The whole Dieselgate turkey is still in the oven, and Volkswagen is already busy doing everything it can to make us forget that it blatantly cheated to hide the level of emissions that its diesel vehicles were creating. It’s most recent effort comes in the form of a particulate filter that will be installed on its direct-injection gasoline-powered engines. According to Volkswagen, the filters can drop the emissions of soot particles by up to 90 percent. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because diesel engines have been using particulate filters for years, and they have been proven effective for some time now.

Dr. Ulrich Eichhon, the Head of Group Research and Development, 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.”

The first engines to receive this new particulate filter will be the 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engine in the new Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2.0-liter TFSI gasoline engine that comes in the Audi A5. Volkswagen plans to implement these filters starting in June of 2017 and says that the number of vehicles equipped with the new technology could reach seven million by 2022. Furthermore, VW is boasting comparative measurements from “independent testing bodies” that claim modern EU 6 rated diesel and gasoline engines from the Volkswagen Group are “already the cleanest on the market.” According to the EQUA Air Quality Index, out of 440 of the most popular models, the VW Group is labeled as a top performer.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

Why it Matters

I know I’ve been pretty rough on VW since it got caught red-handed pulling one over on emissions testing, but the brand was caught cheating. I took a quick glance at the EQUA web page, and the leading quote on the website is from an unnamed Volkswagen Spokesperson: “Achieving such strong ratings for our diesel vehicles during a standardized real-world test serves to reassure customers that they can buy our products with confidence. Also reassuring to customers is the evidence provided by the EQUA Index that the regulated Euro 6 limits were achieved by our cars in real-world driving conditions.”

So, the implementation of a new particulate filter to gasoline-powered engines, followed by these amazing test results by the EQUA just happened to come as VW picks itself up from the scandal that nearly ruined it. I personally find it a little convenient, but I am, admittedly, being very skeptical of VW as a whole. Will I be able to forgive them? Sure; but it won’t be right away, and it won’t be from these sudden test results or the implementation of a new filter on gasoline engines. With that said, I do want to point out that I’m glad to see that VW is trying to make things right. The new particulate filter should prove worthy of praise, and the brand is working hard to earn back its trust. Boasting itself continually this soon, however, just makes me more skeptical.

Keep improving emissions, VW. The world needs that in a major way, but don’t expect to just brush your errors from the past under the rug to be quickly forgotten about. Trust comes in due time, and neither I or the general public is ready to give you that full trust yet. In time, the overall view of the VW will improve, but not overnight.

Press Release

Emissions of soot particles from direct injection petrol engines can be reduced by up to 90 per cent
Planned roll-out in Group models as of 2017
The Volkswagen Group is continuing to work assiduously on the environmental compatibility of conventional drive systems. The company has now decided upon wide-scale use of particulate filters for petrol engines, so-called ’gasoline particulate filters (GPF)’. From 2017, all Group direct injection TSI and TFSI engines will be fitted step-by-step with petrol particulate filters. Emissions of fine soot particles will be reduced in this way by up to 90 per cent.

By 2022, the number of Volkswagen Group vehicles being equipped with this technology annually could reach seven million. The process is starting in June 2017 with the 1.4-litre TSI engine in the new Volkswagen Tiguan¹ and the 2.0 TFSI in the Audi A5². Implementation will then follow in further models and engine generations.

Particulate filters for diesel engines are already proven and established. The gasoline particulate filter will now reduce the particulate emissions of direct injection petrol engines by up to 90 per cent. Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Head of Group Research and Development: "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."

Despite the outlay for complex exhaust gas treatment systems for new models, Volkswagen is determined to reduce its diesel vehicles’ pollutant emissions as well. Eichhorn: "In the future, all models will be equipped with the latest and most efficient SCR catalytic converter technology."

Using comparative measurements, independent testing bodies have established that both modern EU 6 diesel engines and petrol engines from the Volkswagen Group are already the cleanest on the market. In its EQUA Air Quality Index, for example, London-based Emission Analytics looked at the world’s 440 most popular models and ranked the Volkswagen Group as the top performer by some margin.

The company ranked first in three categories: EU 6 petrol engine, EU 5 petrol engine and EU 6 hybrid vehicles. The best six EU 6 diesel vehicles also come from Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda; among the EU 5 diesels tested, a total of five models in the top 10, including the top two from Audi and Skoda, are also from the Volkswagen Group.

Further details on the EQUA Index:


1Tiguan 1.4 TSI fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.9 – 5.7 (combined), CO2 emissions in g/km: 155 - 139 (combined); Efficiency class: C-B
2Audi A5 2.0 TFSI fuel consumption in l/100 km: 6.3 – 5.8 (combined), CO2 emissions in g/km: 148 - 136 (combined) Efficiency class: B


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