Tuesday, July 15, 2008

282 mpg (?)

Volkswagen has determined that it will put its 282 mile per gallon One Liter Car into production.

Volkswagen's had its super-thrifty One-Liter Car concept vehicle -- so named because that's how much fuel it needs to go 100 kilometers -- stashed away for six years. The body's made of carbon fiber to minimize weight (the entire car weighs just 660 pounds) and company execs didn't expect the material to become cheap enough to produce the car until 2012.

Six years?!!

Being obsessed with all things automotive, I actually recall when this vehicle was first unveiled. At the time, there was no indication that it was actually intended for production. It was more of a rolling display of what could be accomplished. Automobile companies do this kind of thing all the time with many of these concept vehicles finding their way to the car shows. They're as much about coming technology as they are about coporate pride. Most do not find their way to production, only the technology(ies) underlying them will actually move forward.

In producing an entire concept vehicle, Volkswagen is taking a very bold step forward, especially with this tiny commuter car. Kudos. It's just too bad that it did not happen far sooner.

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