We saw the first rendition of the Golf BlueMotion Concept about five years ago and it was impressive, boasting a 62.8 mph rating and emitting just 119 grams of CO2 per km. We then got a look at the second-gen model in 2009 with its 74.3 mpg and 99 g/km of CO2. Here we are at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and Volkswagen has the third generation BlueMotion Golf ready to show off.
Volkswagen really has something to prove in the mpg department, as it is one of only a handful of automakers available in the U.S. that has openly protested the new CAFÉ standards. VW has attempted to make it clear that its reasoning behind protecting the standards is not because it doesn’t want to build fuel-efficient vehicles, but rather because it feels the yearly improvement numbers are skewed to making it easier on American car and truck manufacturers.
Well, here stands a chance for VW to truly prove that it is all in on saving us money at the pump. So let’s have a look at what Vee-dub-ya has served up.
Click past the jump to read our review on the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion Concept.
From the outside, the Golf BlueMotion Concept looks a lot like any other VW Golf, with the exception being that awesome shade of blue that it dons. In reality, when you sit it next to a standard 2013 VW Golf, the differences become very obvious. The frontal area of the BlueMotion concept was reduced a total of 0.03 square-meters (0.32 square-feet), which helps to decrease the overall aerodynamic drag by 10 percent.
Also helping out in the aerodynamics area is a 15 mm (0.59-inch) lower ride height, roof spoiler, air-guide elements on the rear windows, an enclosed front grille, partially closed air-inlet screens, under-floor panels, custom brake cooling vents, and a C-channel spoiler. On the front end, VW had to create special channels for the cooling system, so it could use the masked grille, but still keep the engine coolant at its optimal temperature.
All of these aerodynamic improvements bring the Golf BlueMotion’s coefficient drag down to an astounding 0.27. VW also shed 37 kg (81.57 lbs) from the base Golf.
As you can tell, the outside of the Golf BlueMotion was designed to take the basic shape of the Golf and morph it into a super-slick hatchback. With a 0.27 Cd, we would say that VW succeeded here.
VW didn’t give us any real information on the interior, but it did give us some nice snapshots. Inside the Golf BlueMotion, you’ll find a flat-bottomed, three-post steering wheel with control buttons on its top two posts. Easy-to-read gauges rest behind the sporty steering wheel and to the right, you find a nicely laid out center stack.
This center stack contains a large LCD screen, which not only acts as the audio system, but we are willing to bet it also monitors your driving habits to help you increase its mpg. The center stack is very clean and free of clutter. Only the most necessary buttons are present and they are easily reached by the driver.
The dashboard contains a nice contrasting black and grey, giving the inside a relatively premium finish. Overall, however, you can tell that the interior is more utilitarian than all about comfort.
Engine and Drivetrain
The engine and drivetrain are what really make this car interesting. VW fitted the Golf BlueMotion Concept with its brand-new 1.6-liter TDI 4-cylinder engine, which cranks out 250 Nm (180 pound-feet) of torque between 1,500 and 2,750 rpm. There is no mention of the TDI’s horsepower, but we estimate it at about 120 horsepower.
This engine boasts a wide range of fuel-saving measures, including reduced internal friction, thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase, an upgraded EGR system, a cylinder pressure sensor, two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump, and air-to-water intercooler. To help drop the 1.6-liter’s NOx emissions, VW fitted it with an oxidation catalytic converter.
The transmission is a 5-speed manual gearbox with long running gears to help keep the engine speed low and fuel economy high. Additionally, VW fitted this engine and drivetrain with a start-stop feature and battery regeneration. The final step in making this machine as economical as possible is the addition of low-rolling-resistance tires and a higher recommended tire pressure setting.
All of this results in an 15 percent increase in mpg and a huge decrease in emissions. The total fuel economy number is 3.2 l/100 km (88.3 mpg) and it puts out just 85 grams of CO2 per km.
