Super-frugal Golf slips into Paris

2012-09-27 09:05

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 next Golf BlueMotion.

This, VW says, is "a genuine family car" with five seats and all the Golf’s traditional comfort and safety yet is predicted to return 3.2 litres/100km on the combined cycle and emit only 85g/km of carbon dioxide. The third-generation Golf BlueMotion is set for UK launch in the middle of 2013 but VW SA says the South African line-up for the new Golf has not been finalised.

For now VW SA has BlueMotion derivatives among the Polo and Golf models and a BlueMotion Technology derivative is available in Tiguan, CC and Touareg units.


The first generation of the Golf BlueMotion made its debut five years earlier at the Geneva auto show and the car reached showrooms 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 4.55 lites/100km and CO2 emissions of 119g/km. In 2009 came the second-generation Golf BlueMotion, also in Geneva, promising : here was a concept car whose fuel consumption had been reduced to 3.8 litres/100km and 99g/km.

The fact that fuel consumption for the third Golf BlueMotion has been reduced by another 15% and CO2 emissions by 14g/km to a class-leading 85 is a reflection of VW's continuous technical progress. Assuming an average annual driving distance of 15 000km, most drivers will only have to refuel 10 times a year, the automaker believes.

The car’s combined fuel consumption has been achieved through innovative lightweight design (including 26kg-lighter running gear and 37kg less in the body), engine-related modifications and a collection of other measures, among them super low rolling-resistance tyres with higher air pressure, longer gear ratios (five-speed manual gearbox, stop/start and battery regeneration (all standard in all new Golfs), plus specific aerodynamic modifications.

The frontal area of the new Golf was reduced by 0.03m2 and aerodynamic drag by nearly 10%. Compared to other Golfs, the aerodynamics of the BlueMotion were also refined by a 15mm lower ride height, 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 TDI from the new EA288 engine series. The four-cylinder quad-valve develops its maximum torque of 250Nm at 1500rpm and holds it to 2750rpm. 

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 further, VW has implemented an oxidation catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter.