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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.

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Cylinder deactivation is pretty easy to understand in, say, a V8 or V12, where not all the pistons need to be firing all the time. But cylinder deactivation on a four-cylinder engine? That's something new, and precisely what Volkswagen has in store for us at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

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Gavin Conway, writer for the Sunday Times, buckled into a Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion and embarked on a journey. This trip was not your typical Sunday jaunt, nor was it what we'd call a grocery run. Let's just say that Conway had Guinness World Record visions dancing in his head. Followed by independent representatives who verified the run, Conway and the Passat hit the French roads and never looked back.

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The EcoTour was a 7-day tour through nine European countries with 42 of the most fuel-efficient cars. The tour started 12 September in Barcelona, Spain, and finished 19 September in The Hague in the Netherlands. The target was burning the least fuel possible during the seven days. There were two winners for each day: one absolute, and one for each category, as well as a final global winner: The Seat Ibiza Ecomotive, which averaged fuel consumption of 3.80 l/100 km (61.90mpg U.S.), and was driven

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