The atmosphere obviously has changed since those heady days of 2006 when Volkswagen was making a fuss about its new Bluemotion range of fuel economy optimised road cars, embodying the spirit of Ferdinand Piech's 'one litre car' that eventually became the XL1. Nowdays Bluemotion is just another badge in the model line-up and the purity of vision applied to this little Polo is now a little more… cynically realised.
See, I have a strange attraction to cars that do what they say on the tin and have some engineering credibility to back it up. And the original Polo Bluemotion was more than just a badge; it got proper modifications to bodywork, suspension, gearing and more in the name of improved economy. Modifications that both give it credibility in my eyes. And also make it look rather cool.
There's something lightly Euro-modified about the Bluemotion's look, and in a good way. Indeed, it was developed by an in-house special projects division known as Volkswagen Individual, underlining quite how much was invested in this car. Improved aerodynamics were one way VW sought to improve the fuel consumption so the Polo got a special grille, front splitter and integrated rear wing. Remember, we're talking about a basic diesel supermini here. It also got some rather delightful lightweight alloy wheels and low-rolling resistance tyres.