Showing that it requires neither hybrid nor diesel power to generate great fuel economy numbers, the Volkswagen BlueMotion Concept makes its global debut in Detroit. This mid-size 4-door borrows freely from VW's existing mileage-maxing production technologies to generate an impressive 42 mpg estimated highway figure.
Power for the Passat BlueMotion Concept comes from an all-new version of VW's sophisticated TSI 1.4-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. Turbocharged and direct injected, it makes 150 horses and 184 lb-ft of torque. In addition to an auto Start/Stop system, the engine also is fitted with the same Active Cylinder Management system used on the European Polo and Golf which allows it to run on just two cylinders during light throttle conditions. The DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Passat BluMotion Concept brings its own tricks to the mix. It incorporates the same "coasting" functionality initially seen on the Jetta Hybrid, a feature that fully decouples the engine from the transmission the moment a driver lifts off of the accelerator to bolster economy by reducing parasitic drag.
Painted Reef Blue Metallic - a new color that will be offered on other Passat production models - the BlueMotion Concept also sports two-tone dark and light leather upholstery that has unique blue accent stripes and contrast stitching, a motif that has been used to denote other BlueMotion exercises since their introduction in 2006. While VW has yet to commit on future plans for turning this well-engineered one-off into a future member of the Passat lineup, it does admit that there's at least a possibility we could see a volume-build version turn up in showrooms here at some point in the future.
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