VW’s Diesel Roadster Gets 54 MPG, Offers Eco-Mode


At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volkswagen showed off its latest roadster — the BlueSport Concept. The BlueSport features a 177 hp diesel engine with rail injection and a downstream NOx storage catalytic converter, all in a 6-speed DSG dual clutch transmission.

With a top speed of 140 mph, the 2.0-liter turbodiesel (TDI) delivers 258 lb-ft of torque. The Euro 6 compliant version gets 54.7 mpg where as the US version will get around 42 mpg. I am happy for the Tier II emission standards we have here in the US, and T2B5 standards are close to California’s stricter Level II standards, but do we really lose 12 mpg by those standards?

It’s VW’s eco mode that accounts for the boost in fuel economy: an automatic start-stop system and energy regeneration. Together they propel the Concept BlueSport to an additional fuel savings of up to 0.2 liter per 100 kilometers in city driving.

The roadster is barely over a ton. It’s lightweight construction includes a soft top that is the lightest in its class. It paid off. It will take less than 6-seconds to hit 60 mph. Of course, its weight also pays off in fuel consumption.

Editor’s note: this post was updated 1/24/2009 at 4:12 PST to change a reference to the vehicle hitting “top speed” in under 6 seconds. It should have said it will hit 60 mph in under 6 seconds.

Photos: VWvortex.com

Jerry James Stone

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.