Volkswagen’s new baby in its diesel engine range, a 1.2-litre three-cylinder TDI, was paraded at the recent 31st International Vienna Motor Symposium. This block will feature in the latest Polo Bluemotion, which will be delivered to European customers this month. Bluemotion, Wolfsburg’s eco car brand name, took home the World Green Car gong at the recent 2010 World Car Awards.

Although this 1.2 TDI is small in capacity and has only three cylinders, its 74 bhp and torque of 180 Nm at 2,000 rpm should prove to be adequate in the reigning European Car of the Year, and spirited if you put it on Malaysian urban roads (the Honda Civic 2.0, for instance, makes 188 Nm at 4,500 rpm). Less cylinders means less weight and friction power loss, and VW says that it has miked out the most performance, maximum “acoustic comfort” and weight reduction from this configuration without compromising the engine’s thermodynamic efficiency.

Fuel consumption? The previous gen Polo Bluemotion’s claimed figures was 26.3 km/l (3.8 litres per 100 km) and this car is expected to achieve 30.3 km/l (3.3 litres per 100 km) while emitting only 87 g/km of CO2. Green (or rather blue) measures include stop/start, higher gearing, regenerative braking, tweaked aerodynamics and low rolling resistance tyres. Cars like these are the reason why Europeans have not wholeheartedly embraced hybrid technology.