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MOTION SLICKNESS (some text hidden)
BY STEVE WALKER
Introductionword count: 120
Volkswagen secured the dubious honour of being amongst the first out of the blocks with its own environmental brand when the BlueMotion banner made its debut on the Polo supermini in 2007. Cynical marketing ploy or honest stab at saving the planet, the BlueMotion concept of making simple modifications to improve the fuel economy of an existing car swept through the market like wildfire. All the manufacturers were at it and a public increasingly put out by the rising cost of motoring and turned on to the plight of the Polar bear, lapped up the crop of green vehicles that the Polo BlueMotion fostered. It's quite an influential car then, but does that mean you should buy a used one?
Modelsword count: 12
Models Civered: (3/5dr hatchback, 1.4 TDI 80bhp diesel [BlueMotion 1, BlueMotion 2])
Historyword count: 243
As far as history goes, this particular BlueMotion doesn't have much of one. The concept caused quite a stir at the 2006 Geneva show and immediately sent the scores of would-be imitators scurrying off to their drawing boards so that when the production car went on sale in that later stages of 2007, its rivals weren't far behind. The BlueMotion brand was quickly rolled out to Passat and Golf with other Volkswagen model lines getting their variation on the theme in due course. In the meantime, Ford was debuting its ECOnetic models, Skoda had Greenline in the offing, Vauxhall came over all ecoFLEX on us and SEAT had dreamed up Ecomotive. There were others too but you get the idea. The speed with which this green-branded car sector materialised only underlined how simple and cheap it was for the manufacturers to make these modifications to their vehicles. It then raised the pertinent question of why they hadn't fitted similar features to the standard versions as a matter of course. Whatever the motivation, and profit seems as good a bet as any, at least it was a step in the right direction. Cars were getting greener and the industry was doing quite nicely out of it. By 2009, it was all over for this first generation Polo BlueMotion. An all-new Polo made its debut and the range included an all-new BlueMotion version that turned in an even more squeaky clean performance at the pumps.
What You Getword count: 248
The bottom line with the Polo BlueMotion is combined cycle fuel economy of 74.3 and CO2 emissions of 99g/km. That's an extremely good performance in anyone's book, especially for a full-sized supermini. Those figures are for the BlueMotion 1 car: the better equipped and slightly heavier BlueMotion 2 'only' manages 72mpg and 102g/km. The fuel savings are achieved through various weight saving measures which drop the car's kerb weight down to 1084kg. There are aerodynamic tweaks including a special front grille design, a lower front bumper and a rear spoiler. Finally, there's higher gearing to take some of the strain off the engine and set of 14" lightweight alloy wheels shod with low rolling resistance tyres. Otherwise, the recipe is standard Volkswagen Polo. A low key exterior design is followed up by a sturdy by unexciting interior. There's plenty of space for four adults inside but no split folding rear seat on the standard car is a significant drawback. The boot is large and well shaped, so you'll get a lot inside before you have to start tinkering with the seat backs. As we've indicated, it comes in two guises - BlueMotion 1 and BlueMotion 2. The BlueMotion 1's list of standard equipment is short but sweet including a diesel particulate filter, twin front and side airbags, a CD player and electric windows. The BlueMotion 2 benefits from air conditioning, rain sensing windscreen wipers, remote central locking and leather trim for the steering wheel, handbrake and gear knob.
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