greatly descreases detonation.  This lets the engineers raise engine compression which increases power, response, and fuel economy.  The compression ratio on the engine is 10.3:1 which is pretty good for a forced induction engine.

The engine is rated at 333 hp but does it really make that much?

In the hybrid applications, maybe.  Many dyno tests have shown that in the Audi S4, this engine actually makes around 360 hp!  Why do they downrate the engine?  I don’t know but it’s a common trend.  Manufacturers almost never uprate their engines because it can result in lawsuits and car buybacks for false advertising and consumer protection.  Most engines make about whatever they are rated at.  A few engines, like the BMW 335i N54 engine or this Audi S4 engine, have consistently tested at higher power levels, which rules out a cheater “tuner special” for car magazine testing.

Stay tuned for more posts specific to the Eaton r1320 supercharger.

vw touareg hybrid engine

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How the battery works in VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne hybrid

In the last few posts describing how the hybrid system works, we looked at the engine and hybrid motor and decoupler.  Let’s take a closer look at the battery. Since the 2011 Touareg hybrid and Cayenne hybrid share the same system, some pictures are actually of the Cayenne hybrid.

The power electronics module at the engine connects the hybrid module between the engine and transmission to the battery at the back with a bright red high voltage cable.  These are bright red or orange for high visibility, especially for repair work or as a warning for rescue crews.  When the engine is in the car, these bright cables are visible.  An assembled car and a demo car are shown below.

The battery itself is a NiMH Nickel metal hydride rechargeable battery.  Unlike a regular AAA rechargeable battery, the battery in the Touareg is 288 volts.   Because of the frequent charging and discharging, it uses a cooling fan and large air duct to prevent overheating.  If batteries overheat, it shortens their lifespan.


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How reliable is the VW Touareg hybrid?

“You know the Germans make good stuff”.  Oh Vince, if only that was always true.  Define “good”.

VW were known for being solid reliable no frills cars when they came to the US.  While US manufacturers ignored the small car market or just chopped their large cars in half, foreign cars put reliable engineering in a small package.  During the rapid US growth of the 90′s and early 2000′s, VW’s reputation for reliability went down due to the small stuff.  The engines and transmissions were still pretty reliable but lots of small things like broken switches, peeling soft touch plastic coatings on the door handles, falling windows due to plastic window clips, and other minor electrical problems caused their reliability to be low by rating agencies like Consumer Reports.  People continued to buy them due to autobahn tuned handling at a low price point and features that other cars at the same price point may not have had.

Is your definition of “good” a car with more and newer engineering or a car that uses slightly older technology that is more likely to function well.  While every car model has some lemons come off the assembly line, German cars tend to have newer technology that gets some beta testing on the customer.  This is true in BMW, Mercedes Benz and Porsche, not just VW and Audi.  At the same class of car, Japanese cars tend to have slightly older technology but it seems to be more well tested.  While every engine/model has different reliability and I can think of plenty of examples of really stupid German and Japanese design problems, this is just my general observation.  At least they aren’t Italian or English cars.  (Before you leave nasty comments, these comments are directed at their cars, not the people who live in those countries).

Today, Consumer Reports rates the 2009 Jetta, Golf, and Passat as “buy”.  Unfortunately, the 2009 Touareg is rated as “27 times more likely to have a problem than the best, the [first generation] Honda Insight”.  The Audi Q7 also continues to be rated worse than average.  I’ve bought mostly VW or Audi despite having more problems because they make the “better” car for me.  I don’t care how reliable the first generation Honda Insight is because I would never consider buying one.  Therefore, it’s not a “good” car for me.  We’ll have to wait for real world reports to see how reliable the VW Touareg hybrid is.

source: consumer reports


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VW reveals aggressive hybrid rollout

VW will stay with TDI for the near future for the reasons mentioned in this post: but if VW wants to be the world’s biggest automaker they need to explore all markets.  One of them is hybrid cars.

“During a press conference last week at its Electronics Research Lab in Palo Alto, California, Volkswagen chairman Dr. Martin Winterkorn repeated the company’s electrified slogan: “In the future, the heart of Volkswagen will also beat with electricity.” souce: hybridcars.  VW’s goal for EV,  hybrid, or plug in cars is 3% by 2018.

Here are the planned Volkswagen auto group hybrids:
2011 VW Touareg hybrid and 2011 Porsche Cayenne S hybrid (already here)
2012 VW Jetta hybrid
2013 VW Passat (or whatever the NMS new midsize sedan for North America will be called) hybrid
unknown: Porsche 918 hybrid supercar
unknown: Golf Blue e motion hybrid or Up! hybrid

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VW hybrid 2012 Jetta be replacement for Jetta TDI?

