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Saturday, 1 November 2008

Can there be BlueMotion with no diesel? VW bets it can

VW has created BlueMotion vehicles in Europe with great success. With increasing concerns about CO2 emissions all over the world, the German carmaker has decided to bring the same concept to Brazil. The only problem is that all known BlueMotion cars are diesel powered, but diesel is not allowed for passenger vehicles in Brazil. So how will these cars be so fuel efficient as European BlueMotion car? We are also still trying to figure that out, but it is very likely Volkswagen believes ethanol-powered cars are cleaner than a regular one, what is only true when it comes to CO2 emissions, and not entirely.

What ethanol allows us is to keep CO2 levels constant, since ethanol is "built" from the CO2 that already exists in the atmosphere, while petrol, diesel and all fossile fuels make a CO2 that was buried for ages emerge again. Apart from that, ethanol is less powerful than petrol (it has about 70% of the energy contained in the same amount of gasoline), what makes it have a smaller range.

The first BlueMotion to be sold in Brazil will be a Polo, but up you see a Gol Bluemotion and below also a Fox BlueMotion, what indicates these two cars will also reach production under the BlueMotion label. What they have in common with their European diesel cousins are some improvements in aerodynamics, such as an almost closed front grille, lower height and low-resistance-to-friction tyres.

What would really help these cars be more efficient would be the use of direct injection systems, as well as downsized engines, such as the 1.4 TSI, but most Volkswagen cars in Brazil are TotalFlex, or else, they work both with petrol or ethanol in any proportion. Costs to make a flexible direct injection engine must be high, but they would pay in a long term, since this technology could also be applied to cars sold all over the world. Brazilian BlueMotion cars may only seem as a marketing move, but we hope this is the first step of something bigger. Let's see how things go from this point on.

Source: VW and MotorTips

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