Volkswagen is constantly searching for ways to bring fuel-efficient options to the midsize Passat - a smart strategy considering it competes in one of the most popular vehicle segments. You can already opt for a diesel-powered TDI model, but the new VW Passat BlueMotion Concept hints at a future technology to improve fuel economy without resorting to hybridization.

Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show today, the BlueMotion Concept uses cylinder deactivation to turn the Passat's 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injected engine from an inline four-cylinder to a straight-twin. VW claims that this is the first application of cylinder deactivation on a four-cylinder engine, and it shuts down cylinders two and three when possible for optimal efficiency.

Adding in stop-start technology and the dual-clutch transmission, VW says that this car will get an estimated 42 miles per gallon on the highway. That's almost as efficient as the Passat TDI, but overall power figures are down considerably compared to that car with 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

The full press release from VW is posted below, but it isn't clear if – or when – such use of this tech could make it into production.
Show full PR text

- Estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg
- Highly efficient powertrain uses 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine and DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission
- Engine is world's first inline four cylinder with cylinder deactivation

Chattanooga/Detroit - The Passat BlueMotion® Concept that is being presented by Volkswagen of America at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit shows just how fuel-efficient a non-hybrid, gasoline-engined mid-size sedan can be. Based on the current Passat that was developed specifically for North America, the BlueMotion label defines the version that has the best efficiency in the model lineup.

The Passat BlueMotion Concept features an all-new version of the Volkswagen 1.4-liter EA211 TSI® engine with direct injection and turbocharging. On top, this Passat also offers Active Cylinder Management (ACT) technology, previously seen on the European Volkswagen Polo and Golf models. ACT deactivates the valvetrain on cylinders two and three for situations when the driver only applies light throttle pressure to maintain specific city speeds.

Another Volkswagen innovation that helps save gas is the coasting function, used also on the Jetta Hybrid. As soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the DSG® transmission decouples the engine, allowing the Passat to roll with the lowest possible mechanical drag from the other moving components.

Additional fuel savings come from the stop/start system, which shuts off the engine when the car comes to a temporary stop. As soon as the driver lifts their foot off the brake, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine starts again. All these measures result in a manufacturer estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg. The Passat BlueMotion Concept also delivers 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.

The Concept's striking Reef Blue Metallic color will be introduced on other Passat models, too. The interior of the Concept also offers two-tone seats that carry blue dividing lines between the darker and lighter leather seating surfaces. The stitching indicates this is a member of the BlueMotion family, which has been rolled out globally since 2006 on many highly fuel-efficient Volkswagen models.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Alex Rodriguez MacFa
      • 11 Months Ago
      Its design department needs to be running on all 8 cylinders !
      • 11 Months Ago
      >>>"That's almost as efficient as the Passat TDI, but overall power figures are down considerably compared to that car with 150 horsepower..." The TDI has 140hp, somewhat less than the 150hp 1.4t.
      • 11 Months Ago
      Wagon wheels... looks like aftermarket 90's car with 24" wheels:
      • 11 Months Ago
      Probably a stupid question but if cylinder deactivation improves mpg on gas engines to almost diesel levels, why not use it on diesels to achieve even better results?....maybe I'm not getting something
        • 11 Months Ago
        Diesel is much more difficult to use start/stop or cylinder deactivation because of how diesel engines are engineered and emission issue.
          • 11 Months Ago
          Thanks...makes sense...just seemed to easy so figured I was missing something
      Peter Kel
      • 11 Months Ago
      Not actually the first four cylinder with cylinder deactivation, in fact 32years too late. See mitsubishi 4g12 modulated displacement (md) in 1982 or mivec md in the 90s
      • 11 Months Ago
      My sixteen year old showed me how to do permanent cylinder deactivation on our 98' VW.
      • 11 Months Ago
      A gas turbo-4 sees 40+? Who would of thunk it?!
      • 11 Months Ago
      Not green enough. Make a "clean" coal version and I'll buy. /S
        • 11 Months Ago
        Will it be green enough when all cars make sub-150hp like Mazda is heading?
          • 11 Months Ago
          make them light enough and it won't matter. Look at Motorcycles - 150hp will get you 10 second quarter miles all day long. I'm not saying cars will ever be that light (even with CF) but get them light enough and 150hp won't be that bad. (Look at an MR2 - 150hp and 2100 lbs and I have tons of fun in autocross. It's not the fastest in quarter or drag racing but it's not prius / civic slow either)
      • 11 Months Ago
      Similar peak power but twice the operating rpms, guess who win the highway passing sprint versus TDi?
      Actionable Mango
      • 11 Months Ago
      Where's the Crossblue? They really need to make that.
      • 11 Months Ago
      As VW continues beating that dead horse.
      Joe Genna
      • 11 Months Ago
      VW needs to add basic things first like memory seats and better power seats should also have more models with 4wd. Some of their models are pricy and should have this to compete.
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