U.K. Channel 4 test drives the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion
The Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion is already on sale in the United Kingdom where it claims the title of producing the lowest carbon dioxide emissions of any passenger car available there at just 102 g/km. The BlueMotion also takes the U.K. prize for highest fuel economy at a remarkable 72 mpg / 3.3 L per 100 km. But how does it do it?
Fuel efficiency improvements are made by reducing the weight of the BlueMotion over regular Polos, using higher gearing and reducing drag. Reducing the weight over the regular Polo appears to have been via leaving some of the more common creature comforts out - namely sound proofing, air-conditioning, electric windows, and the CD player - all of which are absent. The aerodynamics have been improved by using a smoother grill and front bumper, adding a small rear spoiler and fitting the vehicle with lightweight alloys fitted with low-rolling-resistance tyres.
Channel 4's Tom Bird had this to say about the performance, "It's also very slow. The official performance figures show a 0-62mph time of 12.8 seconds and a top speed of 109mph, but - as with all performance figures - they would be achieved with your foot to the floor and the engine at its least economical. In normal driving, with the driver exercising restraint, the BlueMotion just crawls and clatters along, with the high gearing discouraging anything resembling zipping about. Drive it with a very light foot, and I'm in no doubt that you could easily get 700 miles from the 45-litre tank, but you'd need the patience of a saint to achieve that."
Analysis: Bird went on to say that his real-world fuel consumption was a somewhat disappointing 47.5 mpg / 5.0 L per 100 km. It sounds like the trade-offs to achieve its remarkable environmental performance may be more than the regular consumer is ready to bare at this stage.
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