Fleet News

Super Lupo breaks economy barrier

TWO extremes of engineering expertise allowed Volkswagen to unveil a tantalising glimpse of tomorrow's world of motoring at the Paris Motor Show. The fast-expanding group which now embraces nine vehicle brands rolled out the world's first realistic 100mpg car - then showed off the world's first 18-cylinder car engine.

A hi-tech version of the Lupo supermini which breaks the so-called 3.0-litre (94mpg) barrier in official testing will go on sale in Germany next year. Claimed to be the most environmentally-friendly car in the world the new model differs little in appearance from the basic version of the Lupo.

'We promised to achieve this standard even though many thought we didn't stand a chance. Now it is reality,' declared Volkswagen AG chairman Ferdinand Piech. 'Driving satisfaction is not impaired in any way because the car performs faster and better than the basic Lupo. This is a milestone for the industry - our forward-looking approach has already met the technical challenge of the new millennium,' he said.

Likely to be relatively expensive, the superfrugal model uses an advanced 1.2-litre, three-cylinder diesel engine which produces 60bhp. Featuring special lightweight bodywork and Tiptronic semi-automatic transmission, it is capable of reaching 106mph. Anti-lock braking is standard, as are airbags for the driver and front passenger.

