Volkswagen pulled out all the stops to make sure Renault didn't grab all the headlines with its 'three litre' Clio
Matt Prior
27 February 2015

Do you remember the Volkswagen Lupo 3L? It was Volkswagen’s city car capable of returning 
94 miles to the gallon – or three litres per 100 kilometres, the metric alternative, hence its ‘three-litre’ name.

An industry contact remembers it, too, and tells 
one of those stories whose 
origin I desperately want to be true. He was a journalist during the late 1990s and, at an upcoming Paris motor show, 
the tale goes, Volkswagen’s 
boss, Ferdinand Piëch, had 
got wind of the fact that 
Renault was preparing to 
unveil a Clio 3L on its stand.

Determined not to be outdone, Volkswagen executives hastily threw a plan together that involved whisking key motoring journalists from the Paris show, by helicopter, to Ceram, where they could not 
just see but drive the Lupo 3L. Take that, Renault.

Unperturbed, Renault went ahead with the launch of its own 3L Clio. Of a fashion. I would have loved to have seen the faces on VW’s executives when they realised it had a V6 engine 
where the rear seats used to be.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Polo

The fifth-generation Volkswagen Polo has junior Golf looks, but is that enough?

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Join the debate

Comments
2

jer

28 February 2015
But none the worse for that?

28 February 2015
Wonder if Renault deliberately leaked the information to wind up VW?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week