According to a high ranking Volkswagen executive, within four years conventional naturally aspirated gasoline engines will be extinct at the automaker, replaced with diesel powerplants and turbocharged gasoline engines. Mark Trahan, VW of America’s executive vice president for group quality, said that the few conventional naturally aspirated engines the company sells will eventually be replaced with forced induction engines. “You have to have a turbo these days,” Trahan told The Detroit News. “We only have one normally aspirated gas engine, and when we go to the next generation vehicle that it’s in, it will be replaced. So three, four years maximum.”
Trahan’s comments follow on the heels of remarks by Joe Bakaj, Ford Motor Co. vice president of powertrain engineering, who said that naturally aspirated engines could may see their end in Ford’s lineup.
“At some point in the future that will be an option,” he said. Bakaj did say that hybrid vehicles, which pair conventional gas engines with electric motors, would be exceptions. Ford has invested heavily in its EcoBoost line of turbocharged engines and it has also advertised the EcoBoost brand heavily as combining the power of larger displacement engines with the fuel economy of smaller motors. Analysts estimate that 3 million vehicles will be sold in the U.S. this year equipped with turbocharged engines, up from 2.1 million last year.