US buyers have never been particularly jealous of the larger range of Volkswagens that are available in Europe. The big names such as the Golf GTI and Golf R are now on offer, and tiny cars such as the Polo and the new up! don’t really have appeal in the states. This might all change with the release of the new Volkswagen Polo BlueGT however. It’s a car that offers exceptional fuel economy, with surprisingly good performance; two things that many drivers will be looking for as fuel prices creep up.
Americans all over the country are turning towards more economical vehicles, but small cars still haven’t really taken off. Part of this is down to the fact that they tend to be pretty slow out on the big highways. The BlueGT has just 138 horsepower, but that’s enough to complete the 0-60 sprint in 7.9 seconds; quick enough for most. It’s the mid-range pull that’s really impressive though – all 250Nm of torque is available from just 1,500 rpm. This just goes to show what you can get out of a little turbocharged 1.4.
It’s the fuel economy that’s the most attractive though. Volkswagen’s figures indicate 61.4mpg, which translates to 51mpg in US gallons. This is very high for a petrol car, and with the cost of fuel increasing everywhere, it’s certainly a winning formula. Part of this excellent level of economy is down to very clever cylinder deactivation technology. This means that, when possible, two of the car’s four cylinders can be shut off. It’s almost seamless too.
The BlueGT is a good looking car. It’s got a body kit, unique alloy wheels and a suede effect interior. As you’d expect from a German manufacturer, the build quality is excellent; this is a premium small car. Many would claim that this is just a smaller version of the Golf – there have been no corners cut, and the low price reflects only the car’s size.
With the Polo BlueGT offering such an impressive combination of performance and economy, it’s surely going to be a hit in Europe. The US has finally embraced compact cars; used VW Jettas are extremely popular for instance, but could it be models like the BlueGT that tempt them to start buying superminis? With enough demand, cars like this might just cross the atlantic.