Although this new 50mpg, 140hp Polo will probably never reach US customers, we’re hoping that some of this green technology will eventually find its way stateside.
Unveiled today at the Geneva auto show, the Polo BlueGT combines dynamic performance with fuel efficiency thanks to the use of ACT cylinder deactivation, which is being used for the first time in a production Volkswagen.
The 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo engine produces 140hp, yet returns a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of just 50mpg US, and emits a forecasted 108g/km of CO2.
Opt for the seven-speed DSG transmission, and fuel consumption drops further to a forecasted 52mpg US. Top speed is 130mph and 0-62mph takes 7.9 seconds.
At the heart of the Polo BlueGT, and partly responsible for its performance and economy, is the first of the new EA211-series engines, which will become commonplace in the new modular transverse matrix (MQB) that will underpin future VW Group models.
Under light and medium loads, the second and third cylinders are automatically shut down, allowing significant fuel savings. Cylinder deactivation occurs at engine speeds of between 1250 and 4000rpm, and at torque outputs of 18-74 lb- ft.
If the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the two cylinders are imperceptibly reactivated. All mechanical switchovers occur within 13-36 milliseconds, depending on engine speed. The multifunction display in the instrument binnacle lets the driver know when cylinders are deactivated.
While the deactivation is unobtrusive, the Polo BlueGT is distinguished both inside and out by various styling cues. On the outside, there are multi-spoke 17” wheels and GT badges front and rear. The suspension is lowered by around 15mm.
Added to this are features borrowed from the Polo GTI, such as the rear spoiler, rear bumper with diffuser, plus front bumper with LED daytime running lights. It also gets features borrowed from the Polo BlueMotion such as its side sills and front windscreen rain channels. A black-painted grille and mirror caps complete the look.
Inside, as in the Polo GTI, the headliner is black and the instruments are from the GTI. There are sports front seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with BlueGT emblem.
The Polo BlueGT goes on sale in Europe in July.