The modern obsession automotive manufacturers have developed with fuel efficiency in recent years has led to massive improvements in fuel economy figures and CO2 emissions across all fields. Automotive technology, which was once benchmarked by performance and power, is now measure in equal measure by efficiency.
At the cutting edge of this wave is Volkswagen with its BlueMotion Golf. BlueMotion is a regenerative braking technology and auto stop/start system you’ll find on all Volkswagens carrying the BlueMotion badge, but it is also the flagship Golf 7 in Volkswagens fleet when it comes to efficiency.
The previous generation Golf 6 BlueMotion was lauded for its fuel economy, now the Golf 7 1.6-litre TDI is capable, Volkswagen say, of returning a fuel economy figure of 3.2 L/100 km (in ideal conditions of course) on the combined cycle. And a CO2 figure of 85 g/km.
The Golf BlueMotion was previewed in Concept form in Paris last year and it was shown off again, but now in full production guise, in Geneva last month. By returning 3.2 L/100 km the Golf BlueMotion is now better than Volkswagen’s own three-cylinder Polo BlueMotion from 2010.
The Golf has a 50 litre tank and a theoretical range of 1 500 km. Providing power to the wheels is an 82 kW 1.6-litre TDI engine from the new EA288 family. The 16-valve engine delivers 250 Nm of torque as well.
Various weight saving measures (it’s now 63 kg lighter), engine tweaks (reduced engine friction), super low rolling resistance tyres, longer gear ratios in the manual transmission and specific aerodynamic modifications (amounting to 10% less drag) are to thank for the remarkable fuel efficiency.
The roof spoiler, lateral air guide elements on the rear window, a masked front grille and a 15 mm lower ride height all add up in this regard. This proves that sportiness and efficiency are in many ways grounded on both sides of the same coin.
Even if we take away the usual 15% discrepancy to get a figure more akin to real world driving, the Golf 7 BlueMotion is still near to the 4.5 L/100 km mark on the combined economy cycle and that is very impressive.