LA Preview: Volkswagen Bringing 170-MPG L1 Concept to LA Auto Show

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

As amazing as the 71-mpg Polo BlueMotion model is that Volkswagen plans to show at the LA Auto Show next week, the German automaker will also show another fuel-efficient vehicle that gets more than double that car’s mpg rating.

Called the L1 Concept, this tiny two seater uses just 1.38 liters of diesel per 100 km – that’s 170 mpg! All that efficiency comes from an 800cc diesel motor mated to a hybrid drivetrain and a seven-speed DSG transmission. It makes 27hp in ECO mode and 39hp in a more powerful mode. Torque is rated at 74 ft-lbs.

The engine is then wrapped in a light-weight carbon fiber body, in a two seater arrangement with the passenger sitting behind the driver. The L1 weighs only 838 lbs and has a drag coefficient of just 0.195 cd.

Surprisingly, while the L1 is a concept (and looks it), Volkswagen has announced plans to bring this vehicle to production. The company officially refers to it as a “near production vehicle,” and says a production version is expected by 2013.

Volkswagen has several other debuts planned for the LA Auto Show with there being a strong possibility that it will show its E-Up! electric concept car. VW debuted the E-Up! next to the L1 at the Frankfurt Auto Show a few months back and said it would also go into production. A similar model is slated for U.S. shores in a slightly larger form.

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GALLERY: Volkswagen L1 Concept Debut in Frankfurt

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