Advancements in automotive technology are best measured not by performance and power figures, but by efficiency. Take the humble Volkswagen Golf for instance. The previous generation Mk6 model, in its most economical guise, the BlueMotion, was lauded globally for getting over 26 km per litre. Fast forward a few years and the basic Golf Mk7 1.6 litre TDI, sans any special alteration or equipment, returns the same figure.
The Mk7 Golf BlueMotion on the other hand, previewed in concept form in Paris last year and shown now in Geneva in full production guise, is significantly better still, managing over 31 km per litre. That’s better than VW’s own three-cylinder Polo BlueMotion from 2010. CO2 emissions have been reduced too, from 99 grammes per kilometre to just 85.
With its 50 litre tank and a theoretical 1,500 km range, motorists who do an average of 15,000 km yearly will quite possibly only need to fuel up ten times in a year. Providing power to the wheels is a 110 hp 1.6 litre turbodiesel engine from the new EA288 family. The 16-valve units delivers 250 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 2,750 rpm.
Various weight saving measures (it’s now 63 kg lighter), engine tweaks (reduced engine friction), super low rolling resistance tyres with higher air pressure, longer gear ratios in the five-speed manual transmission and specific aerodynamic modifications (amounting to 10% less drag) are to thank for the remarkable fuel efficiency.
Marking out the BlueMotion Golf are a drag-sapping roof spoiler, lateral air guide elements on the rear window, a masked front grille, a C-pillar spoiler and 15 mm lower ride height.