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Volkswagen introduces new 1L, 3-cylinder gasoline Golf; 54.7 mpg

In Europe, Volkswagen has introduced the new Golf TSI BlueMotion featuring a new 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder with low fuel consumption of 4.3 l/100 km (54.7 mpg US) (99 g/km CO2)—more efficient than any previous Golf with a gasoline engine. (Volkswagen unveiled the model earlier this year at the Geneva show.) The new TSI engine also offers the highest specific torque of any large-scale production series gasoline engines: 200 N·m per liter displacement.

Despite its efficiency, the Golf TSI BlueMotion with the 85 kW / 114 hp downsized 999 cc EA211-series engine reaches 100 km/h in 9.7 seconds and goes on to a top speed of 204 km/h (127 mph). A 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG (with automatic gear changes) are available; both consume just 4.3 l/100 km.

Golf Comparisons
The maximum power of the three-cylinder engine—85 kW / 115 PS—lies just above the level of the Mk1 Golf GTI (110 PS from a 4-cylinder, 1.6L engine) introduced in 1975.
In terms of responsiveness and top speed, the 204 km/h Golf TSI BlueMotion surpasses the original hot hatch (182 km/h).
When it comes to fuel consumption, the new Golf TSI BlueMotion even beats the first diesel-powered Golf TDI BlueMotion (4.5 l/100 km).

Until now, the Golf BlueMotion was only available in diesel (TDI) and natural gas (TGI) versions. The Golf TSI BlueMotion (which can be ordered in Trendline and Comfortline trim levels) now extends the model range.

The Golf Estate and Golf Sportsvan are also launching TSI BlueMotion models. With a manual gearbox, the Golf Estate also consumes 4.3 l/100 km; with DSG the figure is 4.5 l/100 km (52 mpg). For the Golf Sportsvan, the figures are 4.5 (manual) and 4.6 l/100 km (51 mpg).

The 1.0L TSI overview. Volkswagen engineers set three primary objectives for the development of the 1.0 TSI (85 kW / 115 PS) compared to the already very good 4-cylinder 1.2 TSI (81 kW / 110 PS) with four cylinders: lower weight; reduced CO2 emission; improved driving dynamics.

The weight was reduced by 10 kg (to 89 kg / 196 lbs), and CO2 emissions were reduced by 10%. Torque was increased from 175 N·m to 200 N·m (148 lb-ft).

Another important goal was to attain the lowest possible level of engine noise. Based on the interplay of various internal engine modifications—i.e., without additional insulating materials—the team of engineers implemented acoustics that are on the level of good four-cylinder engines.


Highly advanced basic layout. The Volkswagen EA211 engine series served as the foundation for designing the new 1.0 TSI. EA211 refers to a family of advanced gasoline engines and incorporates both three-cylinder and four-cylinder engines. The EA211 engines made their debut in the small Volkswagen up! and progressively moved into car segments up to that of the Passat. Engine versions with 1.0, 1.2 or 1.4 liters of displacement—with or without turbocharging—are used, depending on the model series.

The engine in the new Golf TSI BlueMotion is the latest three-cylinder engine with turbocharging.

The engine’s maximum torque of 200 Nm is available from a low 2,000 rpm; this figure remains constant up to 3,000 rpm. 200 Nm is considered a top value for a three-cylinder engine. The engine provides 175 N·m (129 lb-ft) of torque to the front axle at just 1,500 rpm—one reason why this engine’s performance is so dynamic.

The turbocharged gasoline engine with its 10.5:1 compression ratio enables both cruising in high gear—thanks to the maximum torque being available at low revs—and quick upshifting from lower gears at higher rev levels. The turbocharged engine develops its maximum power of 85 kW/115 PS between 5,000 and 5,500 rpm.

Crankshaft group has low mass and low friction. The crankshaft group—crankshaft, pistons and connecting rods—is distinguished by low moving masses and low friction. The aluminium pistons and forged connecting rods were weight-optimized such that the 1.0 TSI can do without a balancer shaft. The total weight of the crankshaft was also reduced by 6% by reducing the weight of the crankpins.

Four counterweights reduce internal forces in the crankshaft, which in turn reduces loads on the crankshaft main bearings. Very small-sized yet extremely robust crankshaft main bearings and connecting rod bearings make a significant contribution towards reducing friction in the new engine.

