By on January 26, 2011

When Ed Niedermeyer reported about Volkswagen’s new sub One Liter  (235 mpg) car, the XL1, currently on display in Qatar, he prognosticated that this “One Liter car represents a step closer to production.” A very close step, as it turns out.

Automobilwoche [sub] heard in Qatar both from Piech and Winterkorn that Volkswagen will actually build a small series (about 100 first) of the car. Piech confirmed that the car will be made available for purchase at a yet undisclosed price. It’s not just a field test.

According to Winterkorn, the car will be introduced in Germany first. The U.S. and China will follow at a later point in time.

Where the car will be built is also not decided, according to Volkswagen’s CTO Ulrich Hackenberg, Wolfsburg and Dresden are an option.

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42 Comments on “They’ll Actually Build It...”


  • avatar
    cmoibenlepro

    100 units only?  I guess the price will be above $100,000.

    • 0 avatar
      theo78-96

      If its like the prototype they shown before, it just uses a bog standard 1 litre direct injection single cylinder water cooled engine (similar to a generator engine).
      There’s nothing high tech about it, its just the size and the use of a carbon fibre body (and carbon fibre is not so expensive nowadays) that makes it acheive 100 km/L.

      So its unlikely to cost anyhting like $100 000.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The rear visibility looks to be fantastic. I suppose that means a camera, so the driver can rely on VW electronics for their very view of traffic! Stupid is as stupid does.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      “The rear visibility looks to be fantastic.” 

      Thank you for giving my sarcasm meter a nice recalibration. I thought it was getting a little iffy lately.

      Call me a ludite, but I won’t buy a car requiring a back up camera.

    • 0 avatar

      Strange but true – all cars need back up cameras. And will do so until they’re transparent.
      I’d love to have a back up camera in my Honda Fit – it has excellent visibility … if you’re more than 1 meter high, but that doesn’t represent the majority of my family.
      I have to clear the garage of cats and make sure my three year old daughter is strapped in or locked in the house every time I go out to the garage.
       

  • avatar
    cackalacka

    Sweet. I’ve read quite a few comments from other posters pining for diesel-hybrid, I don’t think I’ll be the only one tracking how this rubber hits the road.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    I didn’t think this would meet crash test standards, but if so, it is quite surprising.  But, I guess if you have to ask how much it costs…
     
    I am surprised that this is actually going to be built.  Seems like it would be way to expensive and with a very small engine, won’t be exciting to drive.  I guess there are some people who would want it as a collectors item.

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      I’d imagine Piech was thinking “Hell, if some folks would by the CR-Zero, why not?”

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      “…and with a very small engine, won’t be exciting to drive.”

      Not sure about that, most motorcycles have a sub-1-litre engine, and most of them will easily cover a quarter mile in about 12 seconds flat…

      Now, if all it gets is a diesel… different story.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Including the driver, it’s going to weigh under a tonne. It has minimal aero drag, too. Doesn’t need much power. Mid engine and rear wheel drive, too …

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      I understand what you are saying about a motor cycle, but this is going to have far more weight than a motor cycle and is supposed to get better fuel economy.  What do you think about performance of that?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      The sole raison d’etre for this vehicle is spectacular fuel economy, and you’re concerned about its lack of performance excitement? 235 mpg is a pretty impressive performance stat. Do you also fault Lamborghinis for lack of off-road ground clearance, and Miatas for failing to seat 7?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      I did say it wouldn’t be fun to drive, but I only made that comment because it is going to be likely priced like it is an exotic car.  This is why I said it is likely going to be a collectors item.  I am just not sure why they are going to sell these.  I can’t see anyone running out and buying what might be a 100k car to get 235mpg in gas.  If the Volt doesn’t make sense at 40k, what chance does this have?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      I didn’t think this would meet crash test standards, but if so, it is quite surprising.

      Why would it be surprising? If it’s the weight, lighter vehicles than this (1400 lbs) have met FMVSS standards.

    • 0 avatar
      Garak

      As the 1970s-designed Lada Niva meets and exceeds EU crash standards, practically any vehicle can do it.
       
      http://www.autoreview.ru/arcap/cars/vaz_21213_niva/

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      @Garak
       
      That thing passes euro standards? Google’s translation of that web page indicates that the car scored zero NCAP points – not just zero stars, but zero points too. (“I asked you for four stars. Not one or two or three, but FOUR STARS! Four stars, four crates!… ZERO STARS, ZERO CRATES!“).
       
      The last time I saw anything with a test result that bad was the Brilliance test – and the Brilliance might actually have been better. And it was run out of Europe on a rail.
       
      That’s a good antidote for the “Anything built in the last ten years is more than safe enough” argument: Built != engineered.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      We are warriors, not merchants.

    • 0 avatar
      EEGeek

      But you can still count!

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Piech confirmed that the car will be made available for purchase at an undisclosed price

    That says a lot.  Piech at least disclosed the price of the Veyron.

  • avatar

    Volkswagen, electronics, NOT!
    The style is throwback to honda’s first electric editon which was an abyssmal failure.

    Build me a 100 mpg car with four seats and a trunk and you have a buyer. And please have it built by somebody other than VW. Why not just an improved Prius — that must be feasible in the near futre.

