Thursday, December 3, 2009

Volkswagen Up! Lite: a 70 MPG Hybrid Diesel-Electric 4-Seater



Volkswagen chose the 2009 LA Auto Show as the venue for the world debut of it’s Up! Lite concept car. Spawned as a direct cousin to the L1 two-seater unveiled in Frankfurt a several weeks ago, the Up! Lite takes that idea and makes it a bit more practical—with marginally enough room for 4 people.

The Up! Lite’s drivetrain consists of an efficient TDI engine, an electric motor and a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox. Combined with a tiny aerodynamic footprint (Cd value of 0.237), Volkswagen has eeked out an impressive 65 g/km of CO2 emissions.

Weighing a scant 695 kg (1,532 pounds), the Up! Lite sports many components made of carbon fiber, including the roof, wheel spokes, and portions of the frame. Even so, Volkswagen claims that many of the components used in the concept are the same as those that will be used in the company’s New Small Family line up of cars—set to be launched next year in select markets around the world.

Although the Up! Lite and the Up will likely never see production themselves, they are the inspiration for what Volkswagen considers to be the future of their brand. Many of the strategies used to make the Up! series of cars so fuel miserly will be employed in Volkswagen’s upcoming global brand of small cars.

source: gas2.org