• May 1st 2010 at 1:25PM
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Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion – Click above for high-res image gallery

Volkswagen has officially unveiled a new three-cylinder turbodiesel engine at the annual Vienna Motor Symposium. The new 1.2-liter engine features the same common-rail fuel injection systems and basic architecture as VW's 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter inline fours.

The new engine produces 74 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque at just 2,000 rpm. When VW unveiled the new Polo at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, a concept version of the next generation Bluemotion model was shown with this engine. The three-cylinder Polo is expected to be rated at 71.3 miles per gallon (U.S.) and 87 grams / kilometer of CO2 emissions on the EU combined test cycle. The new 1.2-liter Polo Bluemotion should debut later this year.

[Source: Volkswagen]


31st International Vienna Motor Symposium:
Volkswagen presents new 3-cylinder turbodiesel

Experts discuss the future of powertrain technologies

Wolfsburg, 29 April 2010 - Along with the presentation of a new 3-cylinder TDI, Volkswagen will be represented by a contingent of engine experts at the 31st International Vienna Motor Symposium. Its presentations in front of an international audience of engineers will focus on top values in CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency. However, another key issue that will be addressed is what conditions are crucial to achieving market penetration of alternative drives.

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Steiger, Head of Future Technologies in Group Communications, deals with such technical, societal and political requirements. In his lecture today in Vienna, Steiger explains: "Attitudes toward mobility are changing – not least of all due to the effects of the economic crisis and climate change – and are moving toward a sustainability perspective. Political entities around the globe react very differently to these issues, but they nearly always end up focusing on the promotion of electric mobility."

Steiger adds that long distance and freight transportation will continue to rely on internal combustion engines with highly efficient drive systems in the foreseeable future, so a long period of coexistence can be expected between E-technology and classic internal combustion engines.

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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not astonishing they have the technology but they won't use it until they've sold every last drop of oil!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm against anything that isn't a straight-6. jk. But seriously, 3 cylinders is not an answer. There's such a thing as an optimum number of cylinders and a NOT OPTIMUM number of cylinders.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How long until this 3 banger becomes a beater? not long, I'll bet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        With it being loud, vibratory, and slow.. i'd say the beater factor comes preinstalled, lol.
      • 5 Years Ago
      where they'd fall flat is on the highway when it's time to change lanes. It'd be a problem with steep hills, or if you added a passenger to the car
        • 5 Years Ago
        Any Polo, even an old one like mine, will cruise quite happily at 90mph or so all day.
        On the Autobahn you are not stopping and starting all the time or accelerating, so there is no problem at all.
        Incidentally, one of the ways that Germany has engineered their highways so that they can be safely traveled at speed, and they are just as safe as other countries with lower speed limits per kilometer driven:
        'Surprisingly, the Autobahn is safer than U.S. highways. In 2001, the death rate there was 27 percent lower (0.59 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled versus 0.81 per million for the U.S. interstates), according to Rask.'


        One of the ways the German's engineer this aside from having well-maintained roads is to have strict limits to acceptable gradients etc. so driving a with a less powerful engine is less likely to cause problems than off the autobahn.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I was about to write...

        interestingly, germany is one of the few countries without a general speed limit on their highways.
        How can they go on their own roads with such cars?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It stuns me what some consider a big problem! They have obviously never driven an old van or commercial vehicle, or they live in very mountainous terrain!
        There is no problem merging on the highway, assuming you know how to drive sufficiently well to do that anyway!
        If you lived in a really hilly area then having a small engine is a PIA, but otherwise it is rarely an issue.
        In any case on these Bluemotion vehicles the issue is really that the gearing is deliberately high to aid economy rather than a lack of engine power, so you can always drop it a gear and put the pedal to the metal.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I been on the Autobahn man! Highest mph was 148 or 153, cant remember. i had to convert it from kilometers per hour. When your going that fast you have to watch out for the slow guys in the right lane. Sometimes they don't know how fast you are coming and they pull out in front of you. I had to throw out the anchor a few times because of that. There are many places on the Autobahn that have speed limits. I remember a traffic camera took a picture of me. I was not their long enough to receive a ticket, perhaps the rental company paid it.

        The Autobahn is not so much better than the American hwys. Americans could drive much faster on the our highways than the speed limit, much of it could be used like the Autobahn if the government permits it. I have no problem doing between 80 and a hundred on our hwys especially in the more desolate dessert areas. Lots of flat country and all curves not marked are pretty high speed curves.

