Fifteen hundred? FIFTEEN HUNDRED!?!?! Wow, I want one of these... holy crap...
With an AA van behind them carrying two witnesses and tools for when the inevitable tank-ran-dry moment occurred, a crew from UK's The Sunday Times rolled into the record books last week when they piloted a Passat BlueMotion for 1527 miles on one tank of fuel.
Why? It's always disappointing to see how easily people disassociate themselves from vehicle performance issues or processes where human interaction is crucial. The handful of posts above validates this. Whether it’s vehicle handling or fuel mileage performance, it is the relative level of driver skill that contributes the most. Reading the posts above, one would be lead to think that this Passat is wholly and completely capable of the record-breaking performance result. Well, it's not. We can be certain that the route was carefully planned and that the individual behind the wheel applied numerous fuel conservation strategies. It goes without saying that the average American does not plan appropriate routes and is above using fuel conservation strategies.
We already have stellar fuel conservation VW models in place in the US market. When driven sensibly, the 2.0L diesel in all current VW products is a wonderfully-competent fuel mileage performer, ....even the 2.0L TSI as well. Unfortunately, only a small number of engaged enthusiasts take the time and are pateint enough to, ...well, drive sensibly. Life gets in the way ...places to go, people to see, instant gratification etc., plus affordable fuel prices (compared to other markets) certainly contribute.
Probably the best illustration of my point is the test that the boffins over at Top Gear did a while back ...where a Toyota Prius was driven around their test track at the maximum of it's power and handling limits. Another driver in a BMW M3 (with the 4.0L V8) followed the Prius around the track, at the exact same pace as the Prius (did not pass it). At the end of the test, despite the much thirstier engine and heavier weight etc., the BMW achieved better fuel economy than the Prius. It's not what you drive, but how you drive it ...as long as life does not get in the way.
As far as the 1.6L BlueMotion in the Passat is concerned, and this is in keeping with everything else in the world of hard core VW enthusiasts, there simply are not enough of us hardcore types in the USA to make exportation of this Eurozone model viable and profitable from financial perspective. The Euro-exchange losses of small volume niche product (like Scirocco, Golf R, Roadster etc.) would need to be fully offset by profits from new Jetta and NMS (...yeah, the cars we love to hate, but that is the harsh reality). Besides, despite its fuel mileage prowess, the press would skewer it: "...a 3500 lb. car with a 1.6L engine, with ...how many hp?" I wish I could be more optimistic about the 1.4L in the Cruze ...in the USA. After all, life gets in the way.
"Professional Driver, Closed Course."
SpeedWerks Racing 05/06 CASC OR GTA Champion
2008 DCSCC Autox Series Top 3 PAX Points
2009/10/12 DCSCC Autox THS Champion, Street Tire Champion & 2nd place PAX Points
If the polo or any other bluemotion TDi came here I think there would be a lot more americian that are willing to accept some of the down sides to having a smaller engine. To have the room of something like the passat is great and get that good of MPG. Everyone says that america would not like the size of a polo, so here you go one nice sized passat. They have the engine, now put them in a car that is already here!
I think the first half of your statement may not be correct entirely (see below) but the second is most definitely ACCURATE.We can be certain that the route was carefully planned and that the individual behind the wheel applied numerous fuel conservation strategies. It goes without saying that the average American does not plan appropriate routes and is above using fuel conservation strategies.
From the original article...
Probably Mr. Conway was their "car & driver" section contributor and while an experienced driver and able to pull out the hypermiling stops, probably wouldn't drive consistantly using hypermiling techniques over the entire three day test drive. I would be interested to see what his take was on his Bluemotion experience.Gavin Conway, for The Sunday Times, drove the Passat BlueMotion during the three-day record-breaking trip, accompanied by a navigator and video crew.
In fact, he probably was chosen simply because he could drive it "normally." I.e. like a Brit - which as you say is something a bit different than an American driver.
Brits drive differently - and develop different habits - when the base price for fuel is roughly 2x the cost of American.
It is surprising what little changes can have to mileage. In my TDI by going from 32psi in my tires to 40 psi I can raise the mileage from about 44 to about 53 (measured this morning.) And that guy with the New Beetle TDI who put an airfoil behind his rear view window (along with speed <55 and hard tires) gets 76mpg.
But in this, like so many things, to get something you have to give up something.
Another reason VW should bring the passat tdi to the usa. If it wasn't for conservative lobbyists forcing high MPG cars out of the us, this car would already be here. Even with normal "us driving" this car could easily obtain 40mpg
the car is on an inclined driveway and up on jack stands in the front onlyMaster L1 ASE certifiedVW's don't leak oil, they just mark their territory!