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VW to relaunch 'one-litre' eco car

By Georg Kacher

Green news

30 June 2008 15:52

The VW one-litre car looks pretty slippery

Indeed it is. To minimize the drag coefficient, cameras replace the door mirrors and the narrow, teardrop-shaped silhouette adopts various active lightweight aerodynamic elements.

Instead of the single-cylinder engine originally mooted, a new two-cylinder unit will offer more refinement, more torque and more power. Despite the increasingly stringent emission requirements, a turbodiesel is again likely to get the nod over the even cleaner breathing FSI unit.

With assistance from key systems suppliers, the 300kg featherweight is likely to be assembled in VW´s own prototype shop, which has a maximum capacity of no more than 1000 units per year.

300 kilos? So it's a proper stripped-out eco special?

To offset the greater thirst of the bigger engine, the engineers are expected to fit VW's complete mild hybrid kit which would permit intermittent zero-emissions, full-electric operation.

But there are some gadgets, as you'd expect if you shelled out the best part of 30 grand for a VW. Basic safety kit will include ABS/ESP, a driver's airbag, sequential motorbike-style transmission as well as LED head- and taillights.

That lightweight body means there's no need for bulk-adding niceties such as power steering and power brakes, while air-con will be optional. So Friends of the Earth types should not only bring lots of cash, but also a powerful deodorant.