Maximum power with minimum consumption

When you drive one of our TSI cars you don't have to choose between performance and economy. TSI engines offer an enjoyable and involving drive, while cutting fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Because TSI engines are cleaner, you'll also save on car tax. So they have a smaller impact on the environment, are kinder to your pocket - and, best of all, they're great fun to drive.

What is TSI?

TSI is our pioneering technology for petrol engines. TSI engines are compact, high-powered and use less fuel. TSI technology blends the best of our TDI diesel and FSI (Fuel Stratified Injection) engines.

How do you benefit?

You enjoy excellent driveability and outstanding fuel economy. Acceleration is instant, whichever gear you're in. So overtaking is safer and you can power smoothly up hills with no delay. TSI technology is available on an increasing number of our cars, from Polo to Sharan.

The TSI story

The challenge

As responsible car makers we wanted to make our petrol engines even cleaner and more efficient, while still being fun to drive. Our aim was to create engines that used less fuel and produced lower CO2 emissions without sacrificing power.

The solution our engineers came up with was both elegant and ingenious: an engine that combines petrol direct injection and turbocharging, and in some cases twincharging - a turbocharger and a supercharger working together. The TSI engine was born.

The effect is to combine the benefits of both petrol and diesel power units: smooth and quiet on the road, TSI delivers high torque - pulling power - throughout the acceleration range with little discernible turbo lag.

The successful formula

The successful TSI formula combines a number of different elements:

Smaller engines

At the heart of TSI is a smaller engine. It's more efficient, as there is less power loss resulting from friction. It's also lighter, so the engine has less weight to shift in the car.

Direct petrol injection with charging

Direct petrol injection is combined with a turbocharger or charge compression with a turbo and a supercharger (early variant 1.5 TSI Evo engines) working in tandem. This enhances the engine's combustion efficiency so the TSI engine power output is much higher than that of conventional, naturally aspirated engines.

Torque when you want it

On the 1.5 TSI Evo 150PS the engine-driven supercharger operates at lower revs, with the turbocharger - powered by the exhaust gases - joining in as engine speed rises. The supercharger is powered via a belt drive directly from the crankshaft. This provides maximum pulling power on demand, even at very low engine speeds. TSI engines are designed to deliver maximum torque from engine speeds as low as 1,400 rpm. And that has the twin benefit of not only increasing your driving pleasure but also cutting fuel consumption.

Latest developments

We never stop refining our TSI technology. Some of our latest ideas for the 1.5 TSI Evo 150PS include:

More ways to save weight

These range from a lightened cylinder head cover and a weight saving per camshaft to the refined design of the cylinder head itself.

Optimised fuel mixture

A new injector with six fuel bores for electronic direct injection helps achieve this. The injector jets have been realigned to give more efficient distribution of the fuel mixture in the combustion chamber.

Charge-air intercooling

The turbocharger has a water-cooled intercooler with a low-temperature circuit independent of the engine cooling system. As a result we've cut the volume of the charge air system by more than half, allowing a high charge pressure to build up much more quickly. This gives improved dynamics because it reduces the time it takes to achieve maximum charge in the combustion chambers.

Awards for TSI

International Engine of the Year awards

Our pioneering technology has impressed motoring experts from across the world. Our TSI range has won the 1-litre to 1.4-litre category of the prestigious International Engine of the Year Awards for five years running and was voted the International Engine of the Year and Best Green Engine in 2009.

The jury for this award is made up of 65 motoring journalists from 32 countries. At the 2009 Awards, the jury said:

 Volkswagen not only attained an overall victory, but also won the ‘Best Green Engine' award. This shows that driving fun and fuel efficiency can certainly be unified in one package.

Dr Rüdiger Szengel, Head of Volkswagen Petrol Engine Development, commented on TSI:

Their combination of reduced displacement, direct injection and intelligent engine boosting enables top dynamic performance while keeping emissions and fuel consumption low. Winning awards in three key categories is really a compliment to our development team. TSI engines are genuine trendsetters.

WhatCar? Car of the Year Awards

WhatCar? has chosen the Golf TSI range as its Small Family Car of the Year for every year from 2009 to 2012, commending it in unambiguous terms: 

The TSI is punchy, but keeps running costs low. It’s also very smooth, which contributes to the Golf’s exemplary refinement.

Please refer to your Volkswagen Owner's manual for official guidance on use and operation of all our technology.