VW 1L and electric Audi R8 leak early

Published: 14 September 2009

As usual, the embargos are tumbling ahead of the 2009 Frankfurt motor show – with photos of the new VW 1L concept car and electric Audi R8 spreading like wildfire. Both were supposed to be surprises held for a soirée on the eve of the show.

Volkswagen’s 1L concept car is Wolfsburg’s latest incarnation of its cigar-shaped two-seater. Early reports confirm that the car will use one litre of derv to travel 100km – equating to a virtually teetotal 235mpg.

The first 1L concept was shown back in 2002, but was made from space-age metals that some wags referred to as unobtainium. This time round the VW 1L car sticks with (slightly) more mainstream carbonfibre and other composites to keep weight to around half a tonne.

A two-cylinder 36bhp turbodiesel provides the thrust, via a seven-speed DSG. Officials claim a 1L production car could be on sale as early as 2010. Come back to CAR Online tonight for the full official story.

And what’s this about an electric Audi R8?

Not to be outdone by fellow Volkswagen bedfellows – not to mention Mercedes, whose SLS will be shown at the Frankfurt show with an electric powertrain – Audi has come up with the R8 e-Tron concept car.

It’s Audi’s supercar equipped with battery power, although the details of the mechanics have yet to be disclosed.

All we can see for now is the reclothed R8, complete with eco-flat wheels, LED headlamps and a fresh grille design to signal this is a caring, sharing supercar. We somehow can’t help thinking that this R8 might be further down the pecking order after a harder clubsport model and, perhaps, the diesel.

>> Come back to CAR Online over the next 24 hours for the full, unexpurgated stories on the VW 1L and Audi R8 e-Tron

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet