|The Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel.|
Volkswagen unveiled the dual-fuel Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel concept—a car powered by either natural gas or conventional gasoline—at the Geneva Motor Show. In mainland Europe the vehicle will be introduced in both saloon and estate bodystyles before the end of the year. Sales of the vehicle in the UK are yet to be confirmed.
The Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel is powered by a 1.4-liter TSI 110 kW (148 hp) engine running on either natural gas or gasoline. The engine features both a supercharger and a turbocharger operating sequentially to provide relatively high power outputs from a small capacity engine.
In order to allow the engine to cope with the additional loading encountered through the burning of natural gas rather than gasoline, the valves, piston rings and the pistons themselves are all uprated, while the turbocharger has also been replaced with a smaller unit. A new engine management computer controls the switch between conventional fuel and natural gas.
The natural gas is stored in a trio of tanks with a combined capacity of 22 kg mounted beneath the boot floor. This is supplemented by a 31-liter tank for conventional gasoline. Between the two tanks the Passat Estate TSI EcoFuel is offers a theoretical range of more than 490 miles.
The result is a non-diesel vehicle that meets the Euro 5 standards and provides greater fuel economy and lower emissions. The concept has a top speed of 130 mph and the capability to accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 9.7 seconds. In normal conditions the vehicle consumes 5.2 kg of natural gas every 100 km.