Meet the Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion Concept. Unveiled at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the show car demonstrates just how fuel efficient a non-hybrid gasoline-powered midsize sedan can be. How efficient is it, you ask? 42 MPG on the highway efficient, that’s how.
The Passat features VW’s all-new 1.4-liter turbo-charged and direct-injected TSI four-cylinder engine (EA211) good for 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The engine, which has been available in European-market VW Polo and Golf models, features three impressive fuel-saving technologies — Active Cylinder Management, Stop-Start, and a coasting feature.
ACT, or Active Cylinder Management — according to VW, deactivates the valvetrain on cylinders two and three for situations when the driver only applies light throttle pressure to maintain specific city speeds, thereby helping save fuel. Meanwhile, the Stop-Start system shuts off the engine when the car comes to a temporary stop. As soon as the driver lifts their foot off the brake, the 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine starts again. Additionally, the coasting function, which is also used on VW’s Jetta Hybrid, allows the DSG transmission to decouple the engine when the driver releases the accelerator pedal, allowing the Passat to roll with the lowest possible mechanical drag. All of these features contribute to the concept’s best-in-class (among non-hybrid, gasoline-engined mid-size sedans) 42 MPG highway figure.
On the inside the concept features two-tone seats that carry blue dividing lines between the darker and lighter leather seating surfaces. The stitching, which indicates that the vehicle is a member of the BlueMotion family, has been seen on many highly fuel-efficient Volkswagen models available in various markets around the world since 2006.
On a somewhat related note, it’s also introducing a new blue hue for the Passat range.
The Motrolix Take
Given that one of the determining factors that midsize sedan buyers take into consideration when shopping for a vehicle is high fuel economy, a production Passat BlueMotion should make the vehicle more attractive to buyers. We expect a production version to arrive sometime this year.