AG presents what it declares "the most economical car in the world" as part of its annual stockholders’ meeting. The car – an ultra-aerodynamic, diesel-powered 2-seater – achieves 238 mpg (0.99L/100 km).
Former VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech drove the test vehicle from the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg to the annual meeting in Hamburg, Germany.
The body of the test vehicle is unusually narrow and flat. Developed via wind-tunnel testing, it measures in at 11.3 ft. (3.47 m) and is just 4.1-ft. (1.25-m) wide and slightly more than 3.2-ft. (1 m) high.
To help save weight, the body is made of carbon fiber composites and features no paint on the exterior. The carbon fiber outer skin is tensioned over a space frame that is made of magnesium, which is even lighter than aluminum. Overall weight of the vehicle is a mere 639 lbs. (290 kg).
The 1L car is powered by a 0.3L, 1-cyl. diesel that is centrally positioned in front of the rear axle and is mated to an automated, direct-shift transmission. The naturally aspirated, direct-injection diesel employs advanced high-pressure unit injection technology and generates 8.5 hp at 4,000 rpm.
Due to space restrictions, VW engineers had to adapt an existing gearbox to fit in the test vehicle. The engineering team used a compact, automated 6-speed, which is controlled from a turn switch in the cockpit. The running gear is made of lightweight alloy and the tires are constructed of an extremely lightweight composite material.
VW’s test vehicle features a myriad of safety devices, including antilock brakes, electronic stability program and a driver’s airbag.
VW says the 1L concept car provides engineers with a springboard on which to build ideas for a new family of vehicles. Engineers are looking at incorporating some of the innovations into future high-performance supercars, as well as ultra-economical vehicles.