Another fully-ready for prime-time one-off, the Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion Concept debuted at the 2012 Paris Auto Show with the promise to arrive in European showrooms sometime in 2013 as the most fuel-efficient member of the new Golf VII family. Packing a 1.6-liter/4-cylinder turbodiesel engine, this 5-passenger hatch will be able to return the equivalent of 73.5 mpg on the Euro combined cycle while emitting a mere 85g/km of CO2. Now in its third iteration, the latest Golf BlueMotion is pegged to deliver 15 percent better fuel economy than the current model. Beyond its exceptional frugality, a 50-liter (13.2 gallon) fuel tank will give this long-distance runner a theoretical range of 970 miles.

Motivating the new Golf BlueMotion is the latest update of VW's new EA288 turbodiesel line that makes 108 horsepower but 184 lb-ft of torque at just 1,500 rpm. Benefitting from reduced internal friction and a trick thermal management system, it also features a two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump and a water-cooled intercooler right in the intake manifold; it burns less while delivering more output. Downstream emissions are reduced by an oxidation catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter and a NOx storage catalytic converter.

Beyond its TDI powerplant and the significant weight-loss program that benefits all new Golf VII models, the BlueMotion's bag of mileage-maxing tricks also includes super low rolling resistance tires and longer gear ratios in the 5-speed manual transmission plus Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems. Aero tweaking also figures into the mix, as the BlueMotion boasts a lower ride height, special roof and C-pillar spoilers, optimized air flow for the engine/brake cooling systems and special underbody fairings that collectively help trim its drag coefficient to a tidy 0.27.

While Volkswagen is almost certain to offer a variation on the existing 2.0-liter TDI model when the new Golf arrives here in 2014, the BlueMotion model is not slated to be part of the car's U.S. lineup.

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