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VW Premieres New Golf Plus, Golf BiFuel (LPG) and Passat TSI EcoFuel (CNG) at Bologna Motor Show

The 7-speed DSG. Click to enlarge.

Volkswagen is staging the world premieres of the New Golf Plus and low-emissions Golf BiFuel with autogas (LPG) and gasoline drive at the Bologna (Italy) Motor Show (3-14 December). In an Italian premier, VW is showing the Passat TSI EcoFuel (earlier post). VW also introduced the Scirocco Studie R and Passat CC Individual.

Golf Plus. The new Golf Plus will be offered with five gasoline engines (59 kW / 79 hp to 118 kW / 158 hp) and four new turbo-diesel engines (66 kW / 89 hp to 103 kW / 138 hp). All engines are four-cylinder, all engines are charged starting at 89 hp, all engines fulfill the Euro-5 emissions standard. And with the exception of the base variants, any of the gasoline and diesel engines may be paired with a 6-speed or 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DSG). (Earlier post.) This signifies the retirement of the classic automatic with torque-converter lockup clutch in the Golf Plus and its replacement by DSG technology.

After the Golf, in early 2009 Volkswagen will also fully convert the Golf Plus over to common rail diesel engines with four valves per cylinder. The TDIs output 66 kW / 89 hp; 77 kW / 103 hp; 81 kW / 108 hp; and 103 kW / 138 hp. At launch, TDIs will be available with 81 kW and 103 kW. All diesels feature a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The 189 kph Golf Plus TDI with 108 hp consumes 5.1 liters fuel per 100 kilometers (46 mpg US) on average with CO2 emissions of 134 g/km. In the 2.0L Golf Plus TDI with 138 hp, fuel consumption is also 5.1 L/100km; 0.8 liter less than on the TDI with pump-nozzle technology. CO2 emissions have dropped from 153 to 135 g/km.

Golf BiFuel. The Golf BiFuel is factory-built for operation with autogas, which results in about 10% lower CO2 emissions compared to operation with gasoline.

VW says that the Golf BiFuel system offers two main advantages over aftermarket conversions. First, the car together with its fuel tanks is crash-tested as a total system. Second, the engine was specifically configured for LPG operation and is therefore more durable than engines originally configured as just gasoline engines.

In LPG mode, 1.6-liter 72 kW / 97 hp four-cylinder engine in the Golf BiFuel consumes 9.2 liters of LPG per 100 kilometers on average (149 g/km CO2). The autogas tank (41 liter effective volume at storage pressure of 8 to 10 bar)—with its space-saving installation in the spare wheel recess—and the 55-liter gasoline tank support a theoretical range of more than 1,100 kilometers (684 miles). In pure LPG mode, the car’s range is about 420 kilometers (261 miles).

Passat TSI EcoFuel. The Passat TSI EcoFuel, first introduced at the Geneva show earlier this year, is powered by a turbocharged direct-injection 1.4-liter TSI 110 kW (148 hp) engine running on either natural gas or gasoline. The Passat TSI EcoFuel is designed to be monovalent. Although the Volkswagen has a gasoline tank, it just serves as a fuel reserve. There are no plans for having a manual switchover from natural gas to gasoline mode.

The engine features both a supercharger and a turbocharger operating sequentially to provide relatively high power outputs from a small capacity engine. The natural gas Passat accelerates to 100 kph in 9.7 seconds.

With its monovalent focus, the turbo direct-injection engine was designed for natural gas operation. Since natural gas does not provide any supplemental lubrication and the pressures are greater, the valves, piston rings and pistons must be hardened or reinforced. At the same time, the turbocharger was made smaller, and special gas blow-in nozzles were integrated in the induction pipe. A newly developed control module manages the tuning and switchover between the two operating modes.

Fuel consumption for the Euro-5 compliant vehicle is 4.38 kilograms natural gas per 100 kilometers, with CO2 emissions of 119 g/km.

With the 22 kg of gas that is stored under the vehicle floor in three tanks plus 31 liters of gasoline, the Passat 1.4 TSI EcoFuel can cover a distance of nearly 900 kilometers (559 miles). By itself, the natural gas supply is enough for a range of 500 kilometers (311 miles).

Market launch of the Passat and Passat Variant TSI EcoFuel (with optional 7-speed DSG or standard 6-speed manual transmission) will take place in early 2009.

The 7-speed DSG offers improved fuel consumption and lower GHG emissions compared to other transmission options—even besting the manual. Click to enlarge. Source: VW

7-speed DSG. The new 7-speed automatic transmission is the first DSG for front-traverse installation. It is also the first with a dry sump. This not only saves considerable weight and improves the efficiency of the system but also makes the new gearbox more compact.

In the new 7-speed, the lower gears are more closely spaced, improving in-gear acceleration to aid in overtaking maneuvers, while the higher gears are lengthened to reduce loading on the engine and maximize economy. The maximum torque that can be transmitted is up to 250 Nm.



It all sounds good - and it looks like VW will be hitting their 130 gms/km target without too much of a problem.

This is important, because the VW group sells millions of cars, this is not some boutique company in Silicon valley - this is the real deal.

It is a pity the CNG cars do not have larger petrol tanks - this would give them longer range at virtually no extra cost.

For the 2020 CO2 levels (< 95gms), they can go for various levels of hybridisation.


"fully convert the Golf Plus over to common rail diesel"

"0.8 liter less than on the TDI with pump-nozzle technology"

Is this the same Gen 4 common rail that MB is using? If not, then there is even more potential to improove by going to Gen 4 common rail.

Henry Gibson

Natural gas combined with a gasoline tank for extended range is probably the cheapest fuel combination. It would be interesting to have the ability to fill the natural gas tanks with propane for even more range, but gasoline backup is good enough. Natural gas with propane backup using the same tanks would be also quite good. People can actually make and concentrate and compress natural gas at home from foods bought at the market. Honda has bought Phill and they, unfortunately are too big of a company to make a home gas production system; no distallation required. ..HG..

Max Reid

Is it possible to store CNG & LPG in 1 tank. If so, this option should be pursued since LPG is more commonly in many places.

Yes, there are 9 million CNG powered vehicles and 11 million LPG powered vehicles. Its time to move away from Petrol/Diesel world.

After hitting $40 / barrel, Oil prices may again increase to $75, since Saudis want to set that as the base price.

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