One of VW’s premieres at the Detroit Auto Show is the Passat BlueMotion Concept, which showcases how fuel-efficient a non-hybrid gasoline engine can be when fitted to a mid-size sedan.
Based on the platform of the U.S.-spec Passat, the study is powered by the 1.4-liter EA211 TSI engine with cylinder deactivation, sourced from European Golf and Polo models.
Producing 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque, the unit is mated to a DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission and delivers an estimated highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km) - a best in class rating among non-hybrid, gasoline-engined mid-size cars.
The Active Cylinder Management (ACT) technology has the biggest contribution to the low fuel consumption, as it deactivates the valvetrain on cylinders two and three when the driver only applies light throttle pressure to maintain specific city speeds.
The VW Passat BlueMotion is also fitted with a stop/start system and the coasting function. The latter further increases fuel efficiency when the driver releases the accelerator pedal, as the DSG transmission decouples the engine, allowing the car to roll with the lowest possible mechanical drag from the other moving components.
While billed as a concept, the Passat BlueMotion could be easily mistaken for a regular U.S.-spec Passat model as it doesn’t sport any show car-specific features, except for the Reef Blue Metallic paint, which will be introduced on other Passat models.
As for the 1.4-liter engine, VW didn’t say anything about putting it into a production Passat – but they wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble for nothing, would they?
By Dan Mihalascu