VW To Build "Super Economy" Cars
Auto Industry reports that Volkswagen is set to roll out a new line of small cars, codenamed “New Small Family" (NSF). VW expects sales of the first gen NSF to top 4.16 million units during its nine-year lifecycle. Last week, the Rheinische Post reported that VW Group CEO Martin Winterkorn told delegates at a International Iron & Steel Institute conference that VeeDub was developing a version of the 2005 prototype ‘1-litre’ VW two-seater car for 2010. Winterkorn confessed that the car “would not be a world-beater in sales terms, but would set new technical standards for light weight and offering low CO2 emissions.” While VW abandoned its plans for a “super economy” car back in 2005, rising oil prices have inspired them to reconsider. Oil topped $86 per barrel yesterday; economist Jeff Rubin predicts $100 per barrel oil could “become normal” as early as 2008, with rising gas prices to match. If so, any automaker without a line of seriously efficient automobiles will be in serious trouble.
Every dollar rise in oil prices adds about 2.5 cents to raw material costs of a gallon of gasoline. So, if crude jumps from, say $70/barrel to $150/barrel, the crude oil component of a gallon of gasoline will increase by $2. In the USA and in Europe, we could expect gasoline prices to rise by somewhat more than $2. However, much of the cost of fuel in Europe is a per-gallon tax of about $3.50/gallon; the VAT tax adds another 17% to 19% depending on the country. So, a $2 increase will take fuel from $7/gallon to about $9.50/gallon--a mere 36% increase. In the USA, however, we are looking at an increase from $2.75 to $4.90--a 78% change. Fortunately, here in the USA there are lots of easy ways to save fuel. (Well, if buying a new car is considered "easy.") http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_tax
Would the wagon version be NSFW? Sorry, too much time reading Jalopnik...
This is a joke. It is basically a motor scooter with an aerodynamic cover. It would take a crane and a chiropractor to get me in and out of it. It will not be relevant unless and until they produce a model that adults can get in and out of without contortions or other undue effort.