Hybrids and electric vehicles may be the future at the Volkswagen Group, but the combustion engine will still dominate many years from now. For those in need of diesel-like fuel economy without the disadvantages of a TDI-powered car, VAG offers a decent number of vehicles powered by petrol engines that can run on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Following the launch of the SEAT Arona TGI and the updated Skoda Octavia G-TEC, the VW core brand is unveiling today revised versions of Polo TGI and the bigger Golf TGI. Powered by a 89-bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, the supermini has gained a third CNG tank carrying 16.5 litres of natural gas to increase the grand total to 91.5 litres. As per the new and more realistic Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), the supermini hatchback can now travel for up to 229 miles purely in CNG mode.

As far as the Golf TGI is concerned, it’s been upgraded to a new 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that needs 3.5 – 3.6 kg of natural gas for every 62 miles (100 kilometres) covered. The 128-bhp powertrain runs on the TGI Miller combustion process and makes use of a turbocharger benefitting from variable turbine geometry allowing more air to go into the cylinders. Compared to its predecessor, the Golf TGI can travel for an additional 50 miles on natural gas while slashing emissions to as low as 95 g/km.

VW points out the main advantages of purchasing a car that is CNG-friendly. Not only is it more fuel efficient than a regular petrol-fuelled car of the same size, but it cuts emissions by approximately 25 percent.

With the eighth-generation Golf right around the corner, this could very well be the last update VW is applying to the Mk7. Of course, we won’t have a problem with the folks from Wolfsburg if they’ll send off the current Golf with the much-hyped R420 version…

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Volkswagen gives some gas with new TGI models

Volkswagen has completely overhauled its natural gas models and is equipping its Polo and Golf TGI3 with a third natural gas tank. This allows the Polo TGI2 to now travel up to 60 kilometres further in pure CNG mode than its predecessor. The gain in range in the Golf TGI is up to 80 kilometres. In the Golf, a new 1.5 litre TGI four-cylinder engine with 96 kW / 130 PS ensures that none of the driving pleasure is lost. Driving with natural gas significantly reduces CO2 emissions because the combustion of CNG generally produces less CO2. An even better CO2 balance can be achieved by fuelling with biomethane or e-gas. Biomethane is extracted from plant residues; e-gas is produced from surplus green energy (power-to-gas), which are added to the fuels.