13 March 2010 ~ 8 Comments

Volkswagen quietly launch petrol and LPG-powered Polo BiFuel

There’s been no official announcement yet, but scouting around on the German Volkswagen website, we came across another new Polo variant and it’s one which could challenge even the Polo BlueMotion’s economic leanings. Called the Polo BiFuel, the newcomer’s 1.4-litre 84bhp engine runs on both petrol and LPG autogas. Starting on petrol, once warmed up, the twin-fuel Polo then automatically switches its diet to LPG. Fuel choice can then be decided while running by the push of a button.

Driving this way, Volkswagen quotes a maximised total range of 1300km (807 miles) from the car’s 52-litre fuel tank, located in the spare wheel well in the luggage compartment. An LED-display in the instrument panel tells the driver which fuel system is being used. Compared to the standard petrol running, emissions go down 10% when in LPG mode and filling up is easy, as over 5700 filling stations in Germany sell the revolutionary fuel.

The Polo BiFuel is available in the traditional Volkswagen versions of Trendline, Comfortline and Highline, as well as the special-edition Team. All are fitted with the same 1390cc unit (developing 81bhp when using LPG) and five-speed gearbox and although nowhere near as clean as the 87g/km BlueMotion, the Polo BiFuel pumps out 146g/km of CO2 when in standard petrol mode and 132g/km when sipping LPG.

Prices start at €16.325 for the Polo BiFuel Trendline, rising to €17.625 for the Comfortline, topping out at €18.450 for the Highline (€2550 more than the non-LPG equivalent version). All models listed are three-doors; the price rises again for two further openings. Unfortunately, we’ve no definite on-sale dates as the Polo BiFuel has only very recently been added to the Volkswagen’s German website pages. It is also listed in the latest March 2010 technical data and prices catalogue available here, again only applicable to its home market.

Although it will never challenge the BlueMotion in the cleanliness stakes, the BiFuel is an interesting addition to the range and due to the low price of LPG autogas, could prove cheaper to run than its eco-Polo brother. It won’t work in the UK at the moment due to the lack of availability of the LPG it needs to drink, but Volkswagen is certainly has its hands in many environmental pies in Europe; the twin-fuel Polo joins BiFuel versions of the Golf and Golf Plus already on sale.

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