Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion Gets New 1.2L Three-Cylinder Diesel Engine (71 MPG U.S., 87g CO2/km)

vw polo diesel 71 mpg photo

Photo: VW

Bring It to North-America!

Once again, it looks like Europeans get the most fuel-efficient cars. VW has unveiled the diesel engine that will power its Polo Bluemotion and help it achieve a pretty impressive 71.3 MPG US, or 87 grams of CO2 per kilometer. The TDI engine has a displacement of 1.2-liter and loses a cylinder compared to its bigger TDI brothers.

See also: VW Debuts the Eco Up! Natural Gas Car (29% Less CO2 per Mile than the Prius)

vw polo diesel 71 mpg photo

Photo: VW

Proving that such internal combustion engines can meet current and future demands - with top values in reduced emissions - is the new 1.2l TDI with 3 cylinders in the Polo BlueMotion. Despite its relatively small displacement, the 1.2l 55kW / 75PS TDI engine can deliver a torque of 180 Nm at 2,000 rpm. The specification for the new 3-cylinder TDI called for the greatest possible dynamic engine performance with reduced displacement, maximum acoustic comfort and systematic weight reduction - without compromising the engine's thermodynamic efficiency. All of the advantages of a reduced number of cylinders - primarily reduced weight and friction power loss - are being exploited as well.

All that torque for a light car should make it very drivable around town, especially since Bluemotion cars usually get weight reduction tweaks. And if VW uses its 6 or 7 speed dual clutch transmission, it should do fine on the highway too (it's easier to keep the engine in its sweet spot when you have more gears).

While squeezing more efficiency out of the internal combustion engine is a good idea, what we really need are 1) alternatives to cars and 2) cars that are orders of magnitude more environmentally benign than what we have now (f.ex. an electric car made with recycled/recyclable materials in a zero-waste factory powered by clean energy, then the car is powered by clean energy during use, and at the end of its life the vast majority of it is recycled, including the batter - that wouldn't be perfect, but much better than what we have today).


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