At the 42nd Annual Meeting of Stockholders of Volkswagen AG in Hamburg, the most economical car in the world was presented: the 1-litre car. The prototype, which until now has been kept closely under wraps, and which may people never believed could be built, was driven under its own power from Wolfsburg to the Annual Meeting in Hamburg. Before the Annual Meeting, the current Chairman of the Board of Management, Dr. Ferdinand PiÃ«ch, drove this research vehicle to Hamburg from the company’s headquarters at an average fuel consumption of 0.89 litres per 60 miles.
Fuel consumption is a mere 0.99 litre per 60 miles. With a 6.5-litre tank, this gives a range of some 650 kilometres without refuelling.
Due to the restriction of space, it was not possible to adapt an existing gearbox. For this reason, a compact, automated 6-speed gearbox is employed, which is controlled from a turn switch in the cockpit.
The interior is sportingly simple in design, yet offers enough space for two people, who can comfortably get in after folding back the turret-like gullwing door. An extremely lightweight construction has also been employed for the seats. The seat frames are made of magnesium, and firm, yet comfortable fabric covers are used instead of a classic upholstery.
The sports-car-like design demonstrates that Volkswagen’s 1-litre car is not a spartan research vehicle, but a high-tech special vehicle. It starts with the special seating arrangement. The driver and passenger sit centrally as if in a monoposto, but in tandem. The mid-engine is installed transversely in front of the rear axle. With its complex design (double wishbones at front, DeDion suspension at rear) and combined with the low centre of gravity and low overall vehicle weight, the lightweight running gear results in very agile handling.