2018 Volkswagen Tiguan: 2.0 TSI Engine Gets Modified Miller Cycle, More Torque and MPG
Engine Likely to Spread to VW’s Sedans and Hatchbacks
Volkswagen will update its 2.0L turbocharged I-4 gasoline engine for use in the all-new 2018 Tiguan compact SUV. Codenamed EA888, the engine has been in use since 2009, when it was introduced in the Volkswagen CC sedan, and it’s currently found in the first-generation Tiguan. However, for 2018, Volkswagen is giving the engine a wholesale update and a new name: EA888 Generation 3B.
The Gen3B’s most significant change is a modified Miller combustion cycle, unique to Volkswagen. In a conventional Miller-cycle engine, the intake valves close just before the end of the piston’s intake stroke, but Volkswagen’s modified cycle (call it Budack) closes the intake valves much earlier. The company says this results in more effective combustion and faster airflow for incoming gases. The Budack cycle provides lower fuel consumption and more torque than the pre-update EA888 found in the 2017 Tiguan.
The engine actually has less power than the 2017 Tiguan’s mill: 184 hp versus 200. However, that peak power comes in strong at 4,400 rpm—700 revs sooner than the outgoing engine—and it holds the line all the way to 6,000 rpm. Furthermore, the new Tig will be endowed with 221 lb-ft (up 17 from 2017), with full twist available from 1,600 to 3,940 rpm. Such numbers will probably provide reasonable, responsive acceleration in real-world passing and merging scenarios, even though the spacious, seven-seat 2018 Tiguan will likely weigh a bit more than its smaller predecessor.
Also expected to improve is the Tiguan’s currently unremarkable fuel economy. Rated at 20 city/24 highway mpg, the 2017 Tiguan’s fuel efficiency lingers near the bottom of the small-SUV class. However, with the Budack-cycle 2.0 TSI engine, expect those numbers to jump to at least 24 city/30 highway mpg, right in line with other compact crossovers. That educated guess is based on the efficiency boost the Audi A4 Ultra got when Volkswagen's luxury arm gave that model a similar Miller-cycle 2.0L turbocharged I-4.
Volkswagen says the Gen3B will eventually be offered in other Volkswagen models. Its large, flat torque curve and efficient combustion would make it a natural fit for most of the company’s products.