What is it?
It’s the new, super-economy version of the new VW Polo, still a year from British showrooms, but more or less complete. We drove a late prototype at VW’s launch for its other Polo models in Sardinia, Italy. If VW’s other BlueMotion models (Golf, Jetta, Caddy, Passat, Touran) are anything to go by, this will have a claim to being the world’s most frugal supermini.
The VW Polo BlueMotion is powered by an all-new 1.2 litre three-cylinder common-rail turbodiesel producing 75bhp, and driving through a five-speed manual gearbox with very widely spaced ratios and an tall (30mph/1000 rpm) fifth gear.
The engine stops when the car is stationary in traffic, then restarts when the driver selects first gear. There’s a smart alternator that does most of its battery charging the when the car is slowing, and the body is fitted with body bits to improve its aerodynamics (front splitter, flat undertray, side skirts, rear window fairing and a 10mm lower ride height).