With the Passat BlueMotion Concept that will premiere at the Detroit Auto Show next week, Volkswagen wants to show that non-hybrid gasoline engines can deliver low fuel consumption even when mounted on a mid-size sedan.
The Passat BlueMotion study is based on the U.S.-spec Passat sedan, but is powered by the 1.4-liter EA211 TSI engine with cylinder deactivation. Mated to a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, it delivers an estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km). VW says this is a best in class rating among non-hybrid, gasoline-engined mid-size cars.
Featuring direct injection and turbocharging, the 1.4-liter TSI engine is the world’s first inline four-cylinder unit with cylinder deactivation. The Active Cylinder Management (ACT) technology, also used on European VW Polo and Golf models, deactivates the valvetrain on cylinders two and three when the driver only applies light throttle pressure to maintain specific city speeds.
The VW Passat BlueMotion Concept comes with the coasting function, used on the Jetta Hybrid. This further increases fuel efficiency when the driver releases the accelerator pedal, as the DSG transmission decouples the engine, allowing the car to roll with the lowest possible mechanical drag from the other moving components. Another fuel-saving measure is the addition of a stop/start system.
Although it’s only a 1.4-liter, the engine delivers 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque. VW didn’t reveal acceleration times or top speed, but said the study’s Reef Blue Metallic paint will be introduced on other Passat models, too. Given that the study looks very much like a production model, we wouldn’t be surprised if VW decided to build it in the near future.
By Dan Mihalascu