Volkswagen squeeze 52 miles from a gallon with new Golf BlueMotion
By Loz Blain
September 3, 2007
September 4, 2007 Toyota needed two whole engines to get 46mpg from their famous Prius hybrid, but Volkswagen have achieved over 52mpg by simply tweaking a few characteristics of its popular Golf diesel compact in the latest addition to the company’s environmentally-focused BlueMotion initiative. The Golf BlueMotion makes over 1200km from a 55-liter tank, showing that there’s further room for development from the combustion engine.
Volkswagen has fired off the next salvo of its BlueMotion initiative at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. In total, six new models with technology that is as economical as it is environmentally friendly, debuted at the world’s largest car show. One of the highlights: The new Golf BlueMotion. At just 4.5 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers, its fuel consumption has been reduced by a full 0.6 liters compared to the original model. Similarly, CO2 emissions have been reduced from 135 g/km to 119 g/km. Actions taken on the BlueMotion make it so efficient that now distances of more than 1,200 kilometers are possible on just one Golf tank of fuel (55 liter). Market introduction of the Golf BlueMotion in Germany is scheduled for the end of this year.
Details of the new Golf BlueMotion: After the Polo, Passat and Passat Variant, the Golf is now the fourth Volkswagen to wear the new BlueMotion environmental badge on its radiator grille and rear hatch that identifies it as the most economical model of the car series. The Golf BlueMotion is driven by a TDI with 77 kW / 105 PS and a hefty 250 Newton-meter of torque that has already achieved recognition as an efficient engine.
A software intervention in engine management reduces the idling speed of this diesel combined with a particulate filter and simultaneously improves its emission behavior. With longer gear ratios in third, fourth and fifth gears, engine speed levels are also lower while driving. These actions alone reduce consumption by about 0.2 liter.
Less apparent but no less necessary for a plus in economy are the thoroughly trimmed and thereby flow-optimized underbody as well as the nearly enclosed radiator grille. To ensure that the TDI engine still gets enough cooling air, the Golf BlueMotion has an effective dual fan. Thanks to aerodynamic design measures, including lowering of the chassis, the cW value of 0.32, which in itself is a good value, was further improved to 0.30.
In the hunt for every gram of CO2 Volkswagen is also relying on light-running tires, size 195 / 65 R 15, optimized for low rolling resistance; they are driven at higher air pressure, increased by 0.3 bar. When all of the modifications come together in the end product, the top speed of the Golf rises from 187 km/h to an electronically limited 190 kmh.
When it comes to equipment options, the Golf BlueMotion customer can choose between the Trendline and Comfortline. In addition to basic equipment, special Blue Motion specification is also on board. Besides the aerodynamic modifications already mentioned, standard equipment includes the Multifunctional Display Plus (MFA Plus) with gear recommendation arrow and a sports chassis.