Nowadays is either Hybrids or Diesels and Volkswagen, our friendly neighborhood car manufacturer, has taken economy and green a small step further by launching the latest Polo Bluemotion TDI. The small step taken is the fact that it has chopped off one cylinder from the four cylinder diesel and it is only 1.2 liters in size. This was recently paraded recently at the 31st International Vienna Motor Symposium.
1.2liters, diesel, a turbo and three cylinders makes 74bhp and about 180Nm at 2,000rpm. This should be more than adequate to move the Polo Bluemotion TDI in city traffic. As an example, the petrol 1.5liter Subaru Impreza has only about 142Nm torque made higher up the rev range (3,200rpm).
Three cylinders also mean less engine weight and frictional power losses, and VW says that it has miked out the most performance, maximum “acoustic comfort” and weight reduction from this configuration without compromising the engine’s thermodynamic efficiency (some say that each cylinder should be around 333cc to around 600cc for efficient combustion to happen).
The only three cylinder I’ve driven is the ones fitted on the smallest of the Peroduas sold around here. The Daihatsu three pot engines used are not the last word of refinement and are thrummy in nature, it has an off-beat warble that is kind of characterful. However these engines are petrol, and not diesel. So this Volkswagen may be slightly rough, but since it has the latest common rail injection and the turbo is a variable geometry unit, it could be as smooth as those petrol Daihatsu engines. So there would not be too much refinement lost anyway.
Now back to the story at hand. According to Volkswagen, this car is expected to achieve 3.3 litres per 100 km while emitting only 87 g/km of CO2. The previous gen Polo Bluemotion’s claimed figures was 3.8 litres per 100 km. So smaller is better for diesel sipping.
Bluemotion measures include stop/start functions (for those longer than usual traffic light waiting), higher gearing (It is hooked up to a five-speed manual transmission which boasts extra-long ratios – fifth gives 35mph for every 1,000rpm), regenerative braking, tweaked aerodynamics and 14inch low rolling resistance tires on special alloy wheels. The air-conditioning has been removed in this model too, as has electric adjustment for the door mirror and the remote central locking removed.
It is already on sale in Europe where oil burners like this is king nowadays. Now who in their right mind would go buy a Prius which uses a hefty 4.7litres per 100km of petrol? A hybrid makes no sense after this. Buy a diesel. This diesel car saves more of the black stuff than that purportedly green hybrid.