Will other automakers finally reverse this trend?
Many have come to accept that engine downsizing is a part of automotive innovation moving forward. Enthusiasts have witnessed their V12 and V8 engines replaced for smaller, turbocharged units that are more efficient. While we were never thrilled with this trend, it now looks like we may not have to settle for smaller engines after all, thanks to Volkswagen. A recent report proved that engine downsizing can actually lead to more pollution, and Volkswagen may finally be done with that practice, according to chairman Herbert Diess.
Diess, at the launch of the updated Golf, told the Telegraph that "The trend of downsizing is over. Emissions tend to go up as engines get smaller." For its part, Volkswagen will not go any smaller than its current 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas engine, or its 1.6-liter diesel. Diess claims that "The Polo is currently 30 percent diesel, but as diesel gets more expensive (to meet RDE tests), it will not be as popular." It is difficult to meet emissions tests in certain countries such as China, where cars sit in traffic for most of their lives. In the real world, it's tough for small diesels to live up to their test levels. Unfortunately, there will still be plenty of downsizing for all of the sporty cars that we love.
For example, we've heard rumors that Audi will drop the R8's V8 engine in favor of a twin-turbo V6. This new report may sound like it could end VW's downsizing, but it's really only referring to smaller engines which have hit a wall on emission levels. Unfortunately for speed freaks, engine downsizing is still very effective on larger engines. Naturally aspirated Ferrari V8s are still in retirement.