Engine and Drivetrain Specs:
|Engine Type||1.6-liter TDI 4-cylinder|
|Maximum Output||120 horsepower (TopSpeed est.) and 180 pound-feet|
|Transmission Type||5-speed manual|
|Fuel Economy||88.3 mpg highway|
|Emissions||85 g/km CO2|
Pricing and Release Date
There is no pricing or release date available yet, though, according to the press release, VW is planning to release this model in the UK at some point. No information on a potential U.S. release date is available.
Until we can get an official price range and release date, we cannot accurately compare the Golf BlueMotion to any other vehicle.
To see VW so adamant about creating a car that exceeds the 2025 CAFÉ standards by nearly double is impressive; especially considering how it turned its nose up at the new standards. Hopefully VW stays true and releases this model with the specifications its concept model has. We are also hopeful that VW will offer this car in the U.S. at some point.
- 88.3 mpg is simply awesome
- Very torque-heavy 4-banger
- Extreme engineering to squeak every last mpg from the engine
- No horsepower numbers released
- Likely will be very expensive when compared to the base Golf
- No confirmation of production
A REAL FAMILY CAR WITH 88.3 MPG? MUST BE THE NEW GOLF BLUEMOTION!
Making its motor show debut alongside the seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf this week in Paris is one of the world’s most fuel-efficient cars: a concept for the new Golf BlueMotion. This is a genuine family car with five seats and all the Golf’s traditional attributes of comfort and safety which is predicted to return 88.3* mpg on the combined cycle and emit just 85 g/km of carbon dioxide. The third-generation Golf BlueMotion is
set for UK launch in summer 2013.
The first generation of the Golf BlueMotion made its debut five years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, with the car coming to market in mainland Europe at the end of 2007. At that time, the Golf BlueMotion set new standards for its class with a fuel consumption value of 62.8 mpg and CO2 emissions of 119 g/km. In 2009, Volkswagen showed the second-generation Golf BlueMotion in Geneva: here was a concept car whose fuel consumption had been reduced to 74.3 mpg and emissions cut to 99 g/km.
The fact that fuel consumption for the third Golf BlueMotion has now been reduced by another 15 per cent and CO2 emissions by 14 grams per km to a class-leading 85 g/km is a reflection of Volkswagen’s continuous technical progress. With its 50-litre fuel tank and 88.3 mpg fuel consumption, the new Golf has a theoretical range of 970 miles. Assuming an average annual driving distance of 15,000 km (approx. 9,300 miles), most drivers will only have to refuel ten times a year.
The car’s combined fuel consumption has been achieved through innovative lightweight design (including 26 kg less weight in the running gear and 37 kg less in the body), engine-related modifications and a collection of other measures. These include super low rolling resistance tyres with higher air pressure, longer gear ratios (five-speed manual gearbox,the Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems that are standard in all new Golfs, plus specific aerodynamic modifications.
The frontal area of the new Golf was reduced by 0.03 m2 and aerodynamic drag (Cd x A) by nearly 10 per cent. Compared to other Golf models, the aerodynamics of the BlueMotion were also refined by a lowered ride height (by 15 mm), a roof spoiler, lateral air guide elements on the rear window, a masked front grille, partially closed air inlet screens, optimised cooling system airflow, special underfloor panels, optimised brake cooling channels and a C-pillar spoiler. These measures provide the Golf BlueMotion with a Cd value of 0.27, making the car one of the most aerodynamic in its class.
At the heart of the new Golf BlueMotion concept is a 1.6-litre 110 PS TDI from the newly developed EA288 engine series. The four-cylinder 16-valve unit develops its maximum torque of 250 Nm from just 1,500 rpm up to 2,750 rpm.
Various measures such as reduced internal friction, an innovative thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase, exhaust gas recirculation, cylinder pressure sensor, two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump and water-cooled intercooler right in the intake manifold result in successfully reducing fuel consumption and emissions. To reduce emissions values further, Volkswagen has also implemented an oxidation catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter.
* All figures are provisional and will be homologated for UK specification closer to launch.