The Volkswagen Mark Squared
Volkswagen’s infinite efficiency motor
all started out with a simple idea; improve the performance of a motor over its service cycle.
Seals seat, passages become worn properly, and gas mileage improves.
But then it went wrong.
*As we ask our more learned readers to also dismiss many ‘laws’ of physics
that you think may apply. This ain’t NASA.gov. -ed
Volkswagen introduced the “MK2” series of Golfs and Jettas. But with a new upgrade to the standard 1.8L motor from the previous model.
With every mile traveled, the engine’s power was increasing. A type of thermal efficiency not seen since about .00000001 millisecond into the Big Bang. That kinda stuff. The earlier VW Quantum was almost as good, but you could never find it in the parking lot.(rimshot)
At this point, the vehicles had been out for a few years. The efficiency was, indeed improving. Even automotive journalists had figured out this strange phenomenon with the Mark Squared VWs. Here is former TG presenter Quentin Willison, just before his breakthrough role in Air Con.
According to Top Gear, VW MK2 GTis gain 1/64th a mile per 60,000 miles of usage from new.
There are some engineers who propose that this is caused by engine components needing to properly seat in the low-mileage motor, and with proper break-in, performance would improve, but just to a certain point, not infinity. These engineers were boring. They now work in the brake department.
What This Means
Every mile that a VW Golf MK2 is operated, efficiency of the motor is increased by .0064/mile. This bit of maths is buried in the review. We found it, dug it up, attached electrodes and went with it.
The figures don’t lie. The captions do.
Even VW’s advertising attempted to warn consumers of the runaway efficiency. 17% increase in power over “before“, perhaps the last time you started the vehicle? This adds up.
Eventually, though, even the engineer’s brilliant brake system, which could stop the moon in orbit if applied to it, was not enough. At a point in the vehicle’s wear cycle, an over-unity is achieved, and efficiency is beyond all known man-made transport.
Attempts to label the phenomenon as “Fahrvergnügen” just led to confusion.
VW later attempted to compensate for this increase in power by adding a shaft and rear transmission in order to diffuse this exponentially expanding HP efficiency. This didn’t help.
It is still a great mystery as to why engineers had neglected to put a efficiency limiter into the system, but an even greater one as to why they Really Developed A Four Wheel Drive System and didn’t market it. They coulda taken Subaru’s thunder. Maybe that move to the brake department was a bad idea.
Top Gear revisited this story, eventually a crapped out 1986 model was found idling in a velodrome where the owner had abandoned it.
There was only one driver they could trust with this sort of power.
Accordign to the internet, a Stig test is one of the last stages before the efficiency overwhelms our current public road system.