Volkswagen Launches First New Diesel Since Dieselgate

In case you missed it, Volkswagen cost itself tens of billions of dollars back in 2015 by fudging the numbers on EPA and European emissions tests with its Bluemotion “clean diesel” engines. In the aftermath of that scandal, one would expect that any new diesel engine from VW would come under intense scrutiny- and that’s what makes the claims surrounding the company’s latest 1.5 liter diesel so interesting.

For starters, there’s the fuel economy. VW claims its latest diesel-powered Golf will go an astounding 61.4 miles for every gallon of diesel you feed. Yes, that’s on the more lenient European testing cycle, but it’s still a huge number.

The key to those big fuel economy numbers is a new engine-off coasting feature that- like existing stop-start technologies that cut the engine off at a stop- shut off the engine while the car is coasting. That means that, if you have your VW Golf TSi’s cruise control set to 68MPH (for example), and you find yourself going down a long hill, the car’s computer will shut the engine off during the descent. Once the engine is needed again to maintain a constant speed, it starts back up. A compact, lithium-ion battery pack keeps the car’s electric accessories going while the car coasts, extending the car’s “coasting range” relative to systems that lack the additional battery backup.

In testing trim, the new 1.5L Volkswagen Bluemotion diesel supposedly produces 129 HP with tailpipe emissions of 104g/km on the New European Driving Cycle.

Yes, I said “supposedly”. With VW’s past history of clever cheats that skirt the edges of legality, I think that’s a fair addition to the above sentence- but it might not be. What do you guys think? Has Dieselgate taught VW that wheaters never win, or do you think they’ve just gotten smarter about who to bribe? Let us know what you think, in the comments.


Source | Images: VW, via AutoExpress UK.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.