VW plans to introduce a hybrid Jetta in 2012 and a hybrid Passat (or whatever the NMS new midsize sedan will be called) in 2013 for the US and Canada. Has VW abandoned TDI and diesels?

The answer is a solid no.  If TDI is gradually squeezed by tighter emissions, VW could decide that meeting North American emissions standards isn’t worth it and stop importing TDI.  However, European regulations and the European market for TDI is so strong that TDI will definitely have a long life in Europe.  VW has invested billions in diesel technology for over 30 years – they aren’t eager to dump that in the trash in response to American buying fads.  However, they do have to respond to American buying trends, and over the long term, this will include full EV and hybrid.

Any major advances in battery technology will take at least 5-10 years to develop, test, be mass produced to the point where it can be purchased by a normal consumer, and be accepted enough to make it worthwhile to replace old technology.  This means that TDI has at least another 10 years of solid life before I think EV will replace it.  This also raises questions about the lifespan of hybrid cars in general – how long until hybrid cars are seen as obsolete and are replaced by full EV cars?  Then again, I’m still waiting for the personal jetpack from the 1960′s futurama.  What about the hover skateboard from back to the future parts 2 and 3?

European support and development for TDI will continue to trickle down to North American support for TDI for the near future.

Part of this is how much the vested interests have in diesel fuel and TDI technology. They’re not going to throw away billions of dollars of manufacturing and research until market forces say so.  While government regulations can favor one technology, the market decides where the dollar goes.  Since there will be plenty of TDI sold in the next 10 years, especially in Europe, I don’t see the TDI going away anytime soon.


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VW test fleet of Golf Blue e motion full EV

Initial Facts: Golf blue-e-motion – Presentation at Foundation Event for a “National Platform for Electric Mobility”
Volkswagen Presents Golf blue-e-motion Concept to German Chancellor

Golf powered by zero-emissions electric motor to launch in 2013
Golf blue-e-motion with 150 km range will also satisfy driving needs of commuters
Wolfsburg / Berlin, 03 May 2010 – Today, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel will have a close look at a concept of the future Golf blue-e-motion in Berlin. Volkswagen is forging new links to the era of electric mobility with this pure electric drive version of the most successful European car ever produced. In 2013, after the debut of the Up blue-e-motion (a new city specialist), the Golf blue-e-motion and the technically closely-related Jetta blue-e-motion will launch on the market. In the same timeframe, the Lavida blue-e-motion will also launch in China. The stated objective: Volkswagen wants to use bestsellers such as the Golf to take electric vehicles out of their niche model status and to become the market leader for a new type of sustainable mobility by 2018. This strategy coincides with planning by the German federal government, which would like to see about one million electric vehicles on the streets by 2020.

Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG: “Future electric cars give us enormous opportunities for reshaping mobility to be even more sustainable. When it comes to the environment, however, we must ensure that the energy used to operate these electric cars is produced from renewable sources. Since automotive manufacturers do not have any influence on the types of power plants that are built, the federal government must ensure that eco-friendly energy sources are utilised. Only then will we experience a genuine transition to a new era.”

In parallel with the electric vehicle offensive, Volkswagen is accelerating the introduction of new hybrid models as well. The new Touareg Hybrid is already on the market; in 2012 a hybrid version of the Jetta will debut, then in 2013 the Golf Hybrid and Passat Hybrid will launch. Just as methodically, Volkswagen will continue its development work on advanced and extremely efficient petrol, diesel and natural gas engines (TDI, TSI, EcoFuel), because it is an indisputable fact that a wide variety of drive technologies will coexist far into the future. “This makes it all the more important for the German federal government to proactively support the introduction of new technologies. With regard to electric mobility, the current temporary exemption of E-cars from taxes is inadequate,” says Prof. Dr. Winterkorn. The Volkswagen chief continues: “Starting in 2013 – the launch year for many new electric vehicles – the purchase of cars with zero-emissions drive systems should be promoted with a sustainability incentive. France, for example, has already pledged a cash incentive of several thousand Euros to buyers. We need to send such a signal in Germany as well. Moreover, and this is no less important, the German federal government must very quickly make provisions for broad coverage with a network of recharging stations across the republic, so that the infrastructure is available at the same time the electric car offensive is launched. Each new recharging station will also reinforce the public’s trust in the everyday utility of electric vehicles. Both of these components – state-funded incentives and infrastructure – are crucial and cannot endure any delay.”

