By on September 8, 2008
Volkswagen’s march to push diesels in favour of hybrids continues with the new VW Golf Bluemotion concept. The engine will develop 105BHP and 184lbs/ft of torque at 2000rpm, go from 0-62mph in 11.3 seconds and have a top speed of 117mph. As with all Bluemotion cars, the Golf Bluemotion will be fitted with low rolling resistance tyres, optimised aerodynamics, a diesel particulate filter and revised ratios for the gearbox. All of this would supposedly add up to 74.3 UK mpg (or about 62 mpg in US miles per gallon). Except maybe not. These numbers are from the ultra-optimistic (and generally unrealiable) European mileage testing.  Consider that the Volkswagen Bluemotion Polo claimed to do 74.3mpg (61.86 mpg on the American scale) but Channel 4 (U.K)* were getting nowhere near that level – in the real world, they observed 47.5mpg (or about 40 US mpg). Not nearly as hot as you’d have though. In short, it’ll be a well engineered, unreliable, dearer, German version of a hybrid fighter. Except that with those numbers, probably not so much.
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20 Comments on “Volkswagen’s Hyper MPG Golf...”


  • avatar
    sean362880

    In the US, at $4.20/gal diesel and $3.70/gal gasoline, that works out to $0.105 / mile for the diesel Golf and $0.123 / mile for a gasoline version.

    Not much difference, really. Adding in the fuel-of-satan factor, I’d rather the Europeans keep it for themselves.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    “low rolling resistance tyres”

    Or, in non technical language: rocks.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Make it REALLY happen and I’d be happy driving one of those. My current ’97 VW hasn’t stranded me yet.

  • avatar
    Vega

    Unreliable? Since the dark days of the Golf IV VW has made great progress in terms of reliability.
    It seems to me you are not too fond of VW, especially considering some of the remarks you made back when you used to be just a commenter.

    I’m not considering any undue bias here (I don’t want to get slapped by RF), however mentioning that in real world testing (especially in cross country driving) Hybrids also usually fail to reach official economy numbers would have balanced out your article somewhat…

  • avatar
    Diewaldo

    Exactly. There were more than enough tests in numerous car magazines over here in Europe where the hybrid cars looked exactly like what they are … an answer to a question nobody has asked.

    It may be that in normal life you can’t reach the European fuel consumption number, but mind you … Toyota also gives a number for the Prius here in Europe that is even far more off the mark.

    The Diesel cars beated it everywhere in terms of fuel consumption, even in the city and especially out of town.

    Additionally a Diesel is much more fun to drive. So both a really not comparable. The Diesel is a car that is fun on the street. Yes … modern diesel engines are refined and quick. And with the proper technology they are also clean to meet the emission standards.

    Even so … did some of you ever think about the costs and the energy that is needed to produce a hybrid car (I am thinking especially of the batteries here). Also there are much higher recycling costs. Toyota claims that the batteries will last as long as the car (12 years). Most of the cars I have a long past these 12 years and still run (Peugeot 205 GRD (1986), Mercedes 190 (1993)).

    So bottom line: The Diesel wins hands down. And if you look at the the sales in Europe you will see that most people are able to do the math.

  • avatar
    austinseven

    Dearer?? Without batteries or an electric motor, or regenerative brakes? I think not. Not in the long run.

  • avatar
    Diewaldo

    OK, in Germany the Prius is available for 25.150 €. The Golf Bluemotion is said to start around 22.000 €.

    So it isn’t dearer, it is cheaper. However I don’t know the exact impact of the Dollar-Euro exchange and such.

  • avatar
    virages

    The mileage in the new Golf is sure to be class leading, but I, for one, am waiting with anticipation for the new Impreza diesel. I’ll sacrifice a few mpgs for some interesting mechanicals. Boxer Deisel, 150hp and AWD! That’ll be a hoot!

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    (Sigh) I am trying to stop commentating on posts now. But, I had to make an exception.

    Vega: Hybrids, although falling short of the stating figures, regularly exceed 45mpg. Which beats (or at least matches) the Bluemotion technology. As for not being “fond of VW”, you must have missed the part where I said “Well engineered”.

    Diewaldo: Firstly, “a diesel being more fun to drive” is subjective and therefore, pointless. Secondly, hybrids in town driving are far superior to diesels. Not only in mpg, but emissions. When a diesel is running in town driving, it is still pumping out, CO2, CO, HC etc and burning more fuel. Whereas a hybrid emits nothing as it is running on the battery. Finally, if we were to use your metric of the diesel sales in Europe to being “better”. Then, hybrid sales trounce diesels in NA and Japan, so therefore, hybrids are superior to diesels (Unless Europeans’ choices are more valid than others?).

    Austinseven: A diesel may not have batteries, an electric motor or regenerative brakes, but don’t forget the extra engineering that goes into making a diesel engine (diesel engines need extra re-inforcment since, diesel combusted more violently than petrol), the diesel particulate filter and Urea compartment to neutralise the NOx fumes (if they’ll put it on this model).

