2008 Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion

Aaron Williams
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2008 Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion

The Polo BlueMotion is one of the six BlueMotion vehicles Volkswagen is showing at Frankfurt this year. The Polo is an ultra-compact that is very popular in Europe partly because of its stellar fuel economy - the standard TDI version gets 53 mpg.

The new BlueMotion Polo is even better, able to reach 60 mpg in combined driving. This is even better than the Toyota Prius, which can only reach that level of fuel frugality driving in the city where it doesn't use its gas motor.

The Polo achieves this impressive efficiency with major upgrades all around. Volkswagen decreased the engine idle speed and lengthened the gearing. The car's aerodynamics were also optimized - the BlueMotion has a new front spoiler, grille, and roof edge spoiler. Finally, the Polo was given high-pressure tires (which, we will remind you, is a good way to save fuel yourself - most people drive around on under-inflated tires.)

For those worried about performance, Volkswagen made sure that their modifications didn't cripple the car. Thanks mainly to the longer gearing, the 80-horsepower engine is able to propel the Polo to 109 mph. While not a speed demon - it can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.8 seconds - the Polo is quick enough to comfortably pass or merge onto the highway.

The Polo BlueMotion proves that hybrids aren't the only answer to the global fuel crisis. Here's a car that is cheap, fun, and low-impact all at the same time. Too bad it isn't sold in the US.

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