Fleet News

Geneva Motor Show: Volkswagen puts diesel to the fore

VOLKSWAGEN aims to put diesel technology at the heart of its advertising message this year to convince company car drivers of the driving appeal of diesel.

The tax appeal of diesel under the new emissions-based benefit-in-kind system is clear to see, but Volkswagen still senses a residual hostility to diesel among company car drivers who have not driven a turbodiesel for a decade or more.

So Volkswagen is likely to move away from the traditional fuel economy messages that have characterised diesel marketing in the past, and instead will focus on the driving pleasures of the fuel.

This is a difficult task to do on paper, however, given that traditional marketing messages focus on 0-60mph times and top speeds, rather than torque (variously described as pulling power, shove or sheer 'oomph').

However, it is torque that makes the difference to mid-range acceleration - in the key overtaking range - that delivers driving enjoyment.

Paul Willis, director of Volkswagen UK, said: 'The torque curve of diesel is far superior to an equivalent petrol engine.'

He claims diesel is 'the fuel of the future', at least until hydrogen technology takes hold, and believes Volkswagen can carve a niche for itself as the 'sporty diesel manufacturer.'

'We have a real chance of owning diesel sport in the mass market. Our PD technology is different - with PD engines operating at 30% higher pressure than common rail engines', he said

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