• May 1st 2010 at 9:01AM
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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 3-cylinder 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]
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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
      Sounds like a Prius killer, but none of these cool small hatchbacks never make it state side. If we only got the Polo TDI and Mini D
        • 5 Years Ago
        Prius is 89g/km CO2 (2g more) but is far cleaner in every other pollutant, has 60 more hp, four doors, and a hell of a lot more room inside.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Prius weights alot more, and why would I drive a car with 1000 lbs of batteries in my trunk when I can drive a car like this that has one motor instead of two. If I want a a bigger car for this task I will get a Audi A3 TDI.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I didn't know VW makes lawnmowers....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn, who needs a Honda CR-Z now?
        • 5 Years Ago
        No one the CR-Z is a utter joke as a performance car, OR green car.

        A Fit Sport gets better performance and mileage.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My car's gas engine only makes 70 HP. It will go the speed limit. Legally all you need. And what I expect and appreciate. 53 mpg is icing, too.

      Now, the new diesel looks nice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A peak of 74 horsepower would make me nervous. 71+ MPG would be nice. It sounds like only city drivers need apply.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sign me up (though I doubt it will be in the US anytime soon). Most of my driving is in the city anyway.
        • 5 Years Ago

        > Although EngineersView's comment is worded offensively,

        It was cause I'm tired of crowds of gullible people who fail to understand even the simplest aspects of motoring technology yet are the first to comment on that matter and even pass judgment.


        > Also, if you're looking to say that the Prius is faster,
        > well, I guess we'll have to see.

        You wanna see what?

        Toyota Prius III:
        0-62 in 10.5 seconds

        VW Polo 1.2 TDI BlueMotion
        0- 62 in 14 seconds (FOURTEEN)

        Both numbers are manufacturers data.

        > And this conventional ICE does better without the threat
        > of mass service cost, electronic grimlins killing ppl, and purchase price.

        You raised the level of dumbness up to eleven, dude. Not only the Prius is some 50% more efficient than comparable (size, performance) ICE engine car (so much for your "does better without the threat"), it also had brake override from the start. Unintended acceleration was and is just plain impossible with the Prius.



        > If you're looking to say that the Prius is a more functional,
        > sure, but isn't the priority of the prius fuel economy
        > and environmental awareness?

        Yep. That's why Prius emits 89 g CO2 (Polo does 87 g CO2), being just as energy-efficient and burning just as little crude oil that the slow diesel underdog, while packing twice the power, tons more space and some 40% better performance (see acceleration times).

        Have fun in your 14-seconds-to-62 car. Pack two adults in it and it will be 16 seconds. Just watch the lorry coming your way when overtaking. Better yet, don't overtake at all. May be tricky with a field mouse under the bonnet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't think there is much question that the prius is overall more efficient.
        It's clever recapturing of mostly waste energy and then time-shifting that energy back into the system is brilliant and functional.
        Some continue to claim this complexity will breed extra costs and dangers.
        But toyota has been doing it for about a decade now - and those ideas have been demonstrably shown to be untrue.

        Having said that, a lot of people don't need a larger car.
        The blue-motion does get better mileage.
        And will probably be cheaper to buy.
        And the use of a car is not just to race from 0 to 62 mph.
        The idea that people in such a car would all be dead from trying to drive around trucks is also demonstrably ridiculous.

        • 5 Years Ago
        @Dan - you may want to work on your basic math skills. the prius manages 72 IMP mpg, autoblog quotes 71 US mpg, thus this car will not have any problems providing better paper or real world fuel economy than the prius.
        • 5 Years Ago
        one please! put it in something big too. like a jetta wagon. give it a good 6 speed manual, and an easy 60mpg. i would love that. it would make up for the rest of the car being rubbish.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My '99 "New Jetta" had the ancient 2.0L four cylinder with 115-ish horsepower and a five-speed manual. It was only fun to drive above 50 MPH. That said, I truly enjoyed having that car. One novelty was that the tach and the speedo both pointed straight up at 80.
        • 5 Years Ago
        most of the commuter cars in Europe have 75-110hp. people use them to go to work and do their shopping (Europeans also shop less than Americans), not for drag races. fuel consumption, safety and comfort are are the most important things, power is the last concern for most of the people in Europe.
        • 5 Years Ago

        And you are missing the fact that it's a diesel car, and torque works in a different way than your standard gasolnie car does
        • 5 Years Ago
        Reading through the comments I realized some of Autoblog readers fail to understand even the most basic concepts of motoring. Funny such people call themselves "enthusiasts".

        Let's have a look at the subject.

        This Polo diesel does 71 mpg and 87 g CO2/km on European fuel economy test. The most efficient spec of the Toyota Prius does 60 mpg and 89 g CO2/km when subjected to the same procedure in order to ensure comparability.

        So the Toyota Prius is just as efficient in turning fuel chemical energy into motion (see the CO2 rating) and burns only a tad more fuel.

        Problem is:
        - Prius has TWICE the power, 140 net HP from the hybrid system vs comical 70HP from this poorly endowed diesel
        - Prius is TWO classes larger (Polo is the size of Yaris)

        It makes the Polo look like an utter joke.

