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Audi Boosts Fuel Economy by Deactivating Cylinders

Audi A6 Avant has the Fuel Economy of a Toyota Matrix
Audi A6 Avant has the Fuel Economy of a Toyota Matrix

As emissions regulations for the automobile industry continue to strengthen, automakers are looking for the best ways to reduce fuel economy without impacting performance.

Audi’s approach to increasing fuel economy actually isn’t new, but has resulted in a fairly decent savings in fuel consumption. At the same time, Audi hasn’t sacrificed the performance that its clients expect. Cylinder deactivation has been used in trucks and cars across many makes. Audi’s version is called COD [Cylinder On Demand], and could save up to 20% in fuel costs if driven carefully.

Audi COD is now implemented in three engines, including the 1.4ℓ i4, producing 4.0ℓ V8, and the 6.3ℓ W12. In all three of these engines, COD shuts off half the cylinders in certain situations. For example, when cruising or idling, when engine power isn’t really required, fuel injection and valves shut down for half of the cylinders, which cuts down on fuel consumption. After all, why burn fuel to run those extra cylinders when you really don’t need that much power?

On acceleration, COD seamlessly re-engages the other half of the cylinders, giving the driver full power for accelerating from a stop or passing on the highway. According to Audi, the new COD engines are just as powerful as always, but have up to 20% better fuel economy than before. For example, the 4.0ℓ V8 produces 560hp, yet has a fuel economy rating of just 24mpg. For comparison, this is the same as the Toyota Matrix‘ 2.4ℓ i4, which produces just 158hp.

Image © M 93 Foter.com CC BY

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