Volkswagen 1-litre car

Volkswagen 1-litre car

The VW 1-litre car, also known as the 1L, is a two-person concept car named for its extremely low fuel consumption. It is designed to use just 1 litre of fuel per 100 km (equivalent to 235 miles per US gallon or 282 mpg Imperial), yet to be roadworthy and practical. To achieve such economy, it is made from lightweight materials; the body is streamlined; and the engine and transmission are designed and tuned for economy. A limited production of VW 1L is expected to start in 2010.

Size and aerodynamics

For aerodynamics, the car seats two in tandem, rather than side-by-side. There are no rear view mirrors and it instead uses cameras and electronic displays. The rear wheels are close together to allow a streamlined body. The total aerodynamic drag is very small because both the drag coefficient and the frontal area are small (total aerodynamic drag = [drag coefficient] * [frontal area] * [velocity2] * [mass density of the fluid] * [0.5]). The drag coefficient (Cd) is 0.159, compared to 0.30 for typical cars.

The external dimensions of the car are long, wide and tall.

The car features an aircraft-style canopy, flat wheel covers and an underbelly cover to smooth the airflow. The engine cooling vents open only as needed.

There is of storage space.


For light weight, the car uses an unpainted carbon fibre skin over a magnesium-alloy subframe. Individual components have been designed for low weight, including engine, transmission, suspension, wheels (carbon fibre), brakes (aluminium), hubs (titanium), bearings (ceramic), interior, and so on. Empty vehicle weight is .

Engine and drive system

The engine is a one-cylinder diesel producing just , but the production version will use a 2-cylinder version with somewhat higher power and a mild-hybrid design. It drives through a six-speed transmission that combines stick-shift mechanics, weight, and drive efficiency with automatic convenience and efficiency controls. There is no clutch pedal. The gear selection (forwards, reverse or neutral) is made using a switch on the right-hand side of the cockpit. The engine is switched off automatically during deceleration and stops, and auto-restarted when the acceleration pedal is pressed.

Fuel consumption and range

According to Volkswagen, fuel economy is . A fuel tank gives a driving range of . If diesel were $3 a gallon, it would cost a little over $5 to travel 400 miles.


The body and frame are designed with crush/crumple zones and roll-over protection, and the tandem seating means large side crush zones. Volkswagen claims protection comparable to a GT racing car. The production version apparently has anti-lock brakes, airbags with pressure sensors, and stability control.

Production and price

Volkswagen approved a limited production by 2010. The initial price is still unknown, but it is expected to be in the range of 20,000 to 30,000 euro (about US$31,750 to $47,622).


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