VW's new Polo BlueGT - 60 mpg and 140 bhp


March 7, 2012

The most interesting aspect of the motor, is that it is the first of the new EA211 series of engines which shut down two of the engine's four cylinder under light and medium loads (below 4,000 rpm, and at torque outputs of less than 100 Nm).

The most interesting aspect of the motor, is that it is the first of the new EA211 series of engines which shut down two of the engine's four cylinder under light and medium loads (below 4,000 rpm, and at torque outputs of less than 100 Nm).

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Volkswagen's Polo BlueGT went on show in Geneva this week running a very interesting turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine, the first of a new series of engines which shut down two of the engine's four cylinders under light and medium loads (below 4,000 rpm, and at torque outputs of less than 100 Nm). Does it work? You bet 140 bhp, a top speed of 210 km/h (130 moh) and using the seven-speed DSG tranny, 4.5 liters per 100 km (62.8 mpg) consumption and CO2 emissions of 105 g/km.

The new EA211 series of engines will be used in all future modular transverse matrix (MQB) Volkswagen models. By automatically shutting down the second and third cylinders under light loads, VW claims it can achieve fuel savings of up to 0.4 liters per 100 km in the EU driving cycle. At a constant 50 km/h (30 mph) the savings can be as much as one liter per 100 km, and even at 70 km/h (44 mph) in fifth gear, around 0.7 liters per 100 km can be saved.

Obviously there's a lot of technology involved in a smooth transition from one mode to another to ensure there is no jerk or snatch, and the dashboard keeps the driver informed of how many cylinders are activated.

The Polo BlueGT goes on sale in Europe in July. Plans for other markets have not yet been released.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

But the Volvo C30 with an 2.0 engine needs 3.8l for 100km, and The Fiat Panda(even Linea) -with the 1.3 engine need in real life only 3.8l at 100km to have a medium drive. I don't see how the people who knows the market and the driver life won't be interested at all in VW brand.

Iosif Olimpiu

This Polo will at least leave the 1.3 Fiat standing in the starting blocks.

But on another note, do we really need Hybrids? - Either go for this (is this petrol or diesel?), a small turbo diesel, or a full electric.


Hybrids are a complex,expensive joke. Their batteries degrade,limited in cold climates, and junk in eight years. Who is going to spend $8 grand or more to replace? Few can work on them. Electrics are only good for limited,city use. But electric is 80% efficient unlike petro 25%. A few of us buy a vehicle for 20 years. Can imagine the cost of replacing or repairing this complex system. There goes your savings in fuel.


If their XL1 is capable of 261 mpg and their Cross Coupe' concept is capable of 157 mpg, why are we even reporting these cars ? Or, if we're going to report on them, why not mention (to VW) that there is overwhelming support for non-incremental, i.e., transformative technologies, like their two best concept vehicles - for production.

VW has had 60 mpg cars for some time. Honda had one in the original Insight. Seems like they're all setting on their thumbs when the opportunity for diesel-electric hybrids, capable of utilizing biofuels, is now... and build a 200W solar panel into the roofs, ya' goobers...

JD Howell

I have a 2002 Jetta TDI...293,000 miles. Still gets 46mpg. Change the oil and filter every 10k, add diesel, and go. No worries.


Got a 2008 Prius and a VW Jetta 2002. "Hybrids are a complex,expensive joke." HA! I have spent $$$ on keeping my Jetta going while I change oil in my Prius. I know which car to take on long trips so I'm not caught out at a Day Inn by surprise.


That mileage is based on an Imperial gallon. Still, 53 mpg isn't bad.


I have to second the "hybrids are a complex, expensive joke" sentiment. Not to mention the manufacturing processes involved in creating those big batteries. Is there a real second hand market for hybrids? Thom, I'm sorry about your Jetta. If we are talking annecdotes: I bought a 2004 Holden Commodore with 120,000km on the clock. I've added another 55,000 since owning it and have done nothing more than oil changes / filter changes. I'll have to replace the tyres and brakes soon, but that is the same as with hybrids anyway. Chances are you bought a lemon Jetta. My parent's car got them to nearly 300,000 km (180,000 miles) before they replaced it and they only did that to buy a 4x4 for their around Australia tour with caravan. Regular petrol and diesel engines are extremely reliable these days.


Chidrbmt - Scion

Typically combustion engines in cars are required to function over a very wide range of loads, to do this they are coupled to a gearbox to maintain available and driveable levels of torque. They are "tuned" to have a flexible, and mostly completely excessive motive force in order to make the vehicle drivable. Without a gearbox the motor, even a V8 will just stall. Most combustion engines only achieve maximum efficiency at full RPM, but typically they are never driven in this range. The problem is that even a conventional larger engine running on a low load still requires a minimum amount of fuel just to idle (determined by it's compression & air/fuel ratio). However, a smaller engine running at full load will always consume less, and provide more usable torque, especially if it can be tuned to a smaller range of RPM. A hybrid makes good use of this small engine advantage by using a electric motor with full torque available from "0" RPM, to compensate for not having a gearbox or larger under utilised engine. This makes it drivable, regardless of the load on the combustion engine, which in turn gives the motor management the ability to optimise the combustion process. This drivetrain "de-coupling" obviously allows a more aggressive engine switching off profile, which can never be achieved with non-hybrids.

I have had various Prius's (hybrids) over the last 9 Years, and still have my original one without fault, apart from a injector overhaul because of poor Aussie fuel quality. A hybrid is less complex than a standard vehicle. Amongst other things, the Prius does not have a gearbox, only a single planetary gear. There are no other "automatic" green cars with such a simple drive train as the Prius (Bar the same system in the Chevy Volt).Note that typically automatics consume 1 liter more per 100km, in comparison to there manual counterpart. VW DSG gearboxes are a bit better, but some automatics are even more complex than the engines that drive them. The electric motor, battery and electrics require no servicing ever, only the petrol motor needs to be serviced. My current Prius doesn't even have a fan belt, all accessories are only driven on demand electrically, further reducing wear and fuel consumption. Our local security firm is still driving a Prius with 700,000km, and still with the same battery.

The statements that the Hybrid are more complex or a joke is simply not true. Find out about the Prius drivetrain before making such claims. Also the battery is much smaller than required on a e-car, reducing resource use and cost. Besides, the efficiency of a pure electric drive is a compromise also, it simply consumes energy from a (much worse) coal power station, with all it's associated losses from distribution etc. Physically you can not determine which source of power is used to charge an e-car, unless you install dedicated solar on your house roof (BTW the ROE is not that great with PV either). The electrons could be coming from anywhere on the network, paying for RE does not make your electricity supply so. Plus there are serious range, remote emissions, charging infrastructure issues. in comparison the Prius drivetrain is nearly as efficient as a turbine 35%, because of it's atkinson cycle engine. The Prius is the best "compromise", given the current available fuel sources, and available technology. Add a Biogas sourced CNG fuel conversion, and the Prius is 100% RE, using a combustion engine, without having to wait for it to charge as it can be refuelled normally at a CNG bowser, or waiting for any technology to mature, or it having any range phobias.

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