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Volkswagen to build diesels for CMD

Pending environmental regulations in U.S., Europe lead to an agreement for new series of engines


Volkswagen will manufacture and marinize diesel engines from 40 to 350 hp for Cummins MerCruiser Diesel under an agreement the companies reached this summer.

Environmental regulations on the horizon in the United States and Europe drove CMD to re-evaluate its choice of manufacturer for small diesel engines, says David Dwight, CMD vice president of global sales, marketing and integration.

"We were looking for the best possible route toward supplying, in this horsepower range, solutions that meet those emissions regulations," Dwight says. "Volkswagen is really a world leader in automotive diesel technology."

Volkswagen-manufactured products will supplant a subset of CMD's Quantum Series - the QSD. Volkswagen will manufacture and marinize 1.9-, 2.5-, 3.0- and 4.2-liter diesels for CMD at its Salzgitter, Germany, plant. The 1.9-liter is an inline 4-cylinder engine with a 40- to 75-hp rating; the 2.5-liter, an inline 5-cylinder engine, has a rating of 55 to 165 hp; the 3.0-liter V-6 is rated from 225 to 265 hp; and the 4.2-liter V-8 carries a 350-hp rating.

These engines will be coupled to sterndrives and prop and shaft setups, Dwight says. CMD also chose Volkswagen because its engines will require no "after-treatment," or adjustments after manufacture to meet the environmental requirements, Dwight says.

Potential applications may include twin 4.2-liter engines installed in vessels up to 40 feet, including express cruisers and sportfishing boats, Dwight says. The 350-hp engine also could find its way into a large runabout, he says. Additionally, the diesels in the CMD lineup could be candidates for trawlers and sailboats.

"The 1.9-liter engine is primarily considered a sailboat engine today," Dwight says.

Will CMD integrate the Volkswagen-built engines with Zeus pod drive technology and Axius sterndrives? Dwight would only say that "those are both possible and within our future plans."

CMD now purchases diesel engines smaller than 5 liters from VM Motori in Italy. Volkswagen will begin supplying the engines to CMD in January, Dwight says. Under the deal, all current Volkswagen marine engines will be sold exclusively by CMD and marketed under the CMD brand.


"The alliance gives us a great opportunity to increase sales of our engines in the marine market," says Arno Antlitz, a member of the board of management of the Volkswagen brand who is responsible for controlling and accounting.

The EPA Tier 3 emissions standard will take effect in 2012 in the United States and the RCD2 emissions standard takes effect in 2014 in Europe for this range of engines. The new standards prescribe significantly lower thresholds for emissions of nitrogen oxides and other pollutants and require the development of next-generation diesel combustion technology.

The remainder of CMD's Quantum product line includes 5.9-, 8.3-, 8.9- and 11-liter engines. CMD will continue to marinize Cummins base engines at its Charleston, S.C., and Darlington, U.K., facilities. The QSB, QSC, QSL and QSM engines are capable of meeting EPA Tier 3 and Europe RCD Tier 2 emissions standards with in-cylinder strategies similar to those being deployed for the engines resulting from this alliance with Volkswagen.

The transition to cleaner engines has prompted changes to CMD's overall fleet of diesels, says Clay Gaillard, CMD communications manager. The CMD Diamond and MerCruiser mechanical diesel engines will be discontinued.

"Really our whole engine line is considered the Quantum Series," Gaillard says. "[The Volkswagen-built engines] will be the smaller-displacement end of our Quantum Series."

Contact: Volkswagen Marine,; CMD, 800-DIESELS

This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue.


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