Exhaust manifold integrated in cylinder head. Another very high priority item during the development phase was thermal management. The exhaust manifold of the 1.0 TSI has been fully integrated into the cylinder head (four valves per cylinder) and fitted with a separate cooling jacket to make the best possible use of exhaust gas energy during the warm-up phase and to cool the exhaust gases even more effectively at high loads.

On top of that, Volkswagen engineers designed a dual-loop cooling system. By using an additional thermostat, the coolant temperature in the cylinder crankcase is regulated to a higher level than in the cylinder head. This offers benefits in terms of internal engine friction, which in turn have a positive effect on fuel economy.

Cooling and heating. The base engine is cooled by a high-temperature loop with a mechanically driven coolant pump, while a low-temperature loop, powered by an electric pump, circulates coolant to the intercooler and turbocharger housing as needed. The passenger compartment is heated by the cylinder head circulation loop, so that it warms up quickly like the engine.

Small turbocharger. The design of the exhaust manifold enabled the use of a compact and lightweight single-scroll compressor with an electric wastegate actuator. This wastegate actuator performs the crucial opening and closing of the bypass valve very quickly.

In the low rev range, the bypass valve (also known as a wastegate valve) must be closed in order to drive the turbocharger with the full exhaust gas stream of up to 1,050 ˚C to ensure a consistent build-up of torque. Its maximum charge pressure is 1.6 bar. To reduce losses in the charge changing process in part-load operation, the exhaust backpressure can be reduced by fully opening the wastegate. The engine’s responsiveness is improved, because the wastegate actuator is able to regulate the pressure in the wastegate valve very quickly.

Toothed belt for valve train. Due to its design, internal friction in the small three-cylinder engine of the Golf TSI BlueMotion is already rather low. Moreover, this engine also benefits from the overall innovative design layout of the EA211 engine series and related measures implemented to reduce internal friction.

This not only relates to the crankshaft group, as mentioned above, but also to the valve control and auxiliary drives. The 1.0 TSI is equipped with inlet and exhaust camshaft adjustment; the adjustment range is 50 degrees of crankshaft angle on the inlet side and 40 degrees on the exhaust side.

By taking this approach, the designers of the three-cylinder engine achieve a powerful torque build-up at low engine revs and high power at high revs. The two overhead camshafts are driven by the crankshaft via a toothed timing belt. Compared to a chain drive, it exhibits around 30% less friction. Due to its high-end material specification, this toothed timing belt’s service life reliably spans the entire life of the vehicle. As a result, it is no longer necessary to perform the previously obligatory replacement of the toothed belt as a maintenance item. Overall, the harmonized forces of the toothed belt drive lead to low friction, improved fuel economy and greater durability.

Efficient combustion process. The maximum injection pressure of the 1.0 TSI is relatively high for a gasoline engine at 250 bar. Advanced 5-hole solenoid injectors, which are supplied with fuel from a stainless steel fuel rail, make precise injections into each cylinder with up to three individual injections per cycle. A more efficient combustion process with faster energy conversion is achieved based on the interplay of the injection components with a further developed charge cycle (optimized thermodynamics), in which the air-fuel mixture flows into the combustion chamber extremely rapidly via a tumble channel. Here too, this results in noticeably improved responsiveness and low emission figures.

Compact and efficient. The sum of many minor improvements have made the 1.0 TSI one of the most compact and efficient gasoline engines. As examples: To ensure that the engine takes up as little mounting space as possible, ancillary components such as the water pump, air conditioning compressor and alternator are attached directly to the engine and oil sump without additional brackets, and they are driven by a toothed belt running over a permanent tension roller.

In addition, the engine has a map-controlled oil pump that only draws as much power as required at the specific operating point.

Assistance systems and networking. Numerous assistance systems are fitted as standard to the Golf TSI BlueMotion. Optional features include the Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, DCC adaptive chassis control, Light Assist and Dynamic Light Assist main beam control assistants, driving profile selector, Lane Assist lane departure warning and Park Assist park steering assistant.

The entire line-up of the latest infotainment systems is also available for the Golf TSI BlueMotion, including the online services offered via Volkswagen Car-Net. Other new options are Volkswagen Media Control and App Connect.

The Golf TSI BlueMotion is available in two equipment trim levels: Trendline and Comfortline. In Germany, the Golf TSI BlueMotion Trendline costs €20,450 (US$22,422) and includes standard features such as air conditioning, seven airbags, Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, XDS electronic differential lock, start/stop system with brake energy recovery, model-specific rear spoiler in body color, sport suspension (body is 15 mm lower) and BlueMotion 15-inch “Lyon” wheels.



