The 2010 World Green Car of the Year award has not gone to one model but to three—all featuring a system of efficiency technologies.
Volkswagen was given the award Thursday morning at the 2010 New York International Auto Show for its BlueMotion technology available on three VW models: the Golf, Passat, and Polo.
The BlueMotion brand label is given to VW cars that add efficiency technology to a model's engine, transmission, braking system, and aerodynamics among other parts. The combination creates the lowest CO2-emitting version of each car.
BlueMotion purports to improve a car's existing combustible engine, whether it be gas or diesel, to make it more efficient and emit less CO2, in lieu of using a completely alternative drivetrain such as a battery-powered electric vehicle.
While the exact changes to the engines and transmissions (mostly lower gear ratios) differ between the BlueMotion versions of Polo, Passat, and Golf, there are some overall similarities.
Among those BlueMotion additions is what VW calls start-stop (aka stop-start), a system that saves fuel by turning a car's engine off instead of leaving it to idle when the driver has come to a complete stop.
The BlueMotion versions of the Golf, Passat and Polo also offer slight body changes for less drag, which reduces fuel consumption through lower suspension, and more aerodynamic spoilers, bumpers, and grills.
BlueMotion cars also offer regenerative breaking and low rolling-resistance tyres.
The award was chosen by 59 automotive journalists from 25 countries.