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Winterkorn Confirms VW to Put 1-Liter Car into Production by 2010

Rheinischen Post. Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn has confirmed earlier statements by company executives that VW will resurrect its 1-liter car project and have it in production by 2010. The name comes from the design point of consuming 1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers (264 mpg).

VW had cancelled the project, first revealed at the annual meeting in 2002, in 2005. (Earlier post.)

The original 1-liter car used a 0.3-liter, one-cylinder diesel engine, centrally positioned in front of the rear axle and combined with an automated direct shift gearbox. The crankcase and cylinder head of the engine were of an aluminium monoblock construction. The naturally aspirated, direct-injection diesel engine generates 6.3 kW (8.44 hp) at 4,000 rpm, with a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). Since the vehicle weights just 290 kg, it was “astonishingly lively”.

However, earlier this year, VW’s Ferdinand Piëch suggested the car would be available by the end of the decade.

Winterkorn confirmed the production plans in a talk at the 41st annual conference of the International Iron and Steel Institute in Berlin.

(A hat-tip to Rob!)



Hard to believe it will be “astonishingly lively” with a driver and vehicle gross weight around 840lbs with only 8.44hp giving it a W/P close to 99/1.


Yeah, that's pretty underpowered. Add 10 kg of A123 batteries and a small motor and it'd move OK. It'd also be able to hold highway speed uphill, something the original design cannot do.

Roger Pham

"Astonishingly lively" probably is implying the car's reaction to wind gust or when passing opposing traffic in undivided highways. Sure will keep the driver awake on even long drives, which is another safety point, since drivers fallen asleep at the wheel is the cause for as significant number of traffic accidents.

Considering that a 80,000-lb tractor-trailer rig make do with merely 450-hp engine, or 177 lbs/hp, this VW thing has almost double the power-to-weight ratio at 99 lbs/hp. Of course, a small battery and a tiny electric motor will raise the mpg even higher while improving acceleration performance. The combined mpg with a hybrid drive train may rise above 300 mpg, while the city mpg without hybrid drive train will probably drop to below 200 mpg, making a hybrid version a very good investment indeed. The small size motor and battery should make the hybrid version cheap. WOW!!!

Hats off to VW for deciding to continue with this program. Cars like these may well be what will save the earth, if most people will have enough common sense to use these for daily commutes.

Those with only occasional needs for a large personal hauler should be able to quickly rent those gas hogs at the supermarket or local gas station by the hours or by the days, while daily commute can be done using much more fuel-efficient cars such as the VW hypermiler above.

Alternatively, shared ownership of the personal large haulers such as SUV's or other specialty vehicles is another possibility. Each of these ownership club will have hundreds of joint owners and a number of different vehicles ranging from sport cars, minivans, larger vans, trucks, etc...depending on your purpose at the time, whether to impress your new date with a red Corvette, or take your whole in-law family to a retreat with a 9-seat GM Suburban, or to go to a ghetto slump in a beat-up 1978 smoky clunker, or for a loanshark looking for something intimidating to go to collect debts in a...? black MB S600 or Caddillac with totally darken windows...etc.
Club members will pay a small annual ownership fees, and pay for the use of these specialty vehicles by the miles and days in possession. A web-based reservation system and a stand-by acquisition system will make it very convenient.

Meanwhile, most people should do their daily commute in the likes of this 300-mpg VW hypermiler.

Roger Pham

Oh, sorry, folks, I've just re-read a previous posting on this car, and discovered that VW cannot make it for less than $25,900...Well, VW, how about a 2-seat 100-mpg car for $12,500? Still very fuel-efficient AND affordable to everyone.

gideon goudsmit

A 100 mile per gallon VW produced until 2 years ago but unfortunately the public was not ready for a 4 seater car like this , the cost was close to $ 20.000 but the car drives ideal I achieve 40 kilometers per liter , the car has power steering is automatic and presently has over 140000 km on the clock with out any repairs
This car is called a Lupo 3.0 L wich was the synonim for 3 liter per 100 km I actually got 125 km per 3 liter or around 100 miles per gallon
Unfortunaly out of production and used they are very expensive and hard to get.


I think that maximum loaded tractor trailer rig just might have 450hp diesel putting out 1500 ft.lbs.of torque multiplied through a 18 speed gearbox that more than makes up for that W/P disadvantage.


This is excellent news. While cars like the Aptera are at the cutting edge the only way cars like this are going to make it onto the roads in number any time soon is if a large manufacturer just goes ahead and proves it can be done.

As a motorcycle rider I’d have no problem whatsoever driving one of these to and from work. There is no need for anything larger. The only question is how well a 300cc diesel can push it up the steep hill to my house and how much all that magnesium or carbon fibre will cost.

I hope we get the opportunity to buy one in Australia when they hit the market.

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