Last week, at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled its all-new 2014 Golf family, including the highly-efficient VW Golf BlueMotion diesel.
A car, which as Volkswagen has already stated, the U.S. won’t be getting.
That’s because Americans aren’t willing to pay extra for fuel-efficient models of regular gasoline and diesel cars, says Volkswagen’s head of development, Ulrich Hackenberg.
Talking to CarandDriver last week at an event where Volkswagen laid out its future green car plans for theVW, Audi, and Porsche brands, Hackenberg confirmed that the U.S. would continue get a diesel-powered option for the popular hatchback when the seventh-generation, 2014 Golf launches next year.
Unlike its european sibling however, the 2014 Golf TDI won’t get the unique gear ratios, aerodynamic tweaks, special low rolling resistance tires, reduced ride height, and weight saving of the Bluemotion model.
Essentially, while those tweaks make a positive impact on gas mileage, they also increase sticker price, something VW is reticent to do in a market where diesel cars are already considered niche market vehicles.
Instead, VW plans to offer less extreme fuel saving technology on its U.S. market Golf, including engine stop-start as standard, and an optional sail mode.
Already standard on the 2012 Touareg hybrid, sail mode disengages the transmission from the engine on accelerator liftoff, allowing the car to coast down hills at high speed, idling the engine to save fuel.
2013 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion (European model), 2012 Paris Motor Show
2013 Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion (European model), 2012 Paris Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
While VW may be convinced that U.S. consumers aren’t ready, or willing, to pay extra cash for fuel-saving optional extras, it’s worth noting that many competitors to the Golf, including the 2013 Ford Focus, 2013 Dodge Dart, and 2013 Chevrolet Cruze, are available as high gas-mileage, eco-minded versions.
Is Volkswagen correct? Are consumers not ready to pay extra for fuel-saving options?
Have other automakers proven VW wrong, or does VW's statement about excess cost only apply to niche-market vehicles?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.