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Brand New Volkswagen Golf

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Tony O'Kane | Sep 3, 2009

VOLKSWAGEN WILL TAKE the covers off its new range of super-efficient passenger cars at Frankfurt this month, unveiling the BlueMotion variants of the Passat, Golf and Polo on September 15.

All three cars boast a combined fuel consumption of less than 4.5 l/100km, the thrifty figure achieved without the aid of a hybrid powertrain.

Instead, Volkswagen has focused on optimising the aerodynamic and mechanical efficiency of each car, opting to utilise a relatively standard turbodiesel engine in its BlueMotion models.

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The Polo BlueMotion is the leader of VW's super-frugal pack, drinking just 3.3 litres of diesel per 100km travelled.

Its 55kW 1.2 litre engine also emits a scant 87 grams of CO2 per kilometre, but more remarkably its rated fuel economy endows it with a theoretical range of 1363km from its 45 litre fuel tank.

Australian drivers typically travel up to 15,000-16,000km annually, meaning only 11 fill-ups would be required over a 12-month period.

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The Golf BlueMotion ducks under the 4.0 l/100km mark (and also under the current fuel economy leaders, the Toyota Prius and MINI Cooper D) with its 3.8 l/100km fuel consumption rating.

Powered by a 77kW 1.2 litre turbodiesel four, it's not too slow either: top speed is 190km/h, and the 0-100km/h sprint is done away with in 11.3 seconds.

A generous 250Nm of torque improves driveability and its 55 litre fuel tank gives it a maximum range of 1447 kilometres.

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The Passat, although the biggest and 'thirstiest' of VW's BlueMotion line-up, still boasts admirable fuel economy.

Just 4.4 litres of diesel is burned over 100km on a combined urban/freeway cycle, and 114g/km of CO2 is emitted by its 77kW TDI engine.

The Passat's 70 litre fuel tank also gives it the greatest range of the trio, allowing the four-door sedan to travel non-stop for 1591 kilometres.

All three BlueMotion models are fitted with a five-speed manual transmission, which utilises taller gear ratios to enable lower engine speeds during cruising. A gear shift indicator also prompts drivers to change ratios as early as possible to improve economy.

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A start-stop system, regenerative braking, low rolling-resistance tyres and switchable alternators and accessory pumps help reduce mechanical drag.

Aerodynamic undertrays, wheels and bodywork also give the BlueMotion models some extra slipperiness, but visual differences from their more conventional stablemates are minimal.

It's unclear at this stage whether the BlueMotion Polo, Golf or Passat will ever arrive at Australian VW dealerships, but European sales of the BlueMotion line-up will commence later this year, following their global unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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