Until the so-called diesel emissions scandal hit the headlines and the spotlight was shone on electric car development, Volkswagen’s TDI diesel engines dominated the efficiency charts for decades, synonymous with returning eyebrow-raising ‘mpg’ fuel economy figures and racking up intergalactic mileages.

Take Roy Dyson from Ashton Keynes in Wiltshire, for example, whose mark IV Golf 1.9 TDI clocked 507,759 miles. Following Inchcape Volkswagen in Swindon showing off Roy’s former car outside their dealership for a while, Volkswagen UK now own it, featuring it at events and shows to herald its build quality and stellar engine.

The Volkswagen Golf has long proved popular amongst company car fleets and private drivers alike, with a hefty chunk of them plumping for variants with a TDI diesel unit at the heart, combining decent pulling power with remarkable fuel consumption on a par with Honda’s revered i-DTEC powerplants.

With the government, technologists and many other environmental voices banging the anti-diesel drum these days, car and van manufacturers are increasingly putting elbow grease into developing increasingly efficient petrol engines. While NOx levels are coming down, the UK’s CO2 levels are admittedly rising as this policy backfires, but that’s another matter.

The new 1.5 TSI ACT BlueMotion petrol engine from Volkswagen promises diesel-like fuel economy at a significantly cheaper price that the equivalent diesel. Already powering some Golf Mk 7.5 variants, the unit produces 130PS and is touted as delivering upto just shy of 59mpg in the efficiency stakes. How is Volkswagen’s four-cylinder 1.5 TSI ACT BlueMotion engine so frugal?

Firstly, it incorporates a new TSI Miller combustion process and high-tech turbocharger with variable turbine geometry (VTG). ACT stands for Active Cylinder Management and sees the two inner cylinders deactivated whenever possible when the engine isn’t being placed under high demand.

When mated to VW’s 7-speed DSG automated manual transmission, the 1.5 TSI ACT BlueMotion petrol engine acts as a micro-hybrid, allowing the vehicle to coast while not using any engine power at all and emitting zero emissions. A 12V electrical system and lithium-ion battery supply the car’s components with energy while the engine is coasting.

In case you’re wondering, the new engine being shouted about is different to the 1.5-litre ‘EVO’ unit that produces 150PS and isn’t as economical.

How does the 1.5 TSI ACT BlueMotion petrol engine compare to a diesel Golf? It emits 110g/km CO2, placing it in-between the 1.6 TDI SE at 102g/km and the 2.0 TDI SE at 114g/km. Horsepower of 130PS also places it in the middle of the 115PS 1.6 TDI and the 150PS 2.0 TDI. Whether or not VW’s new petrol engine is as economical as its diesel counterparts at the pump is up for debate, though, the 1.6 TDI SE returning upto 72.4mpg while the 2.0 TDI SE is good for upto 62.8mpg.

Volkswagen is so sure of its latest, cutting-edge petrol engine technology that it plans to introduce the 1.5 TSI ACT BlueMotion to more of its models over the coming months.

Whether you manage a fleet of company cars and user-choosers and require business leasing solutions or you’re a private motorist looking for a hatchback on personal contract hire (PCH), contact our experienced specialists today and they will advise you on the optimum Volkswagen or other brand model to best meet your current needs.