Volkswagen will launch its new super-efficient BlueMotion Polo in the UK next month following on from summer launch in several continental European markets.

The BlueMotion tag is intended for the most economical diesel models eventually to be made available across all Volkswagen car lines.

The BlueMotion Polo is fitted with Volkswagen's already frugal l.4-litre 3-cylinder diesel engine which comes with technical modifications (there's a variable geometry turbocharger), transmission tweaks (longer gearing ratios  -  just 2,000 revs at 70mph in 5th) and bodywork/weight-saving measures that combine to produce a claimed fuel economy averaging out at over 70mpg.

The body differences with the standard Polo are subtle. Air intake needed to cool the 78bhp engine is less than with other variants so there is a faired in grille.

There is also a rear window spoiler that slightly reduces the drag coefficient. Air-con is deleted and weight-saving has been employed wherever possible. The small wing mirrors are devoid of electric motors and there are also special tyres to reduce rolling resistance.

High economy means low CO2 emissions: average CO2 generation of under 100g/km is less than that of a Toyota Prius.

Volkswagen's UK BlueMotion Polo allocation is 900 for the remainder of 2007 rising to 2,000 units in 2008.

BlueMotion variants of the Golf and Passat are planned for the second half of next year (UK launch at the end of the year) and Volkswagen says that CO2 emissions on the BlueMotion Golf average out at as low as 119g/km.

One question asked at the presentation to UK journalists seemed particularly salient.

With all that effort going into getting fuel economy as high as humanly possible, why does the car not come with the stop-start technology already being utilised by some manufacturers such as BMW and Citroen?

"That's very much an unconventional solution that we found wasn't acceptable to our customers. Put simply, they didn't like the thought of the engine cutting out," said Volkswagen's UK PR chief Paul Buckett.  

The car BlueMotion Polo will retail in the UK at GBP11,995 for the base three-door version.

Dave Leggett

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