The new Polo BlueGT stands out because it combines great performance with excellent fuel-efficiency. The technical highlight of this new vehicle is cylinder deactivation management (ACT), which is being introduced for the first time in a Volkswagen.
The new 1.4-liter TSI engine is torquey and makes 140 horsepower, yet also achieves an estimated EU combined fuel economy figure of 50 mpg (equivalent to 108 g/km CO2). Mileage is improved even further to 52 mpg (105g/km CO2) if the Polo BlueGT is ordered with the optional seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch transmission, which is amazing considering the car isn’t a diesel.
Yet the Polo BlueGT has a top speed of 131 mph and accelerates from zero to 62 mph in just 7.9 seconds. This unusual balance between efficiency and performance is enabled by the systematic interplay of ACT, direct injection, turbocharging, and BlueMotion Technology (a stop/start system, and battery regeneration). The Polo BlueGT bridges the gap between the 105-hp Polo 1.2 TSI and the 180-hp Polo GTI and will go on sale in July.
New generation of engines
The 1.4 TSI used in the Polo BlueGT is the top engine in the new EA211 series. These gasoline engines and the EA288 diesels, which are also new, are technological pillars of the future Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB). All these engines share an identical mounting position, across vehicle classes and brands.
ACT makes fuel savings: Even before the first MQB vehicles are introduced, Polo BlueGT buyers will enjoy the new high-tech TSI engine with cylinder deactivation. Volkswagen is the first carmaker to introduce active cylinder management as a fuel-saving technology in smaller engines, because they were previously only used in larger engines with six or more cylinders. Shutting down the second and third cylinders under low and medium load reduces fuel consumption in the EU driving cycle by about 8 mpg. In constant speed driving at 31 mph in third or fourth gear, fuel savings are as much as 16 mpg. Even at 43 mph in fifth gear, fuel consumption is still reduced by 11 mpg.
Mode of operation: ACT becomes active at engine speeds from 1250 to 4000 rpm, and at torque outputs from 18 to approximately 74 lb-ft—a broad swath of the operating map that includes nearly 70 per cent of all driving states in the EU driving cycle. When the driver presses the gas pedal, the two cylinders are imperceptibly reactivated. The high efficiency certainly does not compromise the smoothness of the engine: even with two cylinders, the Polo BlueGT’s 1.4-liter TSI is well-balanced and runs just as quietly and with as little vibration as when all four combustion chambers are active.
All mechanical switchovers are completed within half a camshaft revolution, which takes between 13 and 36 milliseconds, depending on engine speed. The transitions are smoothed by supporting interventions to the ignition and the throttle valve. Thanks to an ingenious accelerator pedal sensor and intelligent monitoring software, the system can also detect non-uniform driving profiles, such as through traffic or in a sporty manner on a country road. In such cases, cylinder shutoff is disabled. The driver is informed whether two or four cylinders are active by an indication in the multifunction display located between the speedometer and tachometer.
ACT camshaft adjustment: To further reduce emissions and fuel consumption and to improve torque in the lower engine speed range, the intake camshaft was designed to be adjustable over a range of 50 degrees on all EA211 engines. Additionally, the 1.4 TSI in the Polo BlueGT also has variable timing on the exhaust camshaft to improve torque at both low and high revs.
The new Volkswagen is clearly distinguished both inside and out. From the outside, unique features include new 17-inch alloy wheels; GT signatures at the front and rear; “BLUEMOTION” graphics at the rear; and new tailpipes. In addition, numerous standard features were adapted from the Polo GTI and the Polo BlueMotion. The GTI features are the rear spoiler; rear bumper with diffuser; and the front bumper, foglights and daytime running lights. BlueMotion elements are the side skirts and the front rain channels (outside on the windscreen). The Polo BlueGT is also upgraded with a black painted radiator grille, R-line intake in the bumper, and black door mirrors. The aerodynamics are enhanced by a special underbody and a ride height that is lowered by 0.6 inches.
The Polo BlueGT has a number of interior upgrades. The multifunction display has extended functionality (ACT message and tire pressure) and Polo GTI instruments are fitted, along with sport seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. In addition, the Polo BlueGT adds cruise control, GTI-style black headliner and pillar trim, and chrome accents.