VW once led the pack with the introduction of the Lupo 3L TDI, which entered the Guinness Book of World Records after Austrian economy driving expert Gerhard Plattner made the trip from Oslo to the Hague with an average fuel efficiency of 2.78L/100km (101.6 mpg). In 2002, VW announced the development of a 1-L car. But the lesson learned was: superlight and eco-efficient technology costs too much to make a profit. Sales of the 3L Lupo never hit the 30,000 mark and the car was resigned to its place in the museums of automotive history; the development of the 1-L protoype was mothballed. Recent years have seen a reversal in the strategy as VW has focused on bigger and faster.
So will Winterkorn turn things around? In his words: "Volkswagen must be the pacemaker for the mobility of tomorrow." Winterkorn told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that immediately upon taking over VW, he launched the development of a small car that can seat four (with luggage) that should be fuel-efficient, and affordable. The car will be launched in Western Europe, but should also do well in the Chinese and Indian markets, where new car buyers are looking for cars priced under €5000. Winterkorn also confided that only a few days ago, he decided that Volkswagen will also pursue hydrid technology for their smaller engines. "There will definitely be a hybrid engine from Volkswagen for the compact classes like Polo and Golf, and that as quickly as possible and without delay," Winterkorn claimed.
Of course, Volkswagen will continue to pursue the development of fuel efficient engines in all sectors, following the tracks of the gas engines with TFSI and the diesels with Clean-Diesel TDI (Think Blue Motion), as well as following their plans to introduce a large hybrid motor, to debut in the Audi Q7. Winterkorn: "Our engineers will put their know-how in environmental technologies into full play." Herr Winterkorn: we are holding you to your word.
Via: ::Sueddeutsche Zeitung (German)