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VW sits tight on Passat BlueMotion

Mid-sized miser: Volkswagen Australia is undecided about whether it will introduce the fuel-sipping Passat BlueMotion to Australia.

Golf BlueMotion to set the trend for other VW diesel fuel misers, including Passat

Volkswagen logo8 Jun 2011

By RON HAMMERTON

VOLKSWAGEN will wait and see how its first fuel-saving BlueMotion diesel model sells in the Golf range before considering extending the full-blown BlueMotion technology to the mid-range Passat in Australia.

Just launched in right-hand drive form in Britain, the 1.6-litre Passat BlueMotion – powered by the same 77kW TDI engine as the BlueMotion Golf – uses idle-stop, improved aerodynamics, low-rolling resistance tyres and battery regeneration to slice fuel consumption to 4.2 litres per 100km and cut CO2 emissions to 109 grams per kilometre in sedan guise.

This is 1.5L/100km or about 26 per cent better than the most efficient Passat currently sold in Australia, the 2.0-litre 125TDI diesel (5.7L/100km).

Volkswagen Group Australia general manager for press and PR Karl Gehling told GoAuto that the company had no plans to add the 1.6-litre Passat BlueMotion to the seventh-generation sedan and wagon range that has just been launched in Australia.

“At this stage we are just concentrating on the Golf BlueMotion and waiting and seeing how that goes before we would consider anything else,” he said.

3 center imageFrom top: Australian Passat 125TDI, Golf BlueMotion, Passat CC.

Mr Gehling said a case might be made on price, but it would depend on projected customer demand.

In the UK, the 1.6-litre BlueMotion diesel has been priced at 19,875 – 4770 or almost 20 per cent cheaper than the UK-spec 2.0-litre Passat 125TDI.

If the same price gap could be achieved here, a manual-gearbox 1.6 BlueMotion could become the cheapest diesel Passat by more than $8000, landing in showrooms at about $35,000-$36,000.

This would even undercut the current entry-level Passat, the $38,990 1.8-litre petrol 118TSI, although that model has automatic transmission as standard.

BlueMotion owners would need to make some sacrifices, with acceleration from zero to 100km/h quoted at a modest 12.2 seconds.

The car also rides on steel wheels, apparently to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics. Other wind-cheating features include a redesigned grille and a smoother underbody.

Bragging rights would include CO2 emissions of just 109g/km for the sedan (113g/km for wagon) – 40 per cent better than the hybrid Camry’s 142g/km.

VW says the Golf BlueMotion, which is just now starting to arrive in Australian showrooms, can achieve up to 1477km on a single tank.

This week, VW launched a “BlueMotion Technology” version of the Passat CC, with idle-stop and regenerative braking to help cut fuel consumption.

Falling short of the full BlueMotion treatment, the technologies are applied at no extra charge on the 125TDI Passat CC, priced at $54,990.

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