Volkswagen has unveiled the first ever Golf to be factory-fitted with a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) system at this week’s Bologna Motor Show in Italy. Using a simple switchover system, the Golf ‘BiFuel’ is capable of being driven with either regular petrol or LPG depending on the user's preference, and according to its creators the combination of petrol and LPG greatly reduces the car's environmental impact, cutting CO2 emissions by more than 10%.

In LPG mode, the 96hp (72 kW) 1.6L four-cylinder engine of the Golf BiFuel averages 25.5mpg (9.2L/100km ) and 149g/km of CO2. In petrol mode, the Golf BiFuel averages 33mpg (7.1L/100km) and 169g/km of CO2. This means that the 41-liter LPG tank and the 55-liter petrol tank together propel the car to a theoretical range of greater than 683 miles (1,100km). In pure LPG mode, the car’s range is about 260 miles (420km).

While many companies offer aftermarket LPG systems for a range of cars, the system in the Golf BiFuel offers significant advantages to non-OEM systems. One advantage is that the Golf Bifuel, with both of its fuel tanks, has been crash tested as a single car so it has a greater guarantee of safety. Also, the engine in the Golf BiFuel has been specially configured for LPG operation, and so it is more durable than engines originally tuned as petrol only.

For other dual-fuel VW cars, check out our previous story on the VW Passat concept that uses both petrol and natural gas.