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2011 VW POLO BlueMotion: Embrace Your Inner Diesel

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On: Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 10:37AM | By: Clay Ritchings

2011 VW POLO BlueMotion: Embrace Your Inner Diesel

We have all seen the rise in popularity of such cars as the Prius, Toyota's stab at a fuel efficient eco-friendly car that, because of a drag coefficiency, has a “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” label attached. Let us not forget the Honda Insight; actually produced and available to the public way before Toyota pumped out any Prius from their factories. These are two examples among many Hybrid vehicles available today that squeeze as many miles out of a gallon of gas as technically possible and reign champions to the penny pinching public… that was until the VW Polo BlueMotion came along.

The Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion (BlueMotion is VW’s name for its line of hyper-frugal diesel vehicles) and is simply one of the most efficient cars on the market today.

The Polo BlueMotion is powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo-diesel derived from the 1.6-liter TDI four-cylinder available in the Golf BlueMotion and Passat BlueMotion models. It's equipped with a stop/start system that turns off the engine when stopped and restarts it when the driver requests movement. Revs at idle are reduced, and regenerative braking recovers wasted energy when coasting or decelerating. Helping with efficiency, the Polo BlueMotion incorporates a lot of weight-saving technology and comes in at about 2400 pounds. That's considered lightweight these days.

Why diesel? I know that consumers in the U.S. haven’t really embraced the diesel engine in the family trucksters (unless it’s in a big work truck with gun racks), but today’s diesel cars are much better than the black smoke-spewing slugs you hated to be stuck behind in the past. With gas prices hanging over our heads like a dark cloud, we need more efficient vehicles on the road, and today’s diesel can deliver. By using higher compression ratios and higher combustion temperatures, diesels operate more proficiently. Consequently, diesel vehicles attain better fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts. This gas mileage advantage is enhanced because a gallon of diesel fuel contains about 10% more energy than a gallon of gasoline. Both of these factors help modern direct-injection diesels achieve roughly 50% higher fuel economy than their gasoline counterparts.

In the company of VW Polo Bluemotion the hybrids like Toyota Prius and Honda Insight are looking like sinners. Both of these hybrids are simply dirtier than VW Polo Bluemotion with more than 100 grams of CO2/km. The Polo BlueMotion has both quick reacting oxidation catalytic converter and a diesel particulate filter to accomplish this feat.

Imagine an everyday driver that squeezes over 70 miles from every gallon of fuel. This isn't an exotic prototype hybrid or experimental future car, we're talking about a production car that is made today, and made cheaper than the expensive hybrids.

Want one? Unfortunately the U.S. consumer does not offer enough Fahrvergnügen for VW because the Polo BlueMotion is not available in the states, but it is likely we will get the Polo at some point, probably as a four-door sedan. And if the Polo jumps across the pond, I hope that we are not relegated to a gasoline engine and deprived of the diesel.

In the meantime, consider a Volkswagen Golf TDI if European flavor and lofty fuel economy are on your shopping list … embrace your inner diesel.

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