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VW Bluemotion wave begins

Blue is the new green: The Polo BlueMotion could take the Ford Fiesta Econetic's crown as most economical car in Australia if released here late next year.

Volkswagen commits to eco enhancements on all new models from now on

7 Oct 2010

EVERY new-shape Volkswagen passenger vehicle launched from now on in Australia will offer some soft of BlueMotion technology.

Beginning from about the second quarter of next year with the second-generation Touareg SUV and then the just-unveiled B8 Passat from the middle of 2011, at least one model in the range of every newcomer will include some sort of technology designed to cut fuel consumption and emissions, the company has announced.

This means that everything from Polo upwards will go ‘blue’. Eventually, that should include commercial vehicles such Caddy and Transporter.

 center imageFrom top: Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion, Volkswagen Touareg, Volkswagen Passat.

BlueMotion (‘Blue’ is the corporate colour but also stands for the elements needing protection such as water and air while ‘Motion’ embodies future direction in relation to saving the earth’s resources, Volkswagen explains) arrives almost five years after its European debut after a change of heart from the company’s Wolfsburg HQ.

“It wasn’t available to us until now because we were designated a hot country,” says Volkswagen Group Australia Press and PR boss Karl Gehling.

“The set parameters on the system that kept the BlueMotion out of Australia were mainly our country’s high ambient temperatures and air-con in traffic situations.

“These put heavy loads on the vehicle’s electrical system and so offset the benefit of BlueMotion.

“But then it was realised that BlueMotion will perform most of the time as it is designed to, and there are no problems in terms of the vehicles’ operations since the BlueMotion’s switch-off system is there to ensure that passenger comfort is maintained, and so here we are with BlueMotion for 2011.”

Right now there are two types of BlueMotion coming to Australia.

The first is BlueMotion Technologies – the application of one or more eco-focussed devices or actions that will cut consumption and/or increase efficiencies.

Most will have idle-stop technology that cuts the engine at idle to halt consumption, while others might also include low-resistance tyres, improved vehicle aerodynamics and a gear change-up/down indicator. Volkswagens with these eco measures will be badged as ‘BlueMotion Technology’.

The second is BlueMotion proper – minus the ‘Technology’ bit on the badge – that goes all out to be the ‘no fat’ ultra-eco halo model in the range.

Golf goes BlueMotion first in the middle of 2011, to give the popular hatch Prius-beating fuel consumption from its revised 77kW/250Nm 1.6-litre common-rail four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

For now this model is only available with a five-speed manual gearbox, but Volkswagen Australia is hoping that a DSG dual-clutch transmission might be ready in time for the Golf BlueMotion’s launch next year – although this is by no means a certainty, so the company is moving towards the Aussie release with the stick-shift anyway.

Along with the low rolling resistance tyres, multi-function computer display providing change-up or change-down arrows for the manual gearbox, and better airflow properties, the Golf BlueMotion features battery regeneration tech that redirects otherwise spent braking energy to recharging the battery, revised gearing for optimised fuel consumption, lighter alloy wheels, and improved lowered suspension settings.

A Polo BlueMotion is also on the cards to take on the leading Ford Fiesta Econetic. If it gets the green light, it may arrive as early as this time in 2011.

So why does Volkswagen offer two streams of BlueMotion anyway?“BlueMotion Technologies allows the customer to enjoy the benefits of the eco tech with DSG, and so will have a much higher take-up rate as the practical application of the efficiency technology,” Mr Gehling said.

“It also gives us an opportunity to educate the market of what the benefits of BlueMotion are across a wider range of vehicles.”

According to Volkswagen, BlueMotion is perceived as the number one automotive eco sub-brand in Germany, squeezing out BMW’s EfficientDynamics, Ford’s Econetic labelling, and others.

Some of the BlueMotion branding’s advertising harks back to the classic Volkswagen Beetle ads of the early 1960s, swapping the famous ‘Think Small’ caption with ‘Think Blue’.

Volkswagen BlueMotiontimeline:
Touareg BlueMotionTechnologyH1 2011
Passat BlueMotionTechnologyH1 2011
Golf BlueMotionmid-2011
Polo BlueMotionlate-2011
Volkswagen Commercialsfrom 2012

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