NAIAS 2014 Preview: Volkswagen

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With the press days of the 2014 North American Auto Show kicking off on Jan. 13, The Driving Life previews some of the most anticipated models that will debut at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

IIt’s difficult to imagine an extremely fuel efficient vehicle that isn’t a hybrid, electric or even diesel – especially in the mid-size class. However, Volkswagen will be looking to change that notion in Detroit with the world debut of the Passat BlueMotion Concept.

The Passat-based concept features an all-new version of VW’s 1.4-liter turbocharged TSI engine. The highly efficient engine allows the Passat BlueMotion Concept to achieve an estimated fuel economy of 42 mpg on the highway, which is the best rating in the mid-size class among non-hybrid, gasoline-powered engines.

In addition to the efficient engine, which boast a respectable 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, the Passat BlueMotion Concept’s fuel economy is aided with technology currently only available on European VW models — Active Cylinder Management (ACT). ACT deactivates the valvetrain on certain cylinders in situations when the driver only applies light throttle pressure to maintain specific city speeds.

The Passat also features some additional fuel-saving options such as a coasting function – used also on the Jetta Hybrid – which reduces the Passat’s mechanical drag when the accelerator is released. Additionally, a stop/start system shuts off the engine when the car comes to a temporary stop, and starts it up again as soon as the driver lifts his or her foot off the brake.

Also in Detroit, the VW Golf R will be making its U.S. debut. The Golf R will be the most powerful version of the Golf ever sold in North American, with a 290-horsepower, TSI 2.0-liter engine that goes 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds. You can see more of the Golf R in the photo gallery below.

[Source: Volkswagen USA]