Who says green technology has to spoil your fun? Looking at the new Volkswagen Polo BlueGT it would seem that you can have your cake and eat quite a bit of it.
With the introduction of Volkswagen’s new cylinder deactivation technology, the Polo BlueGT promises improved fuel economy but not at the cost of performance. The turbocharged 1.4-litre engine is the first in a new range of EA211 series engines that will be rolled out across the Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and SEAT ranges as part of the new modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform.
Volkswagen Polo BlueGT Specifications
|Max Speed||130 mph|
|CO2 Emissions||105 g/km|
With 138bhp the BlueGT is the second fastest Polo in the range, behind the twin-charged GTI. For an ‘eco’ model the BlueGT is quite sprightly, with a 0-62mph time of just 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. Impressive, but not as impressive as the economy figures.
With a manual gearbox the BlueGT is claimed to return ‘around 60mpg’, while the seven-speed DSG version stretches a gallon of unleaded even further to 62.8 miles. The CO2 figures are also pleasingly low, with 108g/km for the manual and 105g/km for the DSG. That places the BlueGT securely into Band B of the car tax tables and at 2011/12 rates that would mean your tax disc will cost you nothing in the first year and only £20 per year afterwards.
Those impressive mpg and CO2 figures are achieved by shutting off cylinders two and three when the engine is under light and medium loads. The cylinders are only switched off when engine speed falls between 1,250 and 4,000 rpm, and at torque outputs of 25 to 100 Nm (18 to 74 lbs ft).
As soon as you press the accelerator pedal the two cylinders come quietly and instantly back to life. The reactivation process takes between 13 and 36 milliseconds, depending on engine speed. The switchover is said to be imperceptible but the multifunction display in the instrument cluster proudly announces the fact that the engine is running in 2-cylinder mode.
Volkswagen are keen to highlight the sporty nature of the BlueGT by borrowing a few bits from the GTI. The rear spoiler, bumper with diffuser and front bumper with LED DRLs are taken from the GTI, complementing the BlueGT’s 17-inch multi-spoke wheels and lowered suspension. The side sills and rain channels are borrowed from the Polo BlueMotion. A black-painted front grille and black door mirror caps complete the look.
More GTI influences can be seen on the inside, with a black roofliner and instruments lifted straight from the hottest Polo. The front sport seats are unique to the BlueGT sports seats, and inspired by the GTI the leather-trimmed steering wheel displays the BlueGT logo.
So what’s the catch? Well, the Polo BlueGT goes on sale in Europe in July. The problem is, there are no plans to bring it the UK just yet. It seems inevitable that the technology will arrive here eventually, the question is whether we’ll see it in a model like the BlueGT or in something a little more understated.
Want to know how the cylinder deactivation technology works? Watch the video below, and then maybe you can explain it to me.