Golf blue-e-motion concept car – highly anticipated

The Golf blue-e-motion concept being presented to German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be powered by an electric motor integrated in the engine compartment in front, and its power of 85 kW / 115 PS drives the car silently. Like all electric motors, the motor used in the Golf also outputs a very high maximum torque (270 Newton-meter) right from a stop. The result: more fun in zero-emissions driving. The electricity for driving the electric motor is stored in a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 26.5 kilowatt-hours.

A driving range of up to 150 kilometres can be realised in the Golf blue-e-motion; the specific range depends on driving style and factors such as use of the air conditioning and heating system. This range meets the needs of most German commuters: According to the German Federal Statistical Office, 6 of every 10 people in the workforce commute by car – on average 45.8 percent drive less than 10 kilometres (one-way commute), another 28.1 percent between 10 and 25 kilometres and 16.2 percent over 25 kilometres. The Golf blue-e-motion can also handle the driving ranges typically covered by many service providers. In short-distance driving, the zero-emissions Golf offers a sustainable solution to private users as well.

More noticeably than on today’s modern petrol or diesel engines, the maximum range of an electric car is severely reduced when its maximum power is demanded frequently. However, the Golf blue-e-motion – with its top speed of 140 km/h – provides ample power reserves so that less energy is consumed while driving, and it can even coast or “sail”. “Sailing” occurs whenever the driver – adopting an anticipatory style of driving – releases the gas pedal, or more apropos: the electric pedal. As in the drive system of the Touareg Hybrid, which is being produced today, the motor is then is disengaged from the drivetrain so that the car can coast with the least possible drag. The Golf blue-e-motion even recovers kinetically generated energy by battery regeneration in this mode of driving.

Adapted to the vehicle’s architecture, the concept car’s battery unit is located in the bootspace (useful remaining cargo capacity: 237 litres), under the rear bench seat and in the centre tunnel (between the front seats). A separate air cooling system ensures a constant thermal environment in the battery compartment.

As mentioned, all key primary and secondary drive components were integrated in the engine compartment at the front of the vehicle. In coming up with this design, developers applied experience they gained in numerous design studies. As in the E-Up concept car, an integral form of electric drive is used in the Golf blue-e-motion. Representing the core of the integral drive are the electric motor together with a transmission and differential. Energy management is handled by a high-voltage pulse-controlled inverter, which – along with the 12 Volt electrical system’s DC/DC converter and charging module – is integrated in the compact integral drive. The entire unit is relatively light and compact. The five-door and five-seat Golf blue-e-motion, for example, weighs just 205 kilograms more than a comparable Golf BlueMotion TDI with DSG – despite the fact that electric car batteries are known to be heavy and weigh 1,545 kilograms on the concept car.

Next year, Volkswagen will be testing the drivetrain and energy storage modules of the future Golf blue-e-motion with a fleet of 500 test cars – under all conceivable conditions. Essentially, the countdown to production launch of the future Golf blue-e-motion has already begun. The future is almost here, especially in Germany, because this is where one million electric vehicles will be on the roads starting in 2020 – this goal was resolved by the German federal government on August 2009 and is established in the “National Development Plan for Electric Mobility.” A long road lies ahead of us until 2020, especially since battery costs certainly need to be drastically reduced. However, another certainty is that a large number of the one million electric vehicles of the year 2020 will wear the VW badge.

Golf blue-e-motion Concept Car – Technical Data


Length 4,199 mm

Width 1,786 mm

Height 1,480 mm

Wheelbase 2,575 mm

Drive System Drive type Electric motor

Power (max. / continuous) 85 kW / 50 kW

Max. torque 270 Nm

Transmission / Tyres

Transmission  EQ 210 (1-gear transmission)

Final drive type

Front-wheel drive

Tyre size

205/55 R16

Driving Performance

0-100 km/h

11.8 s

Top speed

140 km/h

CO2 emissions with electricity generated from renewable sources

source: VW press release


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VW Blue e motion hybrids planned for 2012 2013

To the Point: 2010 E-Workshop, Shanghai: Volkswagen Presents the Mobility of Tomorrow

blue-e-motion versions of the Up!, Golf and Lavida open windows to the future
Touareg Hybrid is already showing the way to the world of tomorrow

Wolfsburg / Shanghai, 07 June 2010 – One of the central questions of humankind is: What will our lives be like tomorrow? There were ages in which the present had but few answers to this question. The situation is different in the 21st century. People have a precise idea of the future: They know that climate protection will continue to increase in importance; they know that fossil fuels will not be available indefinitely; and they know that the mobility of tomorrow will not be able to get by without new zero-emissions drive systems. Yet, even in the year 2010 this future is seldom experienced directly in the real world. Mobility, and with it the automobile, offers one of the few windows to the world of tomorrow. That is because the automobile is facing a transition to a new era. For decades, petrol and diesel engines were the defining drive types, but in the near future part-electric (hybrid) and full-electric cars will join them.

