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VW plans to slash the soot

Clean up: Along with Audi’s next A5, the new Volkswagen Tiguan will be the first to get Volkswagen Group’s particulate filter on petrol engines, but not until next year.

Petrol engines next to get particulate filters on Volkswagen Group cars

4 Aug 2016

VOLKSWAGEN Group has announced plans to fit particulate filters to its petrol engines to reduce soot emissions by up to 90 per cent from next year.

Still smarting from the diesel emissions cheating scandal, the German company says up to seven million Volkswagen Group vehicles – including Audi and Skoda cars – could benefit from the new filters by 2022.

Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) corporate communications general manager Paul Pottinger said the filters were very much part of VGA’s plans for Australia, but a launch date for Australia was yet to be set.

Particulate filters are usually associated with modern diesel engines on which they trap the black soot that many health experts believe is potentially carcinogenic in big cities.

Petrol engines have far lower levels of particulate emissions, but VW has decided to go on the front foot and incorporate filters on petrol engines, starting with the 1.4-litre TSI engine in the new-generation Tiguan and 2.0-litre TFSI engine in the next Audi A5, both from June 2017.

The filters will then be rolled out to all other models with petrol engines across the group as models and engines are upgraded.

VW Group head of research and development Ulrich Eichhorn said: “Following increases in efficiency and lower CO2 output, we are now bringing about a sustained reduction in the emission levels of our modern petrol engines by fitting particulate filters as standard.”

VW is also planning to adopt Mercedes-style selective catalytic reduction (SCR) exhaust injection for its diesel engines to cut NOx emissions.

These catalytic systems typically employ a substance such as urea – dubbed AdBlue by Mercedes – to cause a chemical reaction in the exhaust system to convert smog-causing NOx into harmless components such as nitrogen, water and small amounts of CO2.

Volkswagen claims independent testing by London-based Emission Analytics has shown that VW’s latest Euro 6 diesel and petrol engines are already the cleanest on the market “by some margin”.

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