Despite having the power to zip a sports car to 62mph in only 6.3 seconds, the new motor has a displacement of less than 1.5 litres.
With an output of 134bhp and 184lb-ft torque, the German group’s latest turbodiesel boasts the vital statistics that sound like a dream come true in the wake of surging price rises at the fuel pumps.
Fitted to the lightweight bodywork of the concept vehicle EcoRacer, a 3.77m long, 1.74m wide and 1.21m high carbon-fibre prototype sports model with a removable T-bar roof and which had its world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show, the in-line four-cylinder engine has proved itself capable of even better economy during trials in Germany.
When researchers drove the car ‘with restraint’, they achieved more than 94mpg and covered 620 miles on only 6.5 gallons of fuel.
Volkswagen Group executive director Matthias Rube said: ‘We are looking at the future of the diesel engine.
‘Our 1.5 TDI is still under test, but like our new twin charger unit among direct-injection petrol engines, this direct injection turbodiesel offers the greatest agility at the lowest consumption.
‘We refer to it as a highly charged downsizing concept.’
The four-valve unit develops its maximum torque at between 1,900 and 3,750 revs.
Light and compact, it conforms to values planned for the EU-5 exhaust standard. Rube added: ‘This engine also has the potential to implement CCS, the combustion process we’re working on that will eventually make use of synthetic fuel to combine the advantages of both diesel and petrol engines. It’s very exciting.’