VW 1-Liter Tandem City Car Tipped For 2010 Production

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As outrageous as the idea of a production 1L/100km (235mpg) car sounds, more reports have emerged confirming the ultra-frugal car is in fact in development and that it could be on the market by as early as 2010. At last year's Frankfurt Motor Show senior VW exec Ferdinand Piëch claimed the car would be available by the end of the decade and a month later, CEO Martin Winterkorn backed up the claim as well as providing some of the production details. The latest reports indicate the car might not be a single-cylinder petrol design like the concept, but a two-cylinder diesel-electric mild hybrid.

Discussing the car's sales potential last year, Winterkorn stressed that the 1-Liter “would not be a best seller” and thus will only be produced in limited numbers. Its body will be constructed from carbon fiber, plastic and magnesium. Top speed with the one-cylinder 0.3L engine of the 2002 1-Liter concept was expected to be around 120km/h with average fuel consumption around the 1L/100km mark (235mpg). Those numbers aren't expected to change much with the shift to the diesel hybrid design. The change is expected to add drivability and low-end acceleration to the car, although its lightweight will also make easy work for even the small engine and motor combination.

The vehicle's weight is estimated to be a mere 300kg (660lb) thanks to its small size, tandem seating configuration and lightweight construction. That would make the car a very difficult structure to secure in the event of an accident, especially with the panoramic fighter-jet style canopy over the occupants and the very low profile of the car. VW seems confident that it can get the car produced and certified for on-road use, however.

Pricing is expected to fall somewhere between €20,000 and €30,000 ($31,400 to $47,100). Assembly is tipped to take place in VW's prototype shop, which can produce 1,000 cars per year at full tilt.

The version from 2002 ended up doing even better than its target fuel efficiency, requiring just 0.89L/100km (achieving 264mpg). Whether the new diesel hybrid will achieve similar results remains to be seen. Click here to read our previous story on the VW 1-Liter.

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