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Go green: High-mileage cars driving into India.

Posted on: March 6, 2009

Get ready for the next generation of fuel efficient cars. A slew of green technologies that use less fuel and pollute lesser, along with alternatives like electric vehicles, are on display at the Geneva Auto Show this year. What’s more, many of these cars would be driving into India soon.

Take Volkwagen’s latest Polo, a major launch for the European giant at the exhibition . One of the diesel variants, the Polo 1.6 TDI which generates 90 PS of power, is being touted as the world’s most fuel efficient fiveseater when combined with VW’s cutting-edge ‘BlueMotion package’ that injects urea into the engine to significantly increase efficiency and lower emissions. VW says the car will have a phenomenal mileage of over 26km to a litre. The hatchback will be produced and sold in India from next year. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the Volkswagen board, said Blue-Motion technology will be offered for the Polo in India as well after it’s tweaked for the country’s driving conditions.

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Another Polo version, powered by a new 1.2 TSI petrol engine, claims an average consumption of 18km to a litre while producing 105 PS of power — that’s 19% less consumption than its equivalent previous model.

VW is also showcasing at the show the Polo BlueMotion concept car, to be marketed in Europe next year, that takes fuel consumption to an even greater low — over 30km to a litre of diesel! Among the car’s green features would be a start-stop system and regenerative braking . Says VW development chief Ulrich Hackenberg , “The engine and other systems of the Polo BlueMotion are already operating with such promising performance that we are on course to meet our goal (of launching the car next year).

Though VW has emerged as one of the leaders in efficiency technology, other carmakers too have been intensively innovating. The Suzuki stall, for example, displays a concept Alto that too features the start-stop system. This technology enables the car to automatically switch off at intersections and come back on at the press of the accelerator, leading to considerable saving of fuel. With India at the centre of Suzuki’s plans, it car is expected to enter the country after it’s developed and comes into production.

Then there’s Mercedes. The German carmaker has on display the new E 350, that’s also planned to come to India. The has lower weight than other models in the E class, a more streamlined shape and an efficient energy management system to save fuel. It uses a 2.3 litre, 204 bhp Blue TEC diesel engine that claims a fantastic average of 18.8km per litre.

Our own Tata too has been working aggresively on cleaner technology. It’s strategic acquisition of Norwegian company Miljo Grenland/Innovasjon, which specialises in developing solutions for electric vehicles, has resulted in the all-electric Indica on display in Geneva. Group chairman Ratan Tata said here that the Indica EV can travel a healthy 200km on a single charge and will be launched in September in Norway.


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