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Volkswagen Introduces the Most Fuel Efficient Family Car in Today’s U.S. Market

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – In the midst of this year’s skyrocketing gas prices, Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today the nationwide market arrival of the most fuel-efficient midsize family car sold in the U.S.—the technologically advanced diesel-powered 2004 Passat TDI.

While providing room for five adults and 95 cubic-feet of passenger space, both the sedan and wagon versions of the Volkswagen Passat TDI deliver an EPA fuel rating of 38 miles per gallon (mpg) on the highway and 27 mpg in the city.  Combining this economy with a 16.4 gallon fuel tank, the Passat TDI offers the best-in-class driving range of 623 miles.  This means the Passat TDI can be driven from Detroit to Washington, D.C. on a single tank of fuel and still have enough left in the tank to sightsee for the day.

The Passat model is the most popular and most affordable German-built midsize family car sold in the U.S.  Even with its high-tech and fuel-efficient engine, the Passat TDI sedan is priced at a MSRP of $23,060. The Passat TDI Wagon is $24,060.  Both prices represent a premium of just $205 over a comparable gas engine.

Helping put to rest the bleak images of tailpipe smoke and noise, Volkswagen’s TDI diesel engines are extremely high-tech, much cleaner and a major departure from what many consumers may remember about old diesels.  Specifically, the Passat TDI 2.0-liter is a sophisticated four-cylinder direct-injection engine with a turbocharger/intercooler. It delivers 134 horsepower at 4,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) and a maximum torque of 247 lbs.-ft. at just 1,900 rpm.

The Passat TDI’s exceptionally efficient and smooth performance is due in large part to its advanced electronic fuel injection system that is completely “drive-by-wire” from the foot pedal to the fuel delivery in the engine.  At the heart of this system is Volkswagen’s unique “Pumpe Düse” technology as it is known in Germany, or unit injectors as it is called here in the U.S.  Developed in cooperation with Bosch, these unit injectors are located at each cylinder to deliver the fuel for combustion.  Because of exacting electronic control, the new Pumpe Düse technology creates a very high fuel pressure and better atomizes and precisely meters the fuel injection into the cylinders. This results in increased engine efficiency and power, with the desired benefits of quieter engine operation, and highly optimized fuel economy.

Volkswagen — a pioneer in diesel technology —is leading the way in next-generation automotive diesel technology, offering the new “Pumpe Düse ” TDI in the New Beetle, Golf, Jetta, Passat.  Also recently joining the line-up is the Touareg SUV with a powerful V10 TDI.  As it has been since 1996, Volkswagen is the best-selling choice of drivers who prefer the modern diesel engine’s advanced-yet-economic means of motoring.


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