Remember the VW 1L concept? The wacky tandem-seat diesel streamliner that returned insane mileage and made environmentalist nether regions get all tingly? It's reappearing at Frankfurt, and this time it looks like a real car.
Volkswagen has been chasing the idea of a passenger vehicle capable of traveling 100 km on 1 liter of fuel for a few years now, and this is the latest iteration of the effort, the L1. Well, it doesn't really make the 1 liter/100 km, which equates to about 235 MPG, here it only gets a paltry 1.49 liters/100 km, a pitiful 157.8 MPG. The difference is this car is made of more attainable materials. The fuel economy is attained through almost exclusive use of carbon fiber, a 36 HP two-cylinder diesel, a tandem seating position that affords much smaller frontal area, and some degree of hybridization.
Compared to the original 1L (as an aside, we just have to congratulate VW on their innovative nomenclature, who says Germans don't have imaginations?) the L1 is practically production ready. The original concept relied on an unpainted carbon fiber body over magnesium-alloy frame, carbon fiber wheels, aluminum brakes, titanium hubs, ceramic bearings, headlights that projected unicorn happiness and joints lubricated with the live-harvested oils from the skin of mermaids. Sure, the L1 isn't as technically and magically impressive, but it is only 1,100 lbs, it's a fair bit lighter than anything on the road and at 158 MPG, we're thinking the cost/benefit analysis is a lot more reasonable. [AutoBild]