Volkswagen Up! Lite concept achieves 115mpg

Volkswagen has revealed the Up! Lite concept, a four-seater that can manage 115 mpg with emissions of just 65 g/km of CO2.

It achieves this with help of a hybrid drivetrain, a coefficient of drag measuring just 0.237, and a light weight of just 695 kg.

Powering the Up! Lite is an 800 cc two cylinder common rail diesel engine closely linked to that seen in the the L1 Concept which made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The 51 PS diesel engine is combined with an electric motor developing 14 PS. Both can be used together, or the electric motor can be used by itself at low speed.

It has a seven-speed twin clutch DSG automatic gearbox and as with the current range of BlueMotion models, the Up! Lite uses a Start-Stop system to maximise efficiency and regenerative braking.

The Up! Lite is constructed from a mix of lightweight materials including aluminium and carbonfibre to keep the vehicle’s kerb weight to a minimum. Even the diesel engine has been optimised and weighs just 55 kg. This allows the concept’s modest 65 PS hybrid drivetrain to power the Up! Lite from rest to 62 mph in 12.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 100 mph.

The styling of the Up! Lite debuts a new styling direction with obvious references to current products such as the Polo and Golf. Examples of aerodynamic modifications include the front radiator grille which shuts off completely when it’s not required and tiny cameras which take the place of conventional wing mirrors.

Inside, the driver and passenger seats fold forward to allow access for the rear-seat passengers. For larger loads the rear seats and the front passenger seat can all fold flat into the floor.

Unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show, the Up! Lite uses components from the New Small Family of vehicles set to be launched from 2011 onwards, and is intended as a step towards a viable production car.