        I have no problems merging onto the hwy with my 1-ton work van loaded down or the Yaris EV, both vehicles are 0=60 in approx 12 seconds. I meant I could beat that Polo in a race to 60 mph with my EV.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ev's are the coming thing, and diesels have their limits. Just the same at the present stage of technology even a Nissan Leaf could only accelerate a few times faster than the Bluemotion, and would rapidly run out of electrons cruising at 90mph, whereas the Polo would happily cruise across Germany.
        An EV is fine for commuting, but there is still only one choice for long distance travel.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The new Fiat 500 1.3 D gets 60 MPG and has 95 HP with its 2 cylinder 1.3L MultiAir variable valve control diesel. It also has a top speed well over 100 MPH so it probably should be a good freeway cruiser. People forget that Fiat licenses all of the small diesel MFG's to use the Common Rail Diesel configuration that enables all of this clean diesel technology. They also were the first to do commercially available variable valve technology.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not to be available in the United States?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Better gearing would probably ruin a bit of the fuel economy advantage over the more powerful 1.6 TDI. (Which still gets well over 60 mpg)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Read the review that mirko posted..
        Does not sound fun to drive at all.

        Maybe with better gearing.. it may... actually fly over here.. if we have a gasopocalypse.

        Till then, stick with the prius :p
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd still take the 60 with the revised gearing - a good six speed stick would help, wouldn't it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Add a couple of spoilers & some carbon fibre & would be great little grocery getter...Alfred-
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree that revised gearing would be best.
        The torque and horsepower numbers aren't all that bad.

        We'd be okay getting 50mpg instead of 60mpg.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Way to go VW!
      After a slow start the German industry is building up to a formidable response to our coming challenges.
      The Toshiba battery that VW is going to use is awesome, whilst they are making great progress in light weight construction, with BMW moving to volume production of carbon fiber.
      Meanwhile Daimler is getting access to Renault/Nissan expertise in EV's, and their small car experience.

      Meanwhile efforts are being co-ordinated on the electric vehicle front as is usual in their consensus-driven organizations:
      'When it comes to getting organized the Germans may just be the world’s pacesetters if not leaders. No less than 33 Fraunhofer Institutes are working together on the diversity of issues that surround “electromobility.” The goal is to help German companies speed up their pace of innovation. When it comes to the electric vehicles (EVs) it’s going to get very competitive, very quickly.

      Professor Ulrich Buller, Senior Vice President for Research Planning, points out, “We are working on all angles of electromobility: Designs, system integration, energy generation and distribution, storage technologies and a whole lot more. The expertise is uniquely available at the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and bundled into our consortium ‘Fraunhofer System Research on Electromobility.’” The EV race is on, no doubt now. Check the gentleman’s title – ‘Research Planning” – This writer is not aware of so much depth and breadth across the EV field in practical research anywhere else.'


      Meanwhile they are building an infrastructure for hydrogen delivery for fuel cell vehicles so that it will be perfectly practical to travel across Germany using them by 2015.

      Of course, companies like Daimler, VW and BMW do not have the expertise in car and engine building that many on this forum do, who obviously know not only all about the technology and all possible progress in it, but have privy access to all the research and development labs of all the companies concerned, or they would realize that they are completely wasting their time and the technology is completely ruled out, now and forever! :-)

      Perhaps only the French effort in post-oil mobility in Europe has more co-ordination and drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's such a ragbag of disparate points as to preclude effective response.
        Basically you appear to feel that the German's should have concentrated exclusively on batteries, and so don't much like anything else they do.
        No doubt they could have proceeded faster, but my basic point is that their consensus driven system often precludes radical action, but enables them to co-ordinate what they are doing effectively once they get started.

        On the off-chance that you don't know how France deals with nuclear waste and are not simply making a rhetorical point they largely reprocess it at Le Havre rather than leaving it in larger volume as is the practice in the US:
        '”If we do reprocessing and recycle, we can increase the capacity of Yucca Mountain 100-fold,” says Phillip Finck, a nuclear engineer at Argonne National Laboratory, in Illinois. Suddenly, instead of being crammed full on its opening day, Yucca Mountain would be able to handle everything the industry could throw at it until 2050 or beyond, staving off searches for additional Yucca Mountains.

        As it happens, there’s an ideal test case with which to evaluate that enticing proposition: France, which never backed away from nuclear energy and which has long relied on reprocessing as the linchpin of its power reactor fuel system.'


        As for the effectiveness of using nuclear power, here are the carbon dioxide emissions per capita by country:

        Nuclear France at 5.8 tons per capita is way less than 'green' Germany at 9.7, and to catch up the US would need to install a heck of a lot of solar as they manage over 19 tons per capita.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not only is Nissan/Renault spending heavily, so is PSA/Citroen, and also the French Government:
        'But now we have what is probably the biggest declaration so far – France is to invest 1.5 billion Euros to install up to 4 million recharging stations across the country and invest in car purchases and subsidies for manufacturers and consumers.'