        Also, driving a modern 70HP car, additionally numbed by elongated gearing (perfect performance and response killer), means that simple overtaking of a lorry, something pretty common when commuting, will take more than a minute. This makes it suitable only for those who want to die in a fierce head on crash.

        Additional remarks:
        1. Someone above quoted engine power only in a hybrid system, instead of the net system power. I don't know whether he was plain dumb or just frustrated but I'm not going to investigate the matter.

        2. Another one was mumbling about some diesel torque number. Diesel engines reach peak power at around 4k RPM while gasoline ones pull up to 6k+. This means diesels need to be geared about 1.5x higher. So before making any torque comparisons, diesel torque has to be divided by some said 1.5x factor to be in any way meaningful.

        This is pretty obvious when one looks at the elementary torque vs power formula.


        Considering torque without taking rev range (thus,gearing) into account is just pointless. Do "enthusiasts" comprehend this advanced differential equation above? This is one of the simplest and most elementary fact about internal combustion engines, yet for 95% of them it seems to be just out of reach.
        • 5 Years Ago
        74 is perfectly fine. We are not talking about a GTI but a commuter vehicle here. Typical hybrids are only 10hp more, and dont get near the MPG.
        • 5 Years Ago
        133ft/lbs, that's all that matters.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the series I scirroco only had hp in the 70s and that car was an utter blast to drive.
        Was it as fast off the line as a lot of modern cars?
        Would it be unsafe to drive due to lack of speed... not in the slightest.
        That thing would hit 70 in 3rd gear with a big smile on its face in no time...
        Loved that car.

        comfortable seats.
        fun to drive.
        ... the mono wiper too....
        • 5 Years Ago
        "74 is perfectly fine. We are not talking about a GTI but a commuter vehicle here. Typical hybrids are only 10hp more, and dont get near the MPG."

        The Prius has very nearly double that power.

        And gets better mileage.

        This is fail.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I honestly don't get the point you're trying to make. That the prius is....better? more fun?

        You, yourself, stated

        "Problem is:
        - Prius has TWICE the power, 140 net HP from the hybrid system vs comical 70HP from this poorly endowed diesel
        - Prius is TWO classes larger (Polo is the size of Yaris)"

        but you seem to have trouble associating those two "problems". It has twice the power, but being an "engineer", you must already understand that power is an arbitrary number seeing as you quoted the formula for it. So I don't get your point.

        Even with "TWICE the power", it has two classes more size and weight to move.

        I also like how you are comparing engine efficiency via co2 ratings, as if you didn't just quote the 60-71 mpg EU ratings. The thing about how well an engine is engineered, is that it has comparitively little to do with how efficient a vehicle is, as a whole.

        Engineers like numbers. You already hit them all. Perhaps you should give them another look. 72 mpg (or 71 as stated by you), 87 and 60 mpg, 89. Which of those looks better?

        Also, if you're looking to say that the Prius is faster, well, I guess we'll have to see. That has a lot do with the gearbox, tire size, weight, rotational mass, etc. doesn't it?

        If you're looking to say that the Prius is a more functional, sure, but isn't the priority of the prius fuel economy and environmental awareness? And this conventional ICE does better without the threat of mass service cost, electronic grimlins killing ppl, and purchase price.

        I don't think anyone is acting like this car is going to be 100x more fun to drive than a prius due to the gobs of power and torque. I think they're just assuring the figures are adequate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        74 hp would be fine, it tq that you need, The 1st TDIs had 90 hp and ran fine they had a good tq number. 133 tq is what or more than most small cars have now
        • 5 Years Ago
        Although EngineersView's comment is worded offensively, he does have a legitimate points about differences in diesel and gaoline engines and you can't look at them in a same way. Maybe these two articles would help people understand how comparing maximum torque-rpm figures from a diesel engine and a gasoline engine has little merit =).



        • 5 Years Ago
        People seem to miss the part that 133ft lb of torque is at 2,000 RPM!!!!!!!!!!! That is better than your Civic, Corolla, Focus, Prius, Fit and 95% of other small 4 cylinder economy cars. LEARN TO READ PEOPLE!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I need one of these.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My daily driver is a 1999 Chevy Metro, 1.0L 3 cylinder with 55 horsepower. I drive it 116+ miles a day round trip at speeds between 65 and 70 mph, all interstate. I average around 43 mpg with the AC on; it does fine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want this car! Bring it to the US, Volkswagen!
      • 5 Years Ago
      My first new car was an '87 Dodge(Mitsubishi) Colt with 67hp and 4spd manual. I got around fine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      VW, actually import these things this time and you'll own the "eco" market.
      All those mild-hybrids are a joke, give people in the US something that actually works.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Would be a nice city commuter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Prius is horribly expensive for what you get. Sure it gets excellent mileage but $25K nicely equipped??? The 500 Abrath will get close to 40mpg off boost, that's plenty.

      Extreme economy only comes into play in certain ways. For my mother for example a Volt would make more sense because her usual commute these days is less than 10 miles total. It would make more sense to plug-it-in when your not using it, how many times will you actually fill up the gas tank? The gas might be stale by the time you use any of it.

      The Leaf is just a bit too small, the Volt is closer to a more comfortable size.

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