Volkswagen Zeta

Fitted with a new 1.5 litre engine, Volkswagen Zeta.

Fitted with a new 1.5 litre engine, Volkswagen Zeta.

Volkswagen Zeta

Volkswagen has unveiled a facelift version of the seventh-generation Zeta. It is planning to strengthen its position in the semi-medium sedan market with new functionality and improved powertrain.

Zeta has been operating separately as an independent semi-medium sedan since the sixth generation, no longer as a variant of golf, a hatchback model. The main market is the United States. Although significant improvements have been made, such as the addition of various convenience and safety equipment and the expansion of space, sales volume is not good. In addition, corona 19 and lack of semiconductors have overlapped.

Zeta was once so popular that it revived the U.S. subsidiary of Volkswagen. However, it started going downhill with 31,924 units in 2014, and sold 15,129 units in 2018, and 12,260 units in 2019, but only 10,552 units in 2020. Not to mention popular models with annual sales of 200,000 to 300,000 units, such as Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, but they are not enough compared to Hyundai Elantra (domestic name Avante).

Zeta has reorganized its competitiveness by installing powertrain with the latest technology through Facelift.

The four-cylinder 1.4-liter gasoline turbo engine, which had 150 horsepower and 25.5 kgf·m of torque, has been replaced by a four-cylinder 1.5-liter gasoline turbo engine named EA211. This engine has 160 horsepower and 25.5 kgf·m of torque, which is slightly increased compared to the previous one.

Efficiency is the part where intensive improvement has been made rather than performance. The biggest feature is that it is a gasoline turbo engine, but runs on a millercycle basis. A millercycle similar to the Atkinson cycle has the advantage of improving efficiency by closing the intake valve early to reduce the engine’s pumping loss. Capable of up to a maximum compression ratio of 12.5:1, the engine produces a compression ratio of 11.5:1 in Zeta.

In order for cylinders and pistons to reduce frictional force, plasma spray coating was performed on the inside walls of the cylinders. This technology, also called APS coating, has the advantage of reducing friction and making cylinder walls thinner, making heat exchange smoother.

For turbochargers, VTG (variable turbine geometry) technology is used for the first time among four-cylinder engines in mass production. Thanks to turbochargers that vary depending on engine speed, maximum torque is exerted from 1,300 rpm to 4,000 rpm. This is a 35% improvement in response performance compared to current 1.4 TSI engines.

The fuel injection unit uses a fourth generation direct injection system. It is planning to increase performance and efficiency by spraying fuel from 200 bar to 350 bar pressure. It has improved fig performance, short injection time, and reduced particulate production through ideal combustion. Thanks to these various new technologies, efficiency has improved up to 10% compared to current 1.4 TSI engines. The transmission comes with a 6-speed manual transmission and an 8-speed automatic transmission.

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