Gallery: TRANSPORTATION TUESDAY: VW’s 235mpg car


With oil prices at $135 dollars per barrel, the pressure is on for car makers to innovate and create more fuel efficient vehicles. Volkswagen seems to be taking this task seriously with the 1L, a prototype that is capable of traveling for 235mpg using 1 gallon of gasoline, or 100km on 1L of gas. Adding to the excitement of this breakthrough is recent news that VW plans to get this concept out to market in 2010!

The 1L is a lightweight two person vehicle made out of a magnesium frame covered by an unpainted carbon fiber skin. Every component of the vehicle is intended to reduce the vehicles weight. Aluminum brakes, carbon fiber wheels, titanium hubs, and ceramic bearings all contribute to the vehicle’s light weight of a mere 290 kg. To reduce the weight even further, and to increase the aerodynamics of the vehicle, there are no rear view mirrors. Instead, the car is equipped with cameras that display visual information to the driver via the internal LCD screen.

The car is extremely fuel efficient, each gallon of fuel will take you over 235 miles. The fuel tank holds just 1.7 gallons, making the entire travel distance capability about 400 miles per tank. It’s top speed is 120 km/h (75mph), which although isn’t too fast is a welcome trade off for the huge savings in gas consumption.

The VW 1L will be available in 2010, in limited numbers.

+ VW boss confirms 1-Liter car for 2010


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  1. FYTHELER May 21, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    The APTERA is still only designed and built….and sold in California! Check out:APTERA.COM and see what we do have in the U.S.A. (well California, anyway) right now!

  2. MrGreen June 3, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    This car is very impressive and a great look into the future, but unfortunately it doesn’t do anything for the $4.00 gas prices today. My friend showed me some great ideas on how to save gas right now! I highly recoomend checking out There is a lot of good information to learn.

  3. cpine May 28, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Toyota’s “hybrid synergy drive” is not a be-all and end-all solution. It is specifically designed for the accellaration pattern’s of a higher-efficiency spark-combustion gasoline engine. A diesel engine is more efficient in a serial hybrid system, where the main drive is a electric motor transmission, with a secondary generation component. Individual or small group transport is a highly-valued commodity in even dense urban conditions. People will use bicycles and rickshaws over buses or railcars, if it gets them where they want to go more easily. On any given day, I can go out to the LA freeways and see 90% of people using a four or six passenger vehicle to transport one person to multiple destinations. So, getting people into smaller, more efficient personal transport that uses the existing road infrastructure is a logical step.

  4. richard schumacher May 28, 2008 at 11:21 am

    A Diesel hybrid would be much more welcome if VW would license Toyota\’s HSD. It has performance and reliability superior to any conventional automatic transmission.

  5. Scider May 28, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Amazing, a new article on a six year old concept car.

    The 1L concept is nothing more than a statement of what can be done with an unlimited budget. There are no new feasible technologies in this car that aren’t in use today. What makes it so great? A pricey carbon fiber chassis, multiple alloy titanium components, and an 8.5hp diesel engine.

    An article about the new Golf TDI Hybrid that can supposedly do 83mpg highway would have been a bit more relevant to what we might end up seeing.

  6. Scider May 28, 2008 at 8:32 am

    The 1L concept is at the least six years old. It is a completely inviable solution for a fuel economic car as it uses technologies that are still ridiculously expensive like carbon fiber and extensive uses of titanium. What’s more is that it has no form of technology that isn’t already in production vehicles. It’s just a super sleek, super expensive, 8.5hp (No really, it only has 8.5hp) diesel engine powered car that gets good fuel economy.

    What else, VW IS developing a turbo diesel hybrid Golf (Rabbit for us Americans) that gets 83mpg on the highway. Now THAT could be a possibility.

  7. hydra May 28, 2008 at 2:23 am

    who killed the electric car?

  8. modmom May 28, 2008 at 2:01 am

    i wish they\’d make my vw bug a hybrid. it\’s small for a family already, but i love the shape

  9. jimbo92107 May 27, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    The most valuable thing about these early alternative vehicles is their body, their chassis, and their relative ease of manufacture. The eventual winner will be a plug-in hybrid with a very small combustion engine in the rear offering to stretch the range of the electrical motor and batteries located in front. All-electric drive eliminates gears and simplifies manufacture. I would make the combustion engine a modular spec to allow for evolving technologies.

    Combustion should be relegated to recharging and supplementing electrical power for accelerations, range and long hills. Tesla Roadster has already taught us that.

  10. Volkswagen L1, el coche... May 27, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    […] | inhabitat                 Archivado en: De todo un poco, […]

  11. phrancis May 27, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Is that mpg calculated on a controlled hwy or normals city gridlock? Will this come to the US? Even with strong CF structures, it will still have to pass US crash safety standards since it has 4 wheels . I don’t know how much it will cost, but given our appetite for big cheap cars and fast acceleration, it might not sell too well outside of more progressive thinking areas – at least not until fuel costs like it does in Europe. @ Clairsearch – the ICE is still the most viable power source for a vehicle given economics and fuel distribution and logistics. Making the most of it in an uber efficient vehicle like this or a series hybrid (Volt) is key. Believe me, I have two degrees in industrial / transportation design and spent years designing and researching my own series hybrid vehicle –

  12. clairseach May 27, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Wow! A motorcycle with four wheels! Don’t get into an accident, and keep on drilling for oil or grow fuel instead of food. It’s painful to see manufacturers refuse to let go of the combustion engine. EEStor is still the answer.

  13. bear May 27, 2008 at 10:20 am

    make more and bring it to the states!

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