Volkswagen has launched a new 1.6-litre engine, the EA-111, made in Brazil for the locally-built Golf. The company has invested $US11 million to design and build the new engine which is produced in the São Carlos plant in São Paulo state, writes Rogério Louro Alves.

The Brazilian-made engine replaces the imported, Spanish powerplant previously used in the Golf built in the São José dos Pinhais plant, Paraná state. It could also soon be found in European-built Skoda and Seat models.

"Skoda and Seat are testing the engine in Europe and have already shown interest in buying it", said José Alvarez, manager of engine and transmission engineering for Volkswagen of Brazil.

The new 1.6-litre engine has an iron cylinder block with thin walls, roller camshaft followers and built-in oil filter and water pump. The air filter is incorporated into the engine's top cover using a system Volkswagen of Brazil calls Design-Filter.

"New Volkswagen Group engines will use this filter system," Alvarez said.

The Brazilian engine has similar specifications to its Spanish predecessor. However, despite the iron block, it weighs just 104.5 kg, a good result compared with the all-alloy Spanish engine which tips the scales at 106kg.

The Brazilian engine delivers 101hp at 5500 rpm and 140 Nm of torque at 3250 rpm compared with 101hp/5600 rpm and 145 Nm/3800 rpm for the older Spanish design.

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