A production-ready concept of the all-new Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion has been unveiled in Paris, previewing the diesel-powered small hatch that looks set to become the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle on the market.
The new Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion concept – the most economical Golf in history – uses just 3.2 litres of fuel per 100km and emits only 85 grams of CO2 per kilometre, making it 15 per cent more fuel efficient and 14 per cent cleaner than the previous second-generation Bluemotion variant based on the outgoing Golf Mk6.
By comparison, the petrol-electric Toyota Prius hybrid consumes 3.9L/100km and emits 89g/km CO2.
Under the bonnet of the third-gen Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion sits a brand-new 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 81kW of power and 250Nm of torque – the latter figure maintained between 1500-2750rpm.
The new engine incorporates a number of efficiency-enhancing measures including reduced internal friction, thermal management system with shortened warm-up phase, exhaust gas recirculation and a cylinder pressure sensor, as well as an oxidation catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter to control emissions.
The car itself is significantly lighter than the old Bluemotion, with 37kg cut from the body and 26kg shaved from its running gear, while ultra-low rolling-resistance tyres with higher air pressure, longer gear ratios for the five-speed manual transmission, stop/start technology, battery regeneration system and aerodynamic modifications all contribute to the more economical package.
Drag has been reduced by almost 10 per cent, and compared with other Golf Mk7 models, the Bluemotion feautres a 15mm lower ride height, lateral air guide elements on the rear window, a partially masked front grille and front air inlets, optimised cooling airflow with unique underfloor panels and a tailgate spoiler.
Volkswagen says the 50-litre fuel tank gives the Golf Bluemotion a theoretical range of 1561km, meaning owners who drive an average of 15,000km per year may potentially only need to refuel 10 times annually.
The Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion launches in the UK around the middle of 2013.
The seventh-generation Golf is set to arrive in Australia in the second quarter of 2013. Volkswagen Australia is yet to confirm the addition of the new Bluemotion to the line-up, although given it is available in the outgoing range, its inclusion sometime after the initial launch appears a no-brainer.