VW boss Piech hints that a super-frugal supermini could be here by 2010
16 April 2007

Volkswagen could have an incredibly frugal new car on the road within three years. It will be capable of more than 200mpg and be affordable. The head of the Volkswagen Group’s supervisory board Ferdinand Piech (pictured) has hinted that there are plans within VW for a super-economical small car capable of travelling 100 kilometres (62 miles) on just one litre of fuel, the equivalent of an astounding 282.5mpg. In an interview he gave to German newspaper Brauschweiger Zeitung on the occasion of his 70th birthday, Piech said the production of a car capable of close to 300mpg was now achievable, citing advances in materials and general reductions in costs.Piech hinted that newly installed Volkswagen chairman Martin Winterkorn would likely make the car a reality, although he declined to provide any time frame for its introduction or price. “I have spoken with a manufacturer," Piech said. "He believes he can deliver components within two years for €5000 rather than €35,000. It then comes into the sort of territory where a normal customer can afford it.” Piech’s comments come five years to the day after he and former VW chairman Bernd Pischetsreider drove a teardrop-shaped, 8.5bhp, one-cylinder-engined Volkswagen research vehicle 135 miles from the company’s Wolfsburg headquarters, to its annual shareholders meeting in Hanover, averaging a claimed 267mpg.Along with production of the Lupo 3L (a lightweight version of VW's former entry-level model, capable of 94mpg), development of the super-frugal research vehicle was halted by Pischetsreider in 2005.In a controversial swipe at his successor, Piech told Brauschweiger Zeitung, “as I relinquished the chairmanship of Volkswagen I gave my successor (Pischetsreider) the job of further developing the 1.0-litre car (Piech’s name for the research vehicle) and the Lupo 3L. Both were stopped. But we will resurrect them.”

Greg Kable

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