Nearly six years have passed since we first saw Ferdinand Piech’s pet project, the Volkswagen One-Liter (also known as the 1L) eco car, emerge as a concept.
Car magazine reports that VW may be set to launch the microcar – capable of 282 mpg – as early as 2010.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle VW engineers have to overcome is the car’s structure. The 1L concept made use of a lightweight monocoque fabricated from carbon fiber. At the time, the estimated cost to build such a body was nearly $55,000. For series production, VW needs to drop that price to $8000.
The production car is expected to keep the tandem seating position of the concept, although Car expects a few changes to the 1L’s engine. The 299-cc one-cylinder diesel of the original prototype may be scrapped in favor of a two-cylinder mill, reportedly to offer drivers more torque and refinement.
The 1L is slated for production in VW’s own prototype shops in Germany, which have an annual output of nearly 1000 units. The car is expected to sticker for between €20,000 and €30,000 ($31,739 to $47,608). Although the 1L was designed to withstand substantial front and side impacts, there’s little known about its chances of arriving stateside.