    • 0 avatar
      LimpWristedLiberal

      Edison2.com.  No carbon fiber.  Got over 100 MPGe as the winner of the mainstream class of the Progressive X prize that required four seats.  These guys are not, to quote CJinSD “ignorantly self righteous.”  They are aerospace and motorsport engineers.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Build me a 100 mpg car with four seats and a trunk and you have a buyer…Why not just an improved Prius — that must be feasible in the near futre.
    To get from 50 to 100mpg would require a move to carbon fiber.  The technology is well developed, they just can’t build for a price that makes sense in a mass market vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I think the 235 mpg car will be as expensive to produce as a 235 mph car. Neither makes any sense on this planet, but there are people who will pay to own the fastest car. Perhaps there are people who will pay to own the most ignorantly self-righteous car.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckR

      The old 2000-06 Honda Insight was rated at 70mpg highway. Would be interesting to see where, today, the MPG vs cost curve spikes upward. 235mpg sounds like a daydream, 100mpg might be another story.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      Perhaps there are people who will pay to own the most ignorantly self-righteous car.
       
      There most certainly are. Tune in Barrett-Jackson or Top Gear for the best examples I’ve ever seen.

      This is something that continues to amuse me about attitudes on this site — the extreme tunnel vision of so-called “enthusiasts.” Automobiles embody a wide range of aspirational values.  Desirable performance parameters can be figured in terms of MPH, MPG, ci, cd, dB, g, and/or $, among many other tangible and intangible values.   It would appear that beige Camrys represent one of the largest possible assemblages of motivational values. That a certain car doesn’t reflect YOUR values is not exactly a reflection on the car.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      If this car costs $100K to build, it will be because its production involves intensive amounts of energy, rare earth elements, funding civil wars in Africa, production techniques requiring handling toxic substances, and the opportunity costs of all those choices. Doing this to save a fuel of which there are more known reserves today than at any time in history is ignorant, no matter what my priorities are.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      It has more to due with only building a 100. Small numbers are always really expensive. Add the fact that they are  VW and they also need a fit and finish befitting a VW and that is expensive is you only make a 100

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      @rocketrodeo

      I just finished watching Barrett Jackson because I like to look at the cars, but wouldn’t drop that much to buy one.

      Also, I agree with many of your comments here. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • avatar
    zznalg

    It would seem to make sense to capitalize on the amazing fuel economy by delivering an exceptional driving range. But, they’re limiting this with the ridiculously small fuel tank delivering what, 300 or so miles?

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Gasoline is relatively heavy when you’re talking about a lightweight vehicle like this, so why carry more than you need?  Where are you going that’s more than 300 miles between gas stations?  Heck, I can’t go more than 300 miles without a pee stop anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Russycle,

      Extended range is a feature. One driver of fuel efficient vehicle sales today is uncertainty about fuel availability in the future similar to that experienced in the US during the ’70s. Diesels of the day were expensive and slow, but buyers welcomed the opportunity to not be caught out next time there were fuel lines, rationing, and shortages. I take advantage of the range of my present car by not buying gas on holiday weekends or other times of price spikes. We need a complete political overhaul if we’re to ward off all sorts of energy market disruptions. Even if it happens, there could be situations where having fuel is more important than having the potential to use very little of it.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      It is not a feature but a liability. Sitting 4 hours without moving isn’t healthy.

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      You’re picking nits, CJ.
       
      If we’re talking about vehicles installing carbon fiber to save lbs, it makes sense, at 6 lbs a gallon, to skimp. Why drop tens of thousands in nano-tubes, aluminum, and left/right/rear-view cameras, only to cancel out said $$/improvements with a 15-gallon tank weighing in at 100 lbs filled?
       
      Plus, it won’t take 2-8 hours for this vehicle to ‘recharge.’ Any combustion-based vehicle with a fuel-range of 200 or more is perfectly viable, unless one is plotting roadtrips in the Outback or Siberia.
       
      If folks are going to be wary of another OPEC shortage or spikes on the fourth of July weekend, they wouldn’t need to purchase a $20k range-extending trailer. A five-gallon gas-can filled on July 1st will do the trick.

  • avatar

    As a Volkswagen it might  be below the price for a Veyron, offering the same rear visibility.

  • avatar
    car_guy2010

    I see a lot of nit-picking here, which is unfortunate.
    First of all, how do we know that VW is going to keep the exact same design? They may have to modify it just to meet crash standards, etc. This will almost certainly lower the mpg, unless they have something planned.
    Second of all, I believe more people would drive cars with highly-efficient internal combustion engines. The problem is that there aren’t enough companies selling them. I bet you that none of the most fuel efficient vehicles currently on the road can top 100mpg. Just to get a vehicle on the road that can not only top it, but double it (and then some) would be quite an achievement.
    I just want to see VW attempt it.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v391/dogsledder54/VWXL1.jpg
    Needs styling cues from 1st generation Beetle.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v391/dogsledder54/VWXL12.jpg
    Front view.

  • avatar

    They’ll sell all 100 even if they are 100k. People demand economy and will pay any price to get it.
     
    I like it ; it shows that we don’t need hybrids at all, and we don’t need plugins until they demonstate some frickin range.

  • avatar
    matt

    if they can sell the veyron for $1MM when it costs ~$5MM to make (at least that’s what I remember hearing…), they can sell this thing at a “reasonable” price, too.

  • avatar

    That’s exciting news, this vehicle looks amazing.
     
     
     


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