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New generation VW Polo features more fuel-efficient engines and advanced driver assistance; Polo TDI BlueMotion with 73.5 mpg

The new Volkswagen Polo. Click to enlarge.

Volkswagen is introducing its next generation of the supermini (B segment) Polo, featuring a range of new EU6 engines that are up to 21% more fuel-efficient and new driver assistance technologies. All versions are available with a stop-start system and a regenerative braking mode.

The new Polo TDI BlueMotion takes the efficiency lead with combined fuel consumption of 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpgUS), or 82 g/km CO2. The Polo TSI BlueMotion, available starting this autumn, also marks the first time that a Volkswagen with a gasoline engine is being marketed as an independent BlueMotion model. The Polo TSI BlueMotion, equipped with a 1-liter, three-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine, delivers 4.1 l/100 km (57.4 mpgUS) and 94 g/km CO2.

Volkswagen has produced nearly 14 million units of the Polo over since its first introduction. The new Polo will go on sale this spring, first in Germany, then in most other European countries. The car will debut in Africa and Asia in the second half of the year.

Gasoline engines. All gasoline engines for Europe were converted to new three- and four-cylinder versions. The power levels at market launch are: 44 kW / 59 hp (indirect injection / MPI); 55 kW / 74 hp (MPI); 66 kW / 89 hp (direct injection / TSI) and 81 kW / 109 hp (TSI). Fuel consumption and emissions of the entry-level engine with 44 kW—in the version with a stop-start system and regenerative braking—were reduced from 5.5 l/100 km (42.8 mpgUS) and 128 g/km CO2 to 4.6 l/100 km (51.1 mpgUS) and 106 g/km CO2.

As previously, one of the gasoline versions of the latest Polo that will make its appearance in 2014 is a BlueGT version with cylinder deactivation (ACT – active cylinder management). The engine now outputs 110 kW / 148 hp instead of the previous 103 kW / 138 hp. There are also firm plans for a new Polo GTI. Here, engine power is boosted from 132 kW / 177 hp to 141 kW / 189 hp.

Diesel engines. Also new in the Polo are three direct injection three-cylinder turbodiesels (TDI); they now all generate their power from 1.4 liters displacement (previously 1.2 and 1.6 liters). The power range is identical to the previous model: 55 kW / 74 hp, 66 kW / 89 hp and 77 kW / 103 hp. The versions with 55 and 66 kW will be offered at market launch; the 77 kW version will follow with a schedule offset.

Increasing displacement to 1.4 liters from 1.2 liters leads to significantly improved drive-off torque and results in more harmonious torque and power curves, Volkswagen noted. Even in the 55 kW version, 210 N·m (155 lb-ft) of peak torque is already available at a low 1,500 rpm. The new three-cylinder engine also offers very good comfort properties. Technology implemented by Volkswagen to increase comfort include new engine bearings; the engines also have a balancer shaft and a dual-mass flywheel to also minimise vibration and noise. A newly designed engine cover and special oil pan facing shell contribute towards further reducing acoustic emissions.

The new generation of engines has improved TDI fuel economy significantly. For the 55 kW Polo TDI BlueMotion, Volkswagen has further reduced fuel consumption from the extremely good 3.4 l/100 km (69.2 mpgUS) to 3.2 l/100 km (73.5 mpgUS)—from 88 g/km CO2 to 82 g/km). Especially noteworthy is the excellent progress made in the Polo TDI with DSG and 90 PS. The new Polo with DSG and 66 kW has a fuel consumption of 3.4 l/100 km. Figures for the previous model were 4.3 l/100 km and 112 g/km CO2; this represents a 21% improvement in fuel economy.

Electro-mechanical steering. The newly developed electro- mechanical steering system is making its debut in the Polo. The compact system was integrated directly into the steering column. The system is operated with a steering gear (worm gear) that is driven by an electric motor.

Sport Select suspension. Volkswagen is offering electronically adjustable dampers in the Polo for the first time. They are the core technology of the new, optional Sport Select suspension. The basic tuning of this suspension is already sporty, but more comfortable than a conventional sport suspension. When the driver presses the “Sport” button (in the upper area of the centre console) this activates an electro-mechanical switching valve in the dampers which switches their tuning from this sporty yet comfort-oriented basic tuning to the stiffer characteristic of a sport suspension.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The system utilises a radar sensor integrated at the front end. The desired vehicle speed can be specified over a range from 30 to 160 km/h. ACC works with either a manual gearbox or with DSG (dual-clutch gearbox). In all Polo cars with DSG, when the vehicle ahead comes to a stop the ACC system comfortably brakes the Polo to a full stop as well. ACC maintains the prescribed vehicle speed together with a preselected distance to the vehicle ahead, and it brakes or accelerates automatically in flowing traffic. Drivers can individually vary the system dynamics by selecting a specific driving programme. If the new Polo is ordered with ACC, it gets the Front Assist ambient traffic monitoring system as well as City Emergency Braking. As an alternative, a module that includes Front Assist and City Emergency Braking may be ordered separately, i.e. without ACC.

