Pole position for savers: Already in the 1980s, an innovative set of fuel saving options was available for Polo, Golf, and Co.
Start/stop system, aerodynamic optimization, increased compression, longer gear ratios – the ingredients for Volkswagen’s legendary ‘Formula E’ recipe for success led to genuine savings from 1980. What back then was a vision of the future laid the foundation for today’s everyday technology. Today, the Golf 1.5 TSI ACT BlueMotion1 with its coasting function produces savings potentials. My, how time flies: back in 1973, Volkswagen fitted a VW 412 with a stop/start system by way of a trial. Also tested in the IRVW II (‘Integrated Research Volkswagen’) based on the Passat B2, the everyday fuel saving method went into series production at Volkswagen in 1980, roughly 40 years ago. Its name was Formula E. With no sacrifices in comfort and benefits, it was instead a perceptible gain for the environment. Polo, Derby, Golf, Jetta, Passat, and Santana were all available with the new technology, which yielded impressive savings potentials from one to as much as just under two litres of fuel per 100 kilometres covered. Incidentally, this was tested and confirmed at the time, by the trade magazine ‘auto, motor und sport’ (a/m/s). “No one else offers such a complete economy package” was the verdict of a/m/s in March 1981. One thing all the listed models shared was a top gear with an especially long gear ratio, which was indicated by an orange-coloured E on the gear knob. In addition, the developers at Volkswagen had increased the compression ratios of the inline four-cylinder engines.
Smart saving with E ‘E’ for ‘Economy’ – this credo also matched the gear-change indicator on the instrument cluster of the Formula E models, which used an illuminated arrow to indicate the most economical moment to shift up to the next gear. On the outside – depending on the model – the streamlined aerodynamic kits at front and rear together with the discreet ‘Formula E