On the eve of the opening of the Paris Motor Show, Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of Volkswagen AG, confidently declared the Volkswagen Group as green.
In a rousing speech at the company’s pre-show press event, Winterkorn presided over the unveiling of reduced emissions and lower fuel consumption models from across Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and SEAT.
With cars such as the new Passat BlueMotion II concept and Audi A4 TDIe being unveiled, Winterkorn may be justified in his environmental posturing – the headline 109g/km and 68.9mpg figures of Volkswagen’s Blue-Motion II showcar are impressive for an upper-medium car.
Volkswagen made less noise about the production BlueMotion II Passat, which will produce 128g/km CO2 when it is launched later this year alongside the 99g/km BlueMotion Golf.
However, next year its 2.0-litre TDI diesel will be re-mapped to bring that CO2 figure down to 114g/km.
Audi’s A1 Sportback and Golf TwinDrive concepts demonstrate how the company is looking at implementing mild hybrids into the model range in the future to further reduce emissions.
Winterkorn said the next few years would be tough for the company thanks to the cumulative effects of the credit crunch. He was confident, however, that by producing attractive and environmentally-friendly models, Volkswagen Group would continue to prosper.
Calling for some perspective in the environmental debate, Winterkorn described Volkswagen’s stance as ‘responsible mobility’, suggesting that environmental concerns should not be at the expense of mobility.
The BlueMotion II was shown alongside its Golf BlueMotion relative, as well as the group’s new Audi, SEAT and Volkswagen performance models.
Volkswagen’s new Golf GTI was introduced, the new car seeing its power increased to 207bhp and managing a CO2 figure of 178g/km and combined economy of 37.6mpg – an 11g/km and 2.3mpg improvement over the outgoing car.
Winterkorn’s claims of the Volkswagen Group being “champions of economy” sidestepped the unveiling of a V10-powered four-door Lamborghini concept car and the latest open-topped version of Bugatti’s Veyron.