Software to consider the effects of special equipment
"We have about 300 different part numbers for aerodynamically relevant components we need to take into consideration," says Dössing, explaining the complexity of the task in hand. This is why it is impossible to test all possible combinations for each engine option. For the Golf alone, there are a huge number of possibilities of combining equipment and technology. This is why Volkswagen has developed a dedicated IT solution. The software knows the effects of individual equipment items on consumption and combines them with measured values from the test rig.
Although this solution may sound simple, it is actually extremely complex. "On the online configurator, the figures are presented on a real-time basis," Wolfgang Frank reports enthusiastically. He is responsible for the WLTP project from the sales side. Whenever customers configure their model on their computer or in a dealership, the precise consumption for this configuration is determined on the basis of WLTP. This means that customers have the information they need to decide whether to order wide tires, with higher consumption, or rather to take a smaller engine.
Such questions are likely to become more important as road tax is calculated on the basis of fuel consumption. To date, the calculation has been made generally for a specific model, irrespective of its weight or equipment. In contrast, WLTP allows the calculation of consumption figures for an individual car on which the road tax can then be based. Volkswagen is currently introducing this method for the up! GTI, the brand's latest model. The new procedure is transparent and applies to all manufacturers.
Measurements to be made on the road in future
In addition to fuel consumption, the new standard also regulates the quantity of pollutants released into the environment. New vehicles must meet these limits not only in the laboratory but also in everyday operation. This is why the test team from Hall 79 has been implementing a further innovation, RDE (Real Driving Emissions) tests since September.
For this purpose, they regularly attach mobile measuring equipment to vehicles.