Volkswagen Will Power 50 Models With A Single Engine Family

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The VW Group understands combustion has a place in this world but is putting all its eggs in one three-cylinder basket.

The Volkswagen Group has made one of the most abrupt changes toward an electric portfolio, but the brand's big bosses understand that combustion isn't going anywhere soon. The company has revealed that one department is being entrusted with developing a single engine that will power 50 Volkswagen Group models. Yes, 50.

Czech car maker Skoda has been under Volkswagen's wing since 1991 and has developed combustion engines since 1899. Now, Skoda has been tasked with developing the EA 211 series of combustion engines that will power 50 model lines across the VW Group umbrella. It will represent a shift in focus for Skoda, which has until now primarily handled naturally aspirated engine development, in addition to the MQB A0 platform and historic innovations like drum brakes.

But from the brand that recently set an ice-drifting record, it also signifies a continuation of combustion in the face of the mass rejection of the technology by European legislators.


The EA 211 engine family has been around for some time, starting with Skoda in 2012 with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder variant before Skoda opened up an engine center in 2014. This center will enable the development to be handled wholly by Skoda.

This EA series engine includes three- and four-cylinder derivatives, but the TSI variants will be the priority going forward. At present, 1.2 TSI and 1.4 TSI variants are used in a variety of VW group products around the world.

In the US, the Volkswagen Taos and the VW Jetta use derivatives of this engine family, while globally, the VW Up!, Golf Mk7, T-Cross, Taigo, Audi A1, and more all use these motors.

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As VW becomes an electric brand and ID models give way to heritage nameplates adopting electrification, the automaker will need to retain combustion in some countries where full electrification is not an option. South America, Africa, and even some regions in Europe are decades away from pure EV adoption. These markets will benefit hugely from VW's appointment of Skoda to oversee EA 211 development. These engines may also be implemented in hybrid setups, which will gain market share among those who refuse to adopt fully-electric cars.

"Taking responsibility for the development of the entire EA 211 engine series is confirmation of Skoda's high level of technical expertise," says Johannes Neft, Skoda board member for technical development. "At the same time, this underlines the importance of the Skoda brand within the entire Volkswagen Group, as the engines in this series are used in 50 model lines of seven of its brands."

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