Front Assist ambient traffic monitoring system. Front Assist utilizes a radar sensor integrated at the front end to continually monitor the distance traffic moving ahead. Front Assist aids the driver in critical situations by first preconditioning the braking system and outputting visual and acoustic warnings to inform the driver. In a second stage, it emphasizes the need to react by a short warning jolt of the brake.

If the driver brakes with insufficient pressure, the system can generate a braking pressure that is necessary to avoid a collision, which may be significantly higher. If the driver does not react at all, Front Assist brakes automatically—if necessary until the Polo reaches a standstill. The system also assists the driver by warning if there is insufficient distance to the vehicle ahead. One component of Front Assist is City Emergency Braking.

City Emergency Braking. City Emergency Braking is a system extension of Front Assist. It monitors the space in front of the Volkswagen by radar sensor. The system operates at speeds below 30 km/h (18.6 mph). If the driver does not react in a situation with an impending collision with a vehicle ahead that is moving or stationary, then the brake system is preconditioned as in Front Assist. If necessary, City Emergency Braking then automatically initiates hard braking to reduce the severity of the accident. In addition, the driver is assisted with maximum braking force if the pedal force by the driver is insufficient.

Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. A technological highlight of the new Polo is the standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. After a collision, it automatically brakes the vehicle to avoid secondary collisions or reduce their severity.

The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is triggered when a primary collision has been detected. It assures controlled handling of the car by the driver, even in case of automatic braking. The driver can “override” the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System at any time. The system is deactivated, for instance, if it recognizes that the driver is accelerating. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is also deactivated if the driver initiates hard braking with greater deceleration than the system deceleration.

Driver Alert System. The Driver Alert System detects waning concentration of the driver and outputs an acoustic warning for a duration of five seconds, and a message appears in the instrument cluster recommending a break from driving. If the driver does not take a break within the next 15 minutes, the warning is repeated once.



Is this another step towards the impossible 100 mpg ICEV?


This is a car that is difficult to buy on the used market with such a high quantity of different output power engines.


In the Midwest Polar Vortex, my 25 mpg car seems to be getting under 15 mpg - even garaged.

A Polo TDI BlueMotion with 73.5 mpg sounds GOOD.


Gorr...can you explain?


It is a lot of technology for such a small car - the problem will be to keep the price down while maintaining the fuel economy. Also, too many gadgets tends to increase unreliability and complexity.

+ what mpg will people really get ?


My PHEV is averaging 109 MPG even in the polar-vortex weather (using every trick in the book to keep the engine off).  A few extra tweaks like an electrically-charged heat battery for defrost and the engine would be used even less, and if chargers were ubiquitous it would only be used when going out of town.

The 100+ MPG car is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet.


@ HarveyD, if you buy it used it is more difficult to equip it with the engine you want as there is many different engine configuration. A lot of time the option are badly explained in used car ads.


With millions on the market place, that should not be a long lasting problem?

VW is now number two (next to Toyota and ahead of GM) and may be number ONE by 2015. There will be plenty of used Polo to pick from.


No system of mileage estimating can account correctly for all the variances in driving operators, geographical differences, and temperature differences. So all are wrong. They may be useful however, as a relative Figure of Merit when comparing two vehicles using the same estimator, but that is all.

But some are more Wrong than others. The worst or most optimistic is the European estimator.

The European mileage figures are very unrealistic. Europe's mileage estimator is very optimistic.

In the USA there are two mileage estimators in use. The CAFE estimator that is about 35-40% tighter than then European estimator; and the EPA window sticker estimator, which is 15%-20% tighter than CAFE, or almost 50% tighter than the European estimator.

In these Press clippings the PR types take the European estimator's highly dubious results, and simply convert to US mpg. Then they compare apples to oranges and criticize vehicles that were measured using a tighter estimator.

That is pure Garbage In Garbage Out, statistical lying, that fools no one except the over-schooled but under-educated, non-scientists that post here.(E-P excepted)

Probably because it reinforces their disdain for all things American, and the fervent belief that equivalent technology done elsewhere in superior, somehow. Such is not always the case, our emissions technology is superior to any in use elsewhere, and we have been at it much longer.

By the time Europe fully implements EU VI, equivalent to T2B9, America will have tightened from current T2B5 to T2B2 for all LDVs. That T2B2 emission level was expressly created to measure the emissions from BEVs.

Vehicles that meet T2B2 are classified as ZEVs, or Zero Emission Vehicles, and essentially pollution free.

ICE vehicles meeting T2B2, post 2017, will actually be better than EVs, since the ICE acts as an air pump, sucking in dirty air, cleaning it, and exhausting cleaned air into the atmosphere, as it runs. While an EV does no such cleaning activity.

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