Audi Ready For 2003 Sulphur-Free Petrol Revolution - Income Tax Advantages | Part Two

Income Tax Advantages

Crucially for business car users, both of the new Audi engines produce such low exhaust emissions that they will also be the least polluting petrol cars in their segments. The A2 emits only 144 grams per kilometre of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) placing it in the lowest tax bracket for company cars even beyond 2006, when the regulations become most stringent with the lowest break point falling at only 145 grams per kilometre.

The new Audi FSI engines not only bring lower exhaust emissions and improved fuel economy, but also increased power and torque compared with equivalent, conventionally injected petrol engines. In contrast to most of these, the fuel charge is directly injected straight into the cylinders (not as fuel vapour via the conventional inlet manifold) using a high-pressure common rail injection system supplied by a single-piston injection pump.

Optimum Performance

Combining sulphur-free petrol with advanced FSI combustion technology makes for optimum engine efficiency. Its higher octane rating improves overall performance, and its ultra-low sulphur content minimises fuel consumption. Sulphur is broken down by catalytic converters, and in particular the NOx type storage converter that is an additional feature of direct injection engines. This special converter is coated with barium, which combines with oxides of nitrogen produced in the engine’s ‘lean burn’ phase.

Each time the converter is saturated with sulphur and nitrogen oxides, its operating temperature is increased to over 650 degrees centigrade, enabling it to convert the nitrogen oxides into non-toxic nitrogen and the sulphur into sulphur dioxide, and to then ‘empty’ both so that the process can begin again. This regeneration phase increases fuel usage, so by significantly reducing sulphur content regeneration is required less frequently, thereby reducing the amount of fuel burnt.

Two Mode Operation

Common rail technology, which has traditionally been confined to diesel units, is combined with other special features to enable the engine to operate in two ‘modes’. When a high power output is required, the electronics select the homogeneous mode, which is the normal operating state for conventional indirect injection engines. Even in this mode, the FSI engine holds an advantage over less advanced petrol units in that it leaves no fuel unburned – the mixture is completely vaporised in the combustion chamber for greater efficiency.

At normal cruising speeds, under part load, the engine switches to ‘stratified charge’ operation. In this state, the air, or ‘charge’, is directed extremely accurately towards the spark plug using the ‘tumble’ principle, created by a tumble flap within the intake manifold and a specially shaped bowl in the piston crown.

Racing Derived

It was on the racetracks in Europe and North America that Audi, renowned for innovation in technology and design, laid the successful foundations for the FSI system from which motorists can now benefit.

Since April 2001, Audi’s sports division has raced the R8 sportscar fitted with a V8 FSI engine. The FSI system reduces fuel consumption in the R8 by up to 10 per cent, and increases its torque output, so making it even easier to drive.

In that time, the Infineon Audi R8 has scored two further wins in the world famous Le Mans 24 Hours adding to Audi’s maiden Le Mans success in 2000 and a further 12 victories in the North America-based American Le Mans Series sportscar endurance championship.

  Audi A2 1.4 Audi A2 1.6 FSI
0-62mph 12.0 secs 9.8 secs
Maximum Speed 107mph 126mph
Combined mpg 46.3 47.9
CO2 g/km 144-146 142-144
  Audi A4 2.0 Audi A4 2.0 FSI
0-62mph 9.9 secs 9.6 secs
Maximum Speed 132mph 135mph
Combined mpg 35.8 39.8
CO2 g/km 190-194 170

Published : 13/11/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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