Volkswagen’s Diesel-Hybrid L1 Concept Gets 170 MPG, Available by 2013


Volkswagen will display an updated version of its 1-Liter concept this week at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The diesel-hybrid car which only weighs around 800 lbs gets an jaw-dropping 170 MPG. So who wants one?

It was seven years ago when VW first announced the idea. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch–currently the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen Group–drove a prototype of the car from Wolfsburg to Hamburg. It was the world’s first car to travel 100 kilometers on just a single liter of fuel. But the concept wasn’t ready for production as the body’s carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) was too costly for consideration.

“It is an enormous challenge to control costs in producing the monocoque out of CFRP,” says Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen Brand with responsibility for development.

The 2-seater L1, with a length of 150 inches, is still similar to that of a Volkswagen Fox, and a height of 45 nearly matches that of a Lamborghini Murciélago.

Aerodynamics was a huge part of the L1 concept. The idea behind it was the form of a glider–one seat behind the other. It has a special chasi of aluminum components to take advantage of the CFRP body.

The two-cylinder rail-injected TDI, the E-motor and the 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox are all rear located. The combo not only delivers a low fuel consumption but it only emits 36 g/km of C02. The hybrid module has been integrated into the housing of the 7-speed DSG and consists of a 10 kW / 14 PS electric motor and a clutch.

During general acceleration the electric motor can supply 40-percent additional torque and even propel the L1 over a short distance by itself. It also operates as a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery by recovering braking energy.

Full details on the car can be found at VWVortex. On display with the L1 concept, Vdub will also be showing off their Up! concept. I suspect we will be seeing a lot of these roll out under VW’s new BlueMotionTechnologies brand.

Source: VWVortex

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Jerry James Stone

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.