Refreshed Volkswagen Polo Available With Natural Gas Engine

Volkswagen has added a natural gas engine to its Polo compact car lineup as part of the launch of the refreshed compact car model.

The compressed natural gas Polo comes with a 1.0 TGI, a new three-cylinder engine that VW created for natural gas propulsion. The German automaker said the car that’s not for sale in the U.S. has an output of 66 kilowatts, or 90 PS (metric horsepower).

The new Polo had its world premiere in Berlin on Friday, the sixth generation of the popular compact car. The automaker said that with its 14 million units sold to date, the conventional Polo been one of the best-selling compact cars worldwide.

It’s larger in every dimension than its predecessor versions. The new model includes advanced features as several driver assistance systems that are available in the Golf and Passat class.

The new Polo will be launched throughout Europe before the year is out, with a number of Euro 6 engines being phase in. Euro 6 engines come from European Union guidelines on efficient internal combustion engines built with reduced emissions.

In addition, there will be a choice of four gasoline and two diesel engines for the Polo, all equipped as standard with start/stop system and regenerative braking mode.

These fuel efficient Polos, and the new CNG variation, are part of VW’s global campaign to distance itself from the “dirty diesel” crisis that started in September 2015.

VW has been looking closely at CNG-powered cars for quite some time now. The German automaker has been in talks with both Exxon Mobil and Russian natural gas company Gazprom about collaborating.

“We are now really trying to think out of the box and find solutions that can be helpful at least in this transition period of 10 to 20 years,” said VW CEO Matthias Mueller in an interview on Austria’s ORF radio last month, as reported by Autoweek.

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Along with better-made diesel engines, CNG vehicles will be necessary for the current phase of complying with strict European emissions targets. VW has big plans ahead for electric vehicles, but for now diesel and natural gas engines are a necessity.

“Modern diesel and natural gas engines will absolutely be required to deliver CO2 targets until 2020, and they will also contribute to further reductions going on from there,” said Ulrich Eichhorn, VW’s new head of research and development last year.