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Green light for One-Litre car

The task to design the world's most economical car is no mean feat, but its one that Volkswagen has been taking very seriously for the best part of a decade. In 1999, it created a compact car with an average fuel consumption of three litres per 100km (94mpg). Now it has created a vehicle that can achieve 100km with just one litre of fuel - that's 282mpg. The so-called One-Litre car made its debut in April in Hamburg, Germany, when VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech himself drove the car from Wolfsburg to Hamburg to make a shareholders' meeting. Originally the car was considered too expensive for mass production as it relies on a carbon fibre body - it was not expected to be released until at least 2012. However, now the price of carbon fibre has plummeted and Volkswagen plans to build around 1,000 of the 640lb cars by 2010. So how does the car manage to be so fuel efficient? There are a number of unique innovations on the One-Litre Car. Aerodynamics is the key and so it boasts a small frontal area with an unusual bullet-shaped body. Exterior mirrors have been scrapped because of their air drag and replaced with cameras in the side-turn signals along with a centrally mounted rear-view camera in the third brake light for parking. At 640lbs the car is extremely light and it has a one-cylinder diesel engine for maximum energy utilisation. The fuel tank holds just 6.5litres but this gives the car a range of more than 400miles, while the suspension and disc brakes are also made of lightweight materials. The One-Litre Car's price tag however, is unlikely to be so lightweight. It is estimated to cost between 20,000 and 30,000 euros - that's £16-£24,000. If you'd like to know more about how the model works, check out this feature at Canadian Driver.

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Paul Lucas

Filed under: Latest News, Green cars, Cars

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