Volkswagen has been working on a car that gets 258 miles to the gallon-Truth! & Fiction!

Volkswagen has been working on a car that gets 258 miles to the gallon-Truth! &  Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:
A forwarded email with photos of a new car that seats one person, gets 258 miles to the gallon, runs between 62 and 74 miles per hour and costs only $600 US.  It says this car will be the most economical car on sale next year.
The Truth:
The Volkswagen (VW) L1 is a real car, seats 2 and if released would have a price tag $25,900.

Volkswagen has designed and built the L-1 with an eye toward better gas mileage and lower carbon emissions. It has not yet resulted in a production model to be released to the public, but Former VW chairman Dr Ferdinand Piëch actually drove the L1 to the VW shareholders’ meeting in Hamburg from his office in Wolfsburg which lies about 84 miles South of the German port. Piëch recorded 317.4mpg with an average speed of 43.5mph.

The two passenger car is equipped with a carbon fiber body, 299cc single-cylinder diesel engine, anti lock brakes, driver’s airbag and an electronic stability program.  The L1’s price tag of  $25,900 was much higher than what the German automotive company targeted for consumers.

The UK Telegraph followed the progress of the L1 over the years reported that the project had been scrapped and later restarted.  The L1 has design challenges such as the passenger having to sit bobsled style with their legs around the drivers seat as well as excessive noise and vibration adding to passenger discomfort.

Piëch now heads VW’s supervisory board and is still working on fuel efficient vehicles for the German automaker.   The L1 appeared to be a stepping stone and a learning tool to design more efficient vehicles.  Piëch said, “We will never build a one-litre car, but it could give us the knowledge to build a two-litre car.”

The VW company also introduced a 3 liter vehicle, the Lupo, which seats four and goes about 78 miles to a gallon of fuel.

Click for UK Telegraph story
updated 04/08/09