It is in this context that Volkswagen – the most successful car maker in China – is presenting five automobiles in Shanghai that give a presence to the future. Three of them are united by a new label for zero-emissions mobility: blue-e-motion. The Up! blue-e-motion concept car shows how the electrically driven city specialist of tomorrow will look. In this case, “tomorrow” is already beginning in 2013. That is the launch date for the production version of the Up! blue-e-motion. The Golf blue-e-motion – the electric version of the most successful car in the world – confirms the suspicion that pure electric cars will also find a place in mass production. Last but not least, the Lavida blue-e-motion – developed in China – clearly shows that Volkswagen will naturally be producing electric vehicles tailored to the needs of the world’s most significant automotive market. The Golf blue-e-motion will also debut as production versions in 2013, the Lavida blue-e-motion will follow soon after. Looking even further ahead, there is the Passat Lingyu with a hydrogen fuel cell, also designed in China in a joint venture with the Tongji University. This saloon is still a pure research vehicle. Yet, the zero-emissions four-door shows how Volkswagen is researching all conceivable approaches to the mobility of tomorrow. Already part of the today’s world is the new Touareg Hybrid – one of the first genuine off-road hybrid all-wheel drive vehicles; it is very likely the most advanced SUV in the world.

The range of these five vehicles shows how multifaceted the automobile future will be. Whether the pure electric car is in the style of the Up!, Golf or Lavida, the fact remains that if it is to conquer the world in a big way it must be affordable. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG, comments: “To be a resounding success, the electric car must be affordable for a wide range of people and must be uncompromisingly practical in everyday use. Only then – at high production volumes and if possible on all continents – can one truly speak of the beginning of the era of the electric automobile and of measurable positive effects on the environment.”

Volkswagen is building new bridges to the era of electric mobility with pure electrically powered versions of the Up!, Golf and Lavida – which in their production versions will be the affordable, mass-produced electric cars of tomorrow, provided that there is sufficient governmental support. Volkswagen’s declared goal: The high-tech brand wants to take electric vehicles out of their status as niche models with bestsellers in the mould of the Golf to establish itself as the market leader for a new type of sustainable mobility by the year 2018. In Germany, for example, plans by the federal government call for about one million electric cars to be driving on the roads by 2020.

Once again, Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG: “Future electric cars give us enormous opportunities for shaping mobility to be more sustainable. In the interest of the environment, however, we must ensure that the energy for operating these electric cars is generated from renewable sources. Since automotive manufacturers have no influence on types of power plants, governments must assure the utilisation of environmentally-friendly energy sources. Only then will we experience a historical turning point.”

In parallel to the electric vehicle offensive, Volkswagen is systematically moving forward with the introduction of new hybrid models. Already being sold on the European market is the Touareg Hybrid now appearing in Shanghai; in 2012 a hybrid version of the Jetta will debut, followed by the Golf Hybrid and Passat Hybrid in 2013. Just as systematically, Volkswagen will continue advanced development of its extremely efficient petrol, diesel and natural gas engines (TDI, TSI, EcoFuel), since it is an indisputable fact that there will definitely be a coexistence of a wide variety of drive technologies until far into the future. Also indisputable is the fact that the present, in the year 2010, offers more answers to the future than ever before. Shanghai – the Expo city – and Volkswagen are proving this in a fascinating way.

source: Volkswagen

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VW Touareg TDI parallel or series hybrid system?

You may hear the terms parallel, series, and inline hybrid system- which does the VW Touareg have?  The 2011 Volkswagen Touareg hybrid uses the same inline-parallel hybrid system that the Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid uses.

What does this mean?  A parallel system is simpler and cheaper to make but can’t run the engine and hybrid system at different rpm and can’t run in EV mode while the engine charges the batteries.  This is the same type of system that Honda hybrids use.  A parallel system like in the Prius is more of a power split system that uses a planetary gearset to let the engine and hybrid drive run independently.

The pictures below show the heart of the hybrid system found in the VW Touareg hybrid, Porsche Cayenne S hybrid, and Porsche Panamera hybrid: on one side of the hybrid module is the decoupler.  This is basically a clutch that disconnects the engine from the hybrid drive.  On the other side is the electric motor, the electric machine that provides the power and energy supply.


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How the VW Touareg hybrid system works

Here’s a nifty video that explains the basics of how the hybrid system on the VW Touareg hybrid works.  More articles explaining the details of the hybrid system coming so stay tuned.

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