VW Unveils High-Mileage Diesel Golf In Paris That The U.S. Won’t Get

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As today marks the start of the 2012 Paris Auto Show, we’re likely to see lots of interesting green cars over the next few days that we’ll never see in the U.S. 

Among them, the all-new 2014 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion diesel, capable of a claimed 88.3 mpg imperial, or 73.5 mpg U.S.

Powered by an all-new 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine capable of producing 184 foot-pounds of torque, the 2014 Golf BlueMotion emits 15 percent less carbon dioxide than its predecessor.

Volkswagen says its engineers have worked on a variety of improvements to the engine design to ensure maximum efficiency, including a two-stage oil pump, switchable electric water pump, and water-cooled intercooler. 

The 2014 Golf BlueMotion also includes an exhaust gas recirculation system to help the engine warm to optimum temperature quickly, even in the winter. 

When it comes to the sore point of every diesel car -- particulate emissions -- Volkswagen says a new oxidation catalytic converter, diesel particulate filter and nitrous oxide storage catalytic converter make it the greenest Golf BlueMotion to date.

Like all the other all-new seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf models making a debut in Paris today, the Golf BlueMotion, is significantly lighter than its predecessor. 

It also includes start stop, and regenerative braking, as standard.

Other refinements specific to the BlueMotion include low rolling resistance tires, lowered ride height, and special underfloor panels designed to reduce drag. 

But while the diesel-sipping Golf BlueMotion will hit the dealer lots in the U.K. and the rest of Europe next year, it won’t be making the trip across the Atlantic to the U.S. 

That’s partly due to tough U.S. emissions laws on diesel engines, plus the general desire among U.S. consumers for slightly more powerful engines. 

And unlike Europe, diesel cars are very much niche-market in the U.S.

For now, U.S. diesel fans will have to be content with the 2.0-liter TDi engine currently offered on the 2013 VW Golf, which will eventually be given a urea injection system in order to pass new, lower U.S. limits on vehicle nitrous oxide emissions -- the toughest in the world. 

Volkswagen provided airfare, lodging, and meals to enable High Gear Media to cover the Paris Auto Show.


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Comments (13)
  1. VW will sell of ton of these fuel sippers! Why get a hybrid with all that weight and complexity, and the need to replace the battery pack?

  2. Although I'm still a diesel fan to some degree, consumers are far more likely to replace other VW components before they ever replace a hybrid battery pack; let's look at VW's JD Power results for vehicle dependability in the last few years:

    2012: 26th of 32 brands
    2011: 29th of 34 brands
    2010: 34th of 35
    2009: 36th of 37
    2008: 31st of 37
    2007: 34th of 38... see a pattern here...?

    Meanwhile, hybrid batteries come with a standard 10-year, 150k warranty. There's still much to be said for diesels, of course, but I think there's more to the story than what you stated... I'm even a big VW/Audi fan (last car before my Volt was an A4) but you can't ignore the fact that VW is the OEM with the worst quality struggles in N. America, either.

  3. If all of today's brands have very good reliability(and they do), being on the low end of excellence is still pretty darn good. Also, the things that typically need replacing are minor things typically covered under warranty

  4. I don't know anything about JD Power, but I put 260,000 miles on my Jetta TDI before the turbocharger finally gave out. I gave it to a young man who thought he could repair it himself. For all I know, its still on the road today.

  5. Let's see, according to the EPA the best diesel available is the Passat and the best hybrid is the Prius.
    1) The Passat produces 68% more CO2 than the Prius.
    2) The Passat has a smog score of 6 vs 9 for the Prius (10=best)
    3)Oh, and the Passat weight is about 300 lbs more.

    What was it you were saying again?

  6. 1) Passat diesel is a blast to drive, Prius lol
    2) Heavy cars fare better in accidents
    3) Without Carbon Dioxide there would be no life on this planet

  7. @Brad: By this logic, we should all be driving Hummer H1s with 4-MPG diesel engines ... yes?

    Not such a blast to drive, of course--in fact downright horrendous--but two outta three ain't bad.

  8. It is NOT the CO2 that I worry about from the Diesel.

    It is HC, NOx, CO and particulates...

  9. Actually the data shows that "larger cars" do better in crashes, not "heavier cars." Apparently it has something to do with a thing called the "crumple zone." Oh, and apparently the "crumple zone" has to be carefully engineered, otherwise larger isn't better.

    In other words, "it's complicated."

    As for the Passat being a "blast to drive." I have to say, that on my commute in and out of Boston, all that matters is a comfortable seat, good climate control, and a nice stereo.

  10. A Norwegian University of Science and Technology study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology found concluded that:
    "The researchers compared the overall life-cycle impact of petrol or diesel-powered cars and electric vehicles and concluded that the latter can significantly damage the climate.

    Environmental pollution is "twice that of conventional vehicles,” the report said. “In regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion [results in even greater pollutants.”

    Batteries and electric motors are composed of minerals like nickel, copper and aluminum, which are toxic.

  11. You forget that EVs run on wasted power on a coal generated system, and factoring it into the pollution an EV "releases" is very misleading. You can not throttle a coal power plant and it takes 2-3 days to turn it off and on (hence, wind power does not work on a grid using mostly coal, like here in Ohio). Using an EV on coal, if charged at night, no pollution

    No EV uses nickel, copper, and aluminum on the market today. That is old technology. You forget to mention that a gas car uses thousands of gallons of oil, which, if you didn't know, is toxic.

    Here is a science lesson:
    Battery: solid, reusable, recyclable, spill proof, easy clean up
    Gas: liquid, impossible to fully clean up, consumable, spills frequently
    Your argument makes no sense

  12. John, Great article, thanks! You are right it is very easy to fix our mileage problem here. I have a 2.0 liter turbodiesel, and quite frankly I would easily trade off the acceleration for the mileage. I average 38 MPG. Incidentially, my nearly identical 1981 Jetta diesel Wagen averaged 45 MPG.

  13. Your diesel is dirty, especially the 1981 Jetta.

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