        This is in addition to a commitment to spend around 1 billion Euros here:
        'The French Government's central purchasing authority, l'Union des Groupements d'Achats Publics (UGAP) has issued a call for bids and tenders for the group purchase of 50,000 electric vehicles.'


        EV has a point that it is rather difficult to see how the German's can feel that they are in the race to the electric car!

        I fancy the South Koreans to come up from the outside though - Hyundai has a lot of momentum, and the heart of the battery industry is in the East, as is the world's biggest car market, China.

        I just fancy a Polo with a lithium titanate battery though!
        • 5 Years Ago
        So I guess what your saying is... AC Propulsion's won't have to build EV components anymore for BMW and Daimler and all this testing is going to go on for the next ten years while they build a hydrogen infrastructure.

        The ebox does 0-60 mph in 7 seconds, seats four has a range or 150 miles, has fast charging capability and the ability to communicate to the grid. Yet everyone will be trying to catch up to the Germans, according to the Germans.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's what I have been warning for a couple of years. Here come the Germans with their revolutionary turbo diesel designs, that are going to knock the Prius off the top of the pile. Anyone not in the modern diesel business is going to get their ass kicked. Come on Detroit, you are doing it again! What is to stop the germans from putting this 1.2L TDI in an efficient hybrid and pushing the fuel efficiency up another 20 MPG? If you could buy a TDI hybrid with 90 MPG rating, You would see Detroit running around in circles, late, late again, running into each other and making more excuses, while the German auto makers run up to #1, #2, and #3 in world market share. This will seal the doom of GM and Fiat. How do you think a 40 MP Fiat 500 and a 40 MPG Fiesta is going to compete with a 90 MPG Golf?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Strang thow it may be. I take issue with the German propaganda machine in the link you provide. The author of the article would have me belive that no one is making progress in EV development like the Germans. In fact they are behind in EV development. It is good they are getting organized and some one is doing more than the green washing auto corps in Germany where EV's are concerned.

        It is good the federal ministry for education and research is funding 44 million for the institutes to develop EV related issues and give them to the German auto manufacturers, they need all the help they can get.
        "The federal ministry for education and research BMBF is funding these plans with a total of 44 million euro from Economic Stimulus Programs I and II."
        I hope they make advances, but to say, "the race is on", sorry but the racers left the starting line long ago. It is true countries of Korea, Japan and the US left the innovations up to the auto corps and corps they hired to do developments but many colleges have been working on what the Fraunhofer researchers will be working on. US colleges have been working on this stuff for years and been funded through grants. NASA has been working on battery management for years, however not for EV's. Why doesn't Germany get some large battery manufacturing plants going? Many of them have their own BMS.

        Germany is spreading itself to thin. Their going to go bankrupt with Spain, Portugal and Greece. Solar panels with weather like here in Portland, tisk, tisk. No wind some winters for their wind power. France! What is France doing with their nuke waste but burying it in the ground. They have no answers for dealing with there nuke wast. Do they? Wonder what some nuke waist would do if we accidentally dropped it into the Gulf of Mexico?

        I thought EV's where to hard for the Germans. Make a 3 cyl and slap a turbo on it is more their style. My EV can tie this Polo in a race to 45 mph. Here in the US we drive from light to light very fast because we are so busy (far more busy than Europeans) and it takes to much mental capacity to figure out that we will just have to wait at the red light. That, and the guy behind me is right on my rear bumper. Yes, I do let the guy behind me control my car. That, and gas is cheap over here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        'Americans have the most advanced and mature EV tech.'
        ??? The Nissan Leaf and the iMiEV are both Japanese, whereas the Tesla is a boutique car, although a nice one.

        I'd agree the German's are a bit stodgy rather than revolutionary, but they tend to screw their cars together well and get the details right.
        Peugeots look lovely, until they fall apart!
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's a pretty strange interpretation of what they are doing.
        The technology is not fully worked out yet, so they are pursuing a variety of options, including diesel hybrids, fc cars, and pure EV's.
        The main thing though is to produce the supporting technological base and the infrastructure.
        They are also looking into using biogas to some extent in their transport.
        They are producing skeleton frameworks of all the needed infrastructure, so that it can be speedily fleshed out as needed.
        A lot of the supposed conflict between fc's and battery EV's is entirely misconceived as both need many of the subsystems such as LED lighting, more economical air conditioning and non belt driven accessories.
        This is why the Volt is so expensive, and what is being developed by both French and German manufacturers.
        The French are placing greater emphasis on pure EV's, unsurprisingly as they have virtually free surplus night-time electricity from their nuclear plant, but a lot of the underlying engineering is the same.
        • 5 Years Ago
        All right so Germany the worlds third biggest economy isn't going bankrupt. California the worlds 8th largest economy is. CA is spreading itself to thin.

