Automatic coasting could be the next fuel-saving technology

#hashtags: #TAGS #Audi #Volkswagen #Green Cars #April 2016 #Paul Gover #CarsGuide

TAGS Audi A4 Audi Volkswagen Technology Green Cars Automatic coasting could be the next fuel-saving technology

1 April 2016 by Paul Gover · CarsGuide

Audi is trialing automatic cruising to work in tandem with stop-start technology.

Angel gear was a big deal when I first hit the road.

Back in the day, my fuel budget never came close to my driving ambitions. So coasting down hills in my ancient VW Beetle, with the gear lever knocked into neutral, was a convenient way to save some fuel. It was hardly the safest thing to do, with no engine braking for coming corners, so it also kept me focused on the job of driving.

I had forgotten those early days until I attended an Audi technology forum a few years ago and sampled a number of ideas to improve economy and reduce the impact of cars on the world's megacities.

Angel gear was back and, this time around, the Audi didn't even need a hill to trigger the switch into neutral in its double-clutch automatic gearbox. It was surprising to feel the lack of drag and see the tachometer needle sitting at idle as the car rolled across the German countryside.

Now I've felt the same thing again in Audi's latest A4 and I can see freewheeling — or angel gear — catching on as rapidly as stop-start tech. It's already becoming a big deal at the VW Group.

The principle of the tech is that the car's kinetic energy is used to overcome road and aerodynamic drag instead of using fuel in the engine.

It's triggered when various sensors detect available energy and zero load as the driver's foot comes off the accelerator.

The clutch is disengaged and the engine drops back to idle, about 800rpm, instead of turning at a road speed equivalent to, say, 110km/h.

Audi reckons the fuel saving can be at least 0.5L/100km, a worthwhile improvement for any car these days.

Would you welcome automatic cruising in your car? Tell us what you think in the comments below. Related articles 2016 Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class review1 April 2016 by Joshua Dowling Best new cars arriving in April1 April 2016 by Craig Duff 2016 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI review | road test25 March 2016 by Richard Blackburn 2016 Audi A4 could save a cyclist's life6 March 2016 by Joshua Dowling 2016 Audi A4 review | first drive video3 March 2016 by Peter Anderson Comments Related articles 2016 Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class review1 April 2016 by Joshua Dowling Best new cars arriving in April1 April 2016 by Craig Duff 2016 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI review | road test25 March 2016 by Richard Blackburn 2016 Audi A4 could save a cyclist's life6 March 2016 by Joshua Dowling 2016 Audi A4 review | first drive video3 March 2016 by Peter Anderson Related pages Audi A4 Volkswagen Green Cars Related cars for sale Search Audi cars for sale Search Audi A4 cars for sale Search Volkswagen cars for sale Get the latest news, reviews and advice every week '); }