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Click above for more shots of the VW One-Liter concept

It has been so long since anything has been heard about Volkswagen's so-called one-liter car that we nearly forgot the concept had existed. It turns out that VeeDub has been quietly working away somewhere deep in Germany perfecting the design. Originally intended for a launch around 2012, rumors now indicate that the vehicle may indeed be ready by 2010. To refresh your memory, the vehicle gets its moniker due to its goal of achieving one liter of fuel consumption per 100 kilometers. The concept vehicle, with its single cylinder engine, was apparently capable of doing a bit better than that, as it was rated at a mind blowing 282 miles per gallon, or about .83 liters per 100 kilometers.

The production version of the carbon fiber vehicle may get a twin cylinder diesel engine along with a possible hybrid drive of some sort. For maximum compactness, the vehicle features the driver in the center of the car with one passenger sitting behind in a cockpit-like arrangement. No word as of yet on price, but it seems that VW is hoping that the government can step in to reduce the cost for purchasers.



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  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Good design except for the bubble top - that has to go. That clear bubble gives a great view, but it collects solar heat like mad. Besides, nothing says "concept car that will never be produced" like a bubble top.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am not worry about safety here, not like the Loremo with the front door 'a la isetta'.
      Formula1 are also very light and see how safe it is! (Robert Kubica crash in Montreal 2007)

      What I don't understand (and don't like) with this project is "Diesel"!!
      OK Diesel is 20% more efficient, but who care to have a 1.2L/100 kms (200 MPG) or 1.0L/100 (235 MPG)??
      I guess not a lot of us, but having the smell, the vibrations of a Diesel, no thanks!

      I rather prefer a gasoline engine, please VW!

      If some remember, Toyota have set in 2005 a 1.67L/100 (140 MPG) UFE III using a 3 cyl 660cc with Prius like Hybrid drive, so VW have no excuses
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're not the only one who dislikes the diesel smell, I prefer it was a gasoline engine too. Most people here love diesels but I doubt most of the U.S. people commenting here ever smelled the literally breathtaking diesel exhaust fumes. Not only from older cars but also the newer common-rail cars have a very unpleasant exhaust smell that makes me almost puking.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You have not driven one of the newer diesels (for cars) or your concerns about vibration and smell would disappear. The new TDI and CRD 2-4 cyl. units are very efficient, very quiet, and have gobs of torque at the low end which is where the mileage figures come in to play. I have one of the older "louder" VW diesels (1998) and it is still quieter than my neighbor's Ford PU or his wife's SUV. At cruise (in mine) you don't even notice any difference. This is not your "daddy's 18-wheeler"....
        • 6 Years Ago
        No vibration and no smell. [Doorbell rings: The Delorean is here to take you back to the eighties.] See Mercedes CDI on youtube, very little noise and no vibration.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I dig it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Its not so much the width of the vehicle as the height/width ratio. The vehicle is narrow, but its also very low. I suspect its at least as stable as any full-sized FUV.

      As for crash safety... yeah, being that low may be a problem. We should mandate that all vehicles be at least as high off the ground as my neighbor's Ford pick-up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Quite the contrary- there are lift-height laws in effect in all states but Nebraska, which state that your neighbors Ford can be no higher off the ground than "X" inches. Perhaps these need to be enforced.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why would we want to increase our chances of a roll-over accident. You're more likely to sustain major injuries or die in a rollover in an SUV rather than in a car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've loved the 1L ever since the concept's debut. And I was pretty sad to hear that there were no intentions to produce the car despite overwhelmingly positive feedback. I had heard that someone offered a large sum of money for the actual concept car and was denied.

      Regardless, I wonder how much it will cost? It doesn't really matter fiscally; you'll never make the cost differential up no matter how much gas costs. But that doesn't stop us engineers drooling over "more with less."
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe they denied the potential buyer because they wanted to keep the car for more testing for production purposes :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's actually 235 mpg in US gallons per http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/07/laugh-at-high-g.html.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think not you should see this as a car, but more as an all-weather alternative for a scooter or motorcycle. I like its styling and would like to drive one. Would be pretty expensive I think...
      I'm also curious for the final production version of the Up! concept. I hope it gets a frugal but powerful TSI engine at the rear end.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As interesting as this concept is, I'm more interested in what VW could do with a more practical target, such as 3L/100km. Apparently they sold a version of the Lupo that could meet that threshold ten years ago:
      http://www.usatoday.com/money/consumer/autos/mareview/mauto497.htm

      The article spends most of its time pointing out shortcomings with the gearbox, which I suspect the intervening years of DSG development could correct.

      My favorite line from the article is this one: "VW says German owners would more than make up for the higher price because of...lower fuel consumption in a land where a gallon's about $4." Hmmm...
      • 6 Years Ago
      #1 It doesnt have to be made of carbon, car companies just like going balls to the wall to make the best of the best, not considering the middle which would actuall sell like ummm err their amazing golf tdi-hybrid ! for freakin sakes...thats what everyone would want...and would out sell the prius easy...

      #2 this little car can be made and for much less than the figures mentioned for this prototype. Fiberglass and lexan, plus a tube frame (race spec) for safety will give you lightweight but strong, a little efficient TDI would give you great daily usable power and with the lightweightness and low drag would give you over 100mpg easy...a guy who added aerodynamics similar to this look on his civic got 95mpg...his car probably weighs 2X what this prototype does...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bring back the Mico Car!

      4-wheels is going to be hard to do for safety, Aptera is doing 3 wheels to get around that problem, yet they are still designing for safety.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey, if you feel stable in a car that narrow while at highway speeds, and feel safe on the highway in a car made out of less than a hundred pounds of carbon fiber atop a magnesium (weaker than even aluminum) frame , and can afford a car made out of such exotic materials, by all means, get one.

      One observation: the 282 mpg was only at ~45mph, and it's a diesel, which is a more dense fuel than gasoline. Still ridiculously efficient, though.
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