    The base model of the Golf Bluemotion is cheaper. But, once you spec it to the standard of the Toyota (and in some cases you can’t have some of the stuff you get as standard on the Prius) then, the Golf works out more expensive. That’s not even taking into account of how diesel is about 15% more expensive than petrol (thus, eating into the benefit of diesel). Finally, the Prius technology is 4 years old, in comparision to VW’s Bluemotion technology. Let’s wait, until next year when the new Prius comes out and let’s compare and contrast again.

    For the umpteenth time, I don’t dislike diesels, in fact, my next car may be a diesel.

    P.S. Vega, please don’t use phrases like “…just a commenter”.

  • avatar
    Diewaldo

    @Cammy:

    The Bluemotion is not using any new technology. Also the previous Golf V was also available as a Bluemotion model, such is the Passat over here.

    Ford and Opel are also offering similar vehicles, the Ford Focus ECOnetic and the Opel Astra ecoFLEX.

    I am driving an 2002 Opel Corsa ECO, which had the same tweaks done to reduce the fuel consumption, but this one has a petrol engine.

    The fact that more hybrids are sold in the US than in Europe … well that may be due to the fact that in most cars you don’t even have a choice to get one.

  • avatar
    Garak

    That’s not even taking into account of how diesel is about 15% more expensive than petrol

    in America. In Europe, Diesel is cheaper.

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    Garak

    I live in the UK and I can tell you now that diesel is more than 15% expensive than petrol here!

  • avatar

    don’t forget the extra engineering that goes into making a diesel engine (diesel engines need extra re-inforcment since, diesel combusted more violently than petrol)

    Huh?

    Diesel engines are far simpler than gasoline engines. Fewer parts on an order of magnitude since there is no ignition system and related timing. Why have they been the ICE of choice for long-life/demanding jobs such as ships, trains, pumps, construction equipment, etc? Because Diesels are simple and reliable. They do have to be made of stronger metal since they have very high compression ratios, (which is what I think you meant by the “combusted more violently” statement… which is just wrong by the way, compression != violence) but in the grand scheme of things Diesel is a much more basic ICE compared to an Otto Cycle gasoline engine. The “engineering” has been done a hundred years ago. The emissions stuff I’ll grant you Cammy, but that is all fairly recent, and still a whole lot less complicated than what goes into a petroleum/electric hybrid!

    As for fuel economy my real world TDI has consistently beaten both the EPA and the Euro economy estimates throughout its lifetime.

    –chuck
    http://chuck.goolsbee.org

  • avatar
    Vega

    @Cammy: I used the phrase “just a commenter” in a completely neutral way, only to describe the fact that you used to be a commenter and now you are a contributor AND a commenter.

    My usual attempts at being passive-aggressive or condescending are much less subtle than that.

  • avatar
    Diewaldo

    @ Cammy:

    Here in Germany Diesel is approximately 10 Cent cheaper than petrol fuel. But the tax on Diesel cars is much higher.

    Nevertheless … for people driving more than 15,000 km a year a diesel is more economical to run (depends on the size of the car and the fuel consumption of the comparable petrol car).

    If I remember the recent numbers for Germany correctly 40 % of all new cars have a Diesel engine.

    Just to put the numbers in perspective:

    Due to the new CO2 tax in France and the fact that Diesels have less C02 Emissions than petrol cars, 80 % of all sold cars have a Diesel engine now.

  • avatar
    Garak

    Cammy Corrigan :

    I live in the UK and I can tell you now that diesel is more than 15% expensive than petrol here!

    Yeah, it seems there are larger differences in fuel prices even in the EU than I realized. Somewhere diesel is more expensive, in other places it’s still cheaper. In Finland diesel is about 10% cheaper than gas, but you have to pay a yearly fuel tax.

  • avatar
    M1EK


    The Diesel cars beated it everywhere in terms of fuel consumption, even in the city and especially out of town.

    That’s funny, because every time we actually see an article which promises something like that, it ends up being that a very small diesel beats the midsize Prius at high-speed highway driving only; roughly ties it at moderate speed highway; and gets depantsed in the city.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Diesel engines are far simpler than gasoline engines. Fewer parts on an order of magnitude since there is no ignition system and related timing

    There is, however, an extremely high-pressure fuel rail, a strengthened block, a complex emissions system and–lest we forget–a friggin’ turbocharger and fairly complex ECU.

    Why have they been the ICE of choice for long-life/demanding jobs such as ships, trains, pumps, construction equipment, etc? Because Diesels are simple and reliable.

    The diesel engine in a train, ship, pump, truck, generator or eighties-vintage Mercedes 300D is not the same as a modern common-rail turbodiesel that has to meet Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions. Not even close.

    Diesel fans seem to forget this.

    Go ahead, try running a Mercedes E320 CDI or BMW EfficientDynamics engine on either straight veggie oil or the bunker fuel that powers diesel trains. Go ahead, I dare you. Call me when your injectors die.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Yeah, it seems there are larger differences in fuel prices even in the EU than I realized. Somewhere diesel is more expensive, in other places it’s still cheaper

    It’s cheaper in every country that hosts a company with either headquarters and/or a significant local stake in the manufacture of diesel engines.

    Why, what a coincidence!

  • avatar
    capeplates

    Drovew diesels for years but the latest trend of rising prices with diesel outstripping petrol has forced me into a switch- diesel is now a no no in the UK


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