This Is What Will Power The Volkswagen Taos

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Volkswagen has finally shared new details about its new compact SUV that will slot below the Tiguan.

Now that the electric ID.4 has debuted, Volkswagen is focusing its attention on yet another new SUV designed with the North American market in mind. A few weeks ago, the German automaker announced the Taos, a new compact SUV named after a town in New Mexico that will slot below the Tiguan. VW didn't provide many details at the time, but we now know what will power the new compact SUV.

Under the hood will be a new version of VW's EA211 turbocharged four-cylinder engine that powers the Jetta sedan with an increased displacement of 1.5 liters, up from 1.4 liters in the Jetta. The power output will also jump from 147 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque in the Jetta to 158 hp and the same amount of torque in the Taos.

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In the FWD model, the engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the AWD version features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Despite having a larger displacement and higher power output, VW claims the engine is more efficient in the Taos thanks to a modified version of the Miller cycle, where the intake valves are closed early in the induction stroke to improve the economy. It also has a compression ratio of up to 11.5 to one, which is very high for a turbocharged engine. Other factors that helped VW achieve low-speed torque and excellent fuel economy include APS coated cylinder liners, a map-controlled cooling module that warms the engine more quickly, variable turbine geometry for the turbochargers, and a high-pressure injection system with up to 350 bar pressure, up from 200 bar.

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As expected, the Taos will be underpinned by the same MQB platform as the Tiguan, but will be 11 inches shorter and measure 174.2 inches long. VW promises the new small SUV will provide "excellent value, with outstanding fuel economy, interior space, tech, and available driver assistance features."

"While electric vehicles are stealing the headlines these days, we are continuing to make great strides with technology on our internal combustion engines," said Johan de Nysschen, Chief Operating Officer at Volkswagen Group of America. "The new 1.5-liter engine in the Taos uses the latest advances in gasoline-engine design to bring outstanding fuel economy to the compact SUV segment. The Taos will provide a further proof point for the ability of the Volkswagen North American Region to deliver the right products for our market requirements."

Available with front- or all-wheel drive, the Taos will go on sale in the US market in summer 2021.

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