        The Frenches still cannot make ah, oh that thingy reactor, for reprocessing fuel, try as they may. Breeder reactor! They still have not been able to successfully build and run the breeder reactor. "the technology remains a tantalizing but only partial solution to the problem of high-level nuclear waste." Still using perox from 63 years ago (Manhattan Project). Remind me not to go to the Washington dessert. They tried reprocessing there and it did not work out. Hannaford is just up the hwy.

        I was just thinking out loud. No offense. Wonder what would happen if we dumped some nuke waist in the Gulf? Put it in their with the oil and develop some super lubricant.

        France releases some nuke water into the English channel, they like the strong currents, no one can measure their dumpings this way. Do you guys have three eyed fish in the Channel? We probably have some in the Columbia river.

        Take it easy Mr Martin, don't have a coronary. I am only goshing a bit. I see they are shrinking the waste down and some day they may get the breeder reactor perfected as now the US is working on the project again after 30 years. We should have a author write that the race is on, now that the US is working on reprocessing fuel rods and the like pertaining to nukes.

        That carbon chart per capita makes China look like a saint because of their population. Wonder what that chart would look like if they did it according to land mass instead of population? Of course China has a large land mass. Take only the population that benefits from the industrialization and lives in the industrialized places in China and China would suck realy bad. In other words don't count all the peasant farmers who have no electricity. Apply the same to the USA and we would blow China away as over 99% of Americans use electricity. Cheap goods produced by China with factories that implement no pollution controls wich in turn keeps those corps coming back to China for manufacturing jobs, or gerbs as they say on South Park.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "What is to stop the germans from putting this 1.2L TDI in an efficient hybrid"

        They could just copy the USA designs a decade ago for the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. "GM created the 80 mpg Precept, Ford created the 72 mpg Prodigy, and Chrysler created the 72 mpg ESX-3." Probably exaggerated MPGs and based on the old EPA testing methodology, but still.

        The Germans are funding about $60 million USD of research, which I think is about comparable to USA "Vehicle Technologies Program" (the latest name for US CAR, USABC, etc. programs?) More significantly, the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program administered by the DoE can loan up to $8000 million USD for *building* cars. Meanwhile Nissan's spending dwarfs everybody else: "Ghosn’s Renault-Nissan alliance plans investments in electric cars and batteries exceeding 4 billion euros [$5300 million USD] from 2007 through 2011."
        • 5 Years Ago
        It sounds like you have had a good Saturday night!
        • 5 Years Ago
        EV superhero has a valid point.

        The Germans are always boasting with their chest out about how special their engineering's supposed to be but out in the real world the only things they have are storied brands, a few gadgets, and the guts to put out some TDI type diesel engines.

        The real advanced drive train tech belongs mostly to the Japanese and the Americans. Americans have the most advanced and mature EV tech. Japan has the most advanced and mature hybrid tech with Americans a close second. Heck, the Americans and Japanese even have the most advanced Hydrogen Fool cell (pun inteded) tech. When you think about it, diesel TDI isn't particularly special either considering that Ford and GM already have DI and TDI gasoline engines that even make muscle cars get 30MPG.

        Sorry to blaspheme the false religion of "German Engineering" but those are the facts.

      • 5 Years Ago
      There's a nice review here:

      It's not in English, but numbers speak for themselves. It's slow to accelerate(at 2:40 in the video) and it only has 155/70/15 tires.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You said, "it's not in English", so I figured, 'no problem, I speak German' and I click
        on the video .....and it's in Dutch !! oh well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is also low, so it will go around a corner when an SUV is busy tipping over!
        • 5 Years Ago
        155 wide? i know the car is very light, but that can't be good in the rain or in emergency handling maneuvers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If 0-60 in 12 seconds is considered dangerous, how come the govmt has not banned it?.. after all they regulate everything. Makes ya think. I think 75hp is plenty.

      For Gods sake, put 50lbs worth of sound insulation in the damn thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree with Sue. We need these types of cars. I see a decrease in off shore drilling and with an economic recovery demand for oil will go through the roof....as will gas prices.
      • 5 Years Ago
      VW Golfs in Europe have been getting 20 or more MPG than their American counterparts for decades. They've always had the technology to give us better mileage per gallon over here in the States. But they do not. Why? Politics and oil companies...
      • 4 Years Ago
      i would love to have one of this cars here in the u.s.a. 70 mpg i want one not the cars we have now no good. thank you larry from az u.s.a.
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