The rumor was that in 2010, Volkswagen would be releasing a one-seater car with a fuel economy of 258 miles to the gallon costing just $600 each.
If it sounds too good to be true that’s because it is.
But the truth of the matter is still pretty interesting. Since 2002, VW has been working on a car called the L1. It seats 2 people and is made from carbon fiber so it’s super light at just 290 kg or 638 pounds. The body is flat and narrow, and even includes a little bit of storage space.
The prototype has a single-cylinder diesel engine (though that could change), anti lock brakes, driver's airbag and an electronic stability program. It holds 6.5 liters or 1.72 gallons of gasoline and does, in fact get 258 miles per gallon with a top speed of around 74 miles per hour.
The body is made from carbon composites and it is shaped to be extremely slippery, giving it a coefficient of drag of only 0.16 ("the average car comes in around 0.30 and the Honda Insight had a Cd of 0.25"). The prototype was powered by a 1-cylinder diesel engine, but the production model should have a 2-cylinder diesel (which means it could be powered by algae-biodiesel!), and maybe even a stop-start anti-idling feature (to cut the engine when the car is stopped). - Treehugger
Volkswagen is calling it the world’s most economical car but the price tag is not going to be $600. Reports say it will be more like $25,900 and that VW will be making a limited number for release in 2010.
Still, with that kind of gas mileage it is highly economical. You and a friend could drive from Boston to New York and back on less than a single tank of gas. Supposing gas is $2.85 a gallon, round trip would cost you less than $5. Or think of it this way; you would need less than 10 gallons of gas to drive from Los Angeles to New York. How your luggage would get there is anyone’s guess.
The concept of the 1-litre car - four wheels, low height, with two seats in tandem - gives an idea for a possible new family of vehicles, which could cover new requirements ranging from the ultra-economical vehicle, through the low-lost everyday touring vehicle for young people to the high-performance sports supercar. – Serious Wheels
VW is also working on the EcoRacer, a sports that can achieve 100 miles per gallon and top 140 miles per hour. Its carbon fiber body weighs 850 kilograms (1870 pounds) and the turbo diesel engine accelerates to 60 miles per hour in just 6.3 seconds.
In addition to its impressive gas mileage, the EcoRacer can morph body style between a coupe, a roadster and a speedster in just minutes. Combine that with Volkswagen’s foray back into electric vehicles, and they might even give Tesla Motors a run for their money!
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