Those are incredible numbers for a petrol golf.
I wonder what it will cost.
I imagine they will bring out a cheaper lower power version of the same engine and this version will be the big seller.
Who needs diesel when you have a petrol engine this efficient?

0-100 kph in 9.7 seconds and 99 gms/km is an incredible set of figures (Even if the 99 gms/km is probably more like 120-130 in real usage).
This engine would be preferable to a diesel for city use by a long shot.


Has the arrival of more efficient HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs convinced manufacturers to improved their ICEs to remain competitive?

The same technology could probably improve the efficiency of many HEVs (to 60+ mpg) and PHEVs (to 100 to 120 mpg)?


SO many criticize Obama, yet since he funded EVs/high mpg, those >100 MPGe EV EPA stickers have brought about "impossible" ICE car efficiency in just five years.


Good job, à gazoline engine that is as efficient as a diesel, fan be successeur on US. If VW was kind enough to make more exciting designs, that would be perfect, because designs at VW are pretty boring compared to a Mazda 3 or Hyundai Electra the golf is dead boring to look at


Well, who needs the gasoline version if we compare to the diesel version? Since a long time, the 110 hp TDI BlueMotion is available in Europe. The consumption is 3,4 liter/100 km and CO2 at 89 g/km. however, this is an apples and oranges comparison. The diesel engine is a 1.6-liter engine in the costume of a 2-liter engine (yes, they share the same engine block). This is not directly what I would call a downsized engine. If we, instead, imagine a 3-cylinder 1.2-liter diesel, the fuel consumption would be below 3 liter. This would be apples to apples comparison. You could, for example, imagine a 3-cylinder version of a 1.6-liter engine. State-of-the-art power level is 160 hp (Renault & Honda), so the 110-120 hp power range would not be impossible here either. If such an engines was available, who would need a gasoline engine.


@Peter, when you look at the numbers, diesel is ahead.
When you smell the exhaust, you can see (well smell) the problem. The cities of Europe are choked with diesel fumes, and not just fro buses and trucks, but from the hundreds of thousands of diesel cars that now operate there.
This is the result of a blind "reduce CO2 emissions" policy and lax emissions testing which allows the cars to be warmed up before the test.
Diesel is great for open spaces, for cities, you want petrol or hybrid or EVs.

@Kelly, I agree, you need government mandates because they are long term (10-15 years) and the companies can plan for this.
The price of fuel changes so much (in both directions) that it gives a mixed signal (in terms of efficiency). However, a clear government (or multi-government) mandate will produce long term results (as we are seeing).


Very well said mahonj. I would add that the accumulation of the evidence of the negative health effects of particulate matter (PM 2.5) is damning for diesel, which is the other reason diesel is on the way out in Europe, starting with the major cities (Paris, London).

Heart disease, stroke, etc, etc. twenty years from now we'll all wonder how we let it happen for over a century. New filter technology is helping, NG will likely help more, but most readers of these pages know what the end game is.


@mahonj, I have a (U.S.-spec) clean diesel car, and there is absolutely no exhaust smell whatsoever, at cold start or any other time.

There are many studies which show that PM emissions from diesel cars with DPF are at or below ambient. CARB, who is institutionally hostile to diesel vehicles, conducted tests on a DPF-equipped diesel car and found that the particle number emissions were indistinguishable from HEPA-filtered room air.

There also the "Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study" (ACES) which showed that lab animals exposed to concentrated exhaust from a 2007-compliant diesel truck engine experienced no lung cancer and essentially no other health effects over the normal lifespan of the animals.



Thanks Carl!

PM2.5 limit for ambient air is 25 ug/m3 in Sweden. PM2.5 from my diesel car is 2 ug/m3. If I drive into the city under such conditions, I am cleaning the air.

I know what I am talking about. I have conducted the measurements myself. End of discussion.


How long and how much would it cost to upgrade the 200,000,000++ old smoky diesel buses, trucks, Heavy machinery, cars, locomotives, ships etc... to the new standards?


If VW was smart, it'd be a 1.0 litre diesel. But you'll never see something that fuel efficient in the US. Oil companies don't want it.

Brent Jatko

@ tpl: I think you overestimate the power of the oil lobby in the US as well as the willingness of the U.S. customer to buy diesels.

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