July 25, 2008

VW to build fuel-miser "1 Liter" concept

As NMM continues to grow, I've focused on breaking news and new technologies. But to fully understand the impact of VW's decision, I have to delve in the company's history for a moment.

In 2002 — shortly after then CEO Ferdinand Piech presided over the launch of the $70,000-plus VW Phaeton luxury sedan — Piech wanted to attend the company annual meeting in Hamburg in style.

But rather than pluck one of the hand crafted Phaetons off the line, Piech directed a small group of engineers to build the most fuel-efficient vehicle they could. The result set the European motoring press raving.

Follow this link for full-size photos and to learn more about the VW "1 liter "concept.

Weighing only 638 pounds and hewn from unpainted carbon fiber, Piech's 2-seat fuel miser returned an astounding fuel economy of 0.9 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers.

Fiddle with the figures a bit and you get 282 miles per imperial gallon.

Now, the "1 Liter" concept car will be put into limited production.

While the concept car's 356cc single cylinder will be replaced by a turbodiesel inline-twin , the design remains otherwise unaltered. The passenger still sits behind the driver to minimize the width of the car. And to preserve the strength of the carbon-fiber monocoque body, the jet-fighter canopy door will also carry over to the production model.

The asking price is still up in the air. The carbon fiber chassis will be the most expensive investment for VW, but the company is optimistic that the car will hit the road in 2012 for about £24,000.

VW hasn't spoken about whether the car will come to US shores, but they haven't ruled it out either. They haven't capped the number of units either. In other words, start calling and writing now.


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