Three Volkswagen models are set to compete in the second RAC Future Car Challenge on Saturday 5 November, including the prototype electric Golf blue-e-motion which won the inaugural event last year.
The Challenge follows a route from Madeira Drive in Brighton to Pall Mall in London, during which the participating vehicles are measured for the energy they use. The winner is the vehicle found to have used the least energy on the 57-mile route.
This year, two Golf blue-e-motion prototypes will be competing. The Golf blue-e-motion is an electric vehicle developing 115 PS and 199 lbs ft of torque through an electric motor which is powered by a series of lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 26.5 kilowatt hours.
Despite its advanced drivetrain, the Golf blue-e-motion is as versatile as the conventional vehicle on which it is based, with the ability to accelerate to 62 mph in 11.8 seconds and a boot volume of 279 litres. In outward appearance it is near-indistinguishable from a standard combustion engine Golf, save for the lack of an exhaust pipe.
The Golf blue-e-motion prototype indicates the future direction of Volkswagen’s electric vehicle programme with the first production model planned to go on sale in 2013, following an electric version of the new up! city car.
Alongside the two Golf blue-e-motion models will be one of the most efficient and lowest-polluting production vehicles on sale today, in the form of the new Passat BlueMotion. It is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine producing 105 PS and employs a series of aerodynamic and mechanical changes to maximise the efficiency of the engine, giving it a combined fuel economy of 68.9 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 109 g/km.
The first cars competing in the Challenge will depart Brighton at 07.30 before making a brief stop at Central Sussex College in Crawley en route to the finish in Central London. After completing the challenge, the vehicles will be on display in Regent Street in London, as part of the first-ever Regent Street Motor Show from 12:30 to 16:00.