At the moment most vehicles are being designed with fuel efficiency very much in mind. Most people want to save money on fuel, but it can mean that the driving dynamics are not so good as a result of this being allowed for in the design of the car. Petrol cars have moved forward significantly but it is the diesel and hybrid markets that have seen the biggest chances. Many people are still against diesels though, them not having the same reputation as a petrol car and hybrids can be criticised for not reaching the MPG that they claim is possible and so perhaps not so fuel efficient as promised. Both hybrids and diesels are also expensive which can be a big factor for most buyers. The Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion Concept hopes to address these issues and it will be debuting at the Detroit Auto Show.
The mid sizes family sedan has been fitted with a 1.4 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine. There are no batteries or electrics and it is claimed that it would do 42mog on the highway which is very close to the 43mpg that its Passat TDI is capable of.
The car’s engine is part of the EA211 family which is similar to those offered by Golf and Polo in the European markets. This engine has a stop start system as ell as cylinder deactivation. When there is just a light load the third and fourth cylinders have no fuel supply which cannot be felt when driving but obviously saves fuel use.
There is a seven speed dual clutch automatic which enables the engine to produce 150 horsepower and 184 lb/ft torque. That is a reduction of 20 horsepower on the current entry level vehicle which has a 2.5 litre engine with five cylinders but it does have 7 lb/ft more torque. The five cylinder Passat has an mpg of only 32 on the highway though.
There are some styling differences with the concept Passat BlueMotion compared to the standard sedan car. The concept has two tone seating with a lighter and darker section separated with blue stitching. There is also a BlueMotion badge on the grille, 10 twin spokes on the aluminium wheels and a Reef Blue exterior finish which is something that will be available in non Passat models soon as well.
The BlueMotion concept is based on the US market model which is larger than the European version. It is expected that this vehicle is probably very close to a production model and will appear soon in dealers. The fuel economy will be a huge selling point as it will be able to take on hybrid in the mid sized sedan market without being penalised by the electric powertrain.