Feb 192011
 
VW L1

Image by Nils Bremer via Flickr

Volkswagen rocked the automotive world at a lunchtime press conference on the first day of the Frankfurt Motor Show with a carbon fiber, half width, 1-liter hybrid electric diesel tandem two-seater car named the L1.

When the car makes production in 2013, four years from now, it will almost certainly be the most fuel efficient car available with a combined diesel fuel consumption figure of 1.38 l/100km, thanks to its frugal motor combo, feather-like weight – 380 kg in total – and an aerodynamic drag co-efficient of just 0.195!

Seven years ago, we reported on the development of Volkswagen’s tandem 1-Liter car. At that time, the prospect of a production version of the radical two-seater, which achieved fuel consumption of one liter fuel per 100 kilometers, was so remote as to be unthinkable.

Though the car was driven from Wolfsburg to Hamburg as a public demonstration by Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, at that time Chairman of the Board of Management and today Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen Group, it was clear that a production version lay in the far future, if ever.

The L1 is the second generation of the 1-liter car, and close to production readiness. And its dimensions are intriguing – the length of the L1 at 3,813 millimeters is still similar to that of a Volkswagen Fox, and its height of 1,143 millimeters nearly matches that of a Lamborghini Murciélago, while the car’s aerodynamically optimized width (1,200 millimeters) has no comparisons in the world of today’s production cars.

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