Family tree - Feeling blue about being green? VW has unveiled a new family of eco-friendly cars – and these concepts will make it to production
Due to be launched early next month, the new Golf BlueMotion neatly encapsulates the need for car makers to be seen doing their bit for the environment. With tough emissions legislation on the horizon, and rising fuel prices in an era when there’s less money, VW might just be onto a winner with its BlueMotion family.
Sitting on top of the eco-friendly family tree is the Golf, which is good for 74mpg and emits 99g/km of CO2 emissions. Powered by a 1.6-liter common-rail turbodiesel with power outputs of 77kW and 105kW, the Golf BlueMotion features innovative technologies such as automatic stop/start from Bosch and regenerative braking. VW says the stop/start function saves up to 0.2 liters of fuel per 100km in average city driving. At the same time, an advanced alternator control – which regulates the alternator as a function of engine efficiency for optimal battery charging – makes possible an impressive regenerative braking system that can also reduce alternator voltage to a point where it’s even possible to switch off the alternator completely.
Aside from the stop/start and regenerative braking technologies, the 1,598cc four-cylinder unit develops some 250Nm of torque at 1,500rpm, which helps to ensure a top speed of 190km/h (118mph). The 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint, says VW, is around 11.3 seconds.
Fuel delivery is handled by a Bosch common-rail injection system and delivers injection pressure at 1,600 bar. As a result, the piezo actuators enable precise multiple injections with very high precision of fuel quantity and timing.
Key to the project was the technical focus on fuel economy, friction reduction, and as much elimination of power losses as possible. As a result, crankshaft, valve and oil-pump drives have all been optimized: a square stroke/bore ratio minimizes friction losses at the cylinder liners. Other losses were further reduced in the air-induction and charge airflows. Fitted with a DPF, Golf BlueMotion – like all sixth-generation Golfs – easily meets the EURO 5 emissions regulation.
In addition to the Golf, VW also plans to launch the world’s most fuel-efficient five-seater passenger car early next year. Following its debut at the recent Geneva Motor Show, the Polo BlueMotion concept car has been given the green light by VW chiefs to become a reality, Engine Technology International has learned.
So what’s all the fuss about? According to Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, VW development chief, the Polo BlueMotion will be good for 86mpg and emit only 87g/km of CO2. Little wonder that the small VW is courting so much attention from the media. Little technical data is known, but under the hood of the Polo BlueMotion will be a new 1.2-liter, three-cylinder turbodiesel engine featuring direct injection. According to a VW engineer, the engine will be good for around 75bhp. Like the Golf, the Polo BlueMotion will feature an automatic stop/start system and regenerative braking.
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