The Volkswagen L1 concept is an important car not so much for what it is than what it represents: a dramatic change in how the German auto maker views the midterm future of the automobile. VW, the largest auto maker in Europe, with aspirations to be No.1 globally, introduced the L1 at the recent Frankfurt auto show. It is a sleek carbon-fiber concept that has an astonishing combined fuel-economy rating of170 mpg (1.38 L/100 km) and carbon-dioxide emissions of a mere 36 g/km. Not ...

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