Welcome to the future of fuel emissions regulations, everyone.
There's a certain reality going on here: automakers are finding it increasingly difficult to extract the best fuel efficiency ratings from naturally aspirated engines. While they won't become extinct tomorrow, their long term future looks to be increasingly dire. Only a couple of days ago it was reported that Ferrari's future supercar lineup will be powered only by turbocharged engines. Even BMW is planning to drop its NA engines in the near future.
Although VW's big switch won't happen overnight, Volkswagen's new R&D Chief, Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neusser, has confirmed the brand will one day rely heavily on turbocharging."Our clear strategy for the future is turbocharging," Neusser stated at the Frankfurt Motor Show. "We will stay with naturally aspirated engines so long as they are in the existing models." However, VW is currently replacing the old 2.5-liter five-cylinder base engine found in models like the Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Golf with a new 1.8-liter turbocharged four. Even the NA 3.6-liter V6 in the Passat, CC and Touareg will eventually be ditched in favor of the next-generation turbo VR6.