It’s almost getting boring to nominate your car of the show as an eco-concept, but the truth is that’s where most of the originality and innovation is at the moment.
And so it was at this year’s LA show. Just for sheer visual flair I was tempted to nominate Honda’s three-seater P-NUT but I’m going to be a bit more sensible by going for the VW Up! Lite show car.
This looked terrific in the metal and has an interior that looks suspiciously like a production car's - and, save a few tweaks for passenger crash protection, it is, apparently.
But it’s the technical side of things that really swings it: a two cylinder diesel hybrid, with a DSG that’s capable of three figure speeds and three figure mpgs - incredible. The fact that it weighs less than 700kgs and emits just 65g/km gives us all hope that car makers are now accelerating incredibly quickly to putting these things into production.
VW’s R&D guru, Ulrich Hackenburg, also told us about ‘scaling up’ this technology using bigger engines and bigger electric motors for a hybrid Golf or Passat. But will the Lite make the cut? The VW top brass that I spoke to were being pretty enigmatic on the subject.