Volkswagen demonstrated its abilities to reduce environmental impact with the Passat BlueMotion II, Passat Blue TDI, Passat BlueMotion 2, and even VW’s flagship, the slow-selling Phaeton, at the Paris Show. The company also unveiled a concept Golf Mk VI GTI.
Looking ahead to U.S. Bin 5 and Euro VI emissions limits, VW will introduce the Passat Blue TDI in European markets during 2009. VW is not the first to introduce selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology. It is already established in Europe for reducing heavy truck emissions, while Daimler has previously shown the technology for passenger car use.
By using a urea-based additive, AdBlue, injected into the exhaust stream, it is possible to reduce the nitrogen oxides in the exhaust gases to nitrogen and water, greatly reducing NOx emissions. AdBlue dosage is metered by mass flow rate monitoring of the exhaust gases. A NOx sensor downstream of the SCR catalytic converter controls the process via the engine management system.
In addition, the Passat Blue TDI is fitted with an oxidation catalytic converter and a diesel particulate filter to further reduce emissions. VW expects AdBlue consumption to work out at around 0.1 L/100 km. Stored in an auxiliary tank, the AdBlue would only require topups during regular servicing.
The engine for this model is based on the 2.0-L 140-PS (103 kW) common-rail diesel widely used in European VW Group products. Power output has been raised to 143 PS (105 kW). For the Passat Wagon, VW quotes an EU combined-cycle fuel consumption figure of 5.5 L/100 km and 144 g/km of carbon dioxide emissions. Equivalent figures for the sedan are 5.2 L/100 km and 137 g/km. This represents a reduction in fuel consumption of around 7% compared with the current Passat diesel, which uses enhanced exhaust gas recirculation to control emissions.
A standard six-speed manual transmission will be fitted, with a six-speed DSG automated transmission available later as an option.
Due in Europe before the Blue TDI makes its appearance is the latest version of the VW Passat BlueMotion, labeled BlueMotion 2, which should be on sale by the end of the year. As before, BlueMotion badging indicates the most fuel-efficient and least polluting model in the range. For the Passat, this involves an engine change.
The 1.9-L TDI engine using electronic unit injections is replaced by a new variant of the 2.0-L TDI common-rail engine. This produces 110 PS (81 kW) at 4200 rpm and 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) from 1500 rpm. This drives the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. A gear change indicator in the instrument display is standard equipment.
Also new for the Blue Motion 2 Passat is an automatic stop/start system, using a starter/alternator activated by shifting into neutral and releasing the clutch. The engine automatically restarts when the clutch pedal is depressed. For the sedan, this involves a reduction in EU combined-cycle fuel consumption from 5.1 L/100 km to 4.9 L/100 km, while carbon dioxide emissions for the sedan, measured on the European cycle, are given as 129 g/km, down from 136 g/km for the previous model.
Other new features of the Passat Blue Motion 2 include low-friction propshafts, enhanced low-rolling resistance tires, and lightweight wheels made from light flow-forming steel. Low-stressed parts of the wheel are made from thinner section steel to reduce weight. The Passat BlueMotion 2 conforms to Euro-V emissions requirements.
On display at Paris was a BlueMotion concept Passat Wagon, named Passat BlueMotion II, bringing together the technologies of the Blue TDI and BlueMotion 2. This concept car combines SCR emissions-control technology with the advances of the Passat BlueMotion 2 and adds regenerative braking for the first time on a Volkswagen.
The result, measured on the European combined cycle, is fuel consumption of 4.1 L/100 km, giving carbon dioxide emissions of 109 g/km. VW indicates that a production version, with carbon dioxide emissions of 114 g/km, will be available in 2009.
Next spring will see the re-introduction of the Golf GTI based on the recently announced Golf Mk VI model. The latest Golf to carry the GTI badge will be powered by a modified version of the turbocharged 2.0-L, direct-injection gasoline TSI engine that powered its predecessor. Power rises to 210 PS (155 kW) from 200 PS (147kW), but VW says that fuel consumption has been reduced from 8.0 L/100 km to 7.5 L/100 km measured on the European combined cycle. This also registers carbon dioxide emissions of 178 g/km from the car. Peak torque of 207 lb·ft (280 N·m) is produced at 1800 rpm.
The Golf GTI, shown as a concept car at the Paris Show, follows a familiar path to its predecessors with a ride height reduced by 22 mm (0.87 in) and retuned suspension, featuring MacPherson struts at the front and a multilink system at the rear.
For the first time on a Golf GTI, the car will be fitted with a standard electronic limited-slip differential. This will be followed by the option of dynamic chassis control in time. The system provides active damping, which automatically adjusts the damping rates to reduce pitch and roll. The system, available on other Golf Mk VI models, offers Normal, Sport, and Comfort settings.
GTI production will begin in the spring.
VW also announced detail changes to the Phaeton. VW’s flagship model, launched originally in 2004, will gain modifications to the drivetrain, braking system, navigation, and entertainment systems.
The current 3.2-L V6 engine producing 241 PS (177 kW) will soon be replaced by a 3.6-L variant producing 280 PS (206 kW) at 6250 rpm and peak torque of 266 lb·ft (360 N·m) between 2500 and 5000 rpm. VW claims a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 288 g/km for the outgoing engine to 273 g/km. The engine will conform to the Euro-V emissions limits.
Among other modifications for the Phaeton are low-friction dampers and ceramic brakes for the 6.0-liter W12 engine variant. This is the first time that ceramic brakes have been offered on a VW. Other changes include new alloy wheels, a revised front grille, and a redesigned center console to accommodate the new satellite navigation and entertainment systems equipped with an 8-in 16:9 format screen.