This email is circulating quite widely:
If you could go to Shanghai for a vacation, buy two or more of these cars, one for your wife and one for yourself, and one for each of your kids, have them shipped to Australia and still spend less money than if you bought a car in Australia.
This is not a toy, not a concept car. It is a newly developed single seat car in highly aerodynamic tear-shape road-proven real car. It is ready to be launched as a single-seater for sale in Shanghai in 2010 for a mere RMB4,000 (US$600)!
Interested? Wait till you learn that it will cruise at 100-120 Km/Hr with an unbelievable 0.99litre/100Km (258 miles/gallon)!!
Impressed? Totally, after you have read all the details below about the hi-tech and space-age material input into this car!!!
It is, of course, total nonsense. The mundane truth is as follows:
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 and 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 original for this idea was the Messerschmitt.
The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller (Cabin Scooter), was a three-wheeled bubble car designed by the aircraft engineer Fritz Fend and produced in the factory of the German aircraft manufacturer Messerschmitt from 1955 to 1964.
It was quite popular in England. It had a motorbike engine and a motorbike straight up and down gear change hand-operated. It did 60 miles to the gallon and would out-accelerate about 95% of the cars on the road at that time.
Messerschmitt did produce a model with four wheels that was even faster but that is as rare as hen’s teeth. It is pity the Chinese version is a total myth. If it were not this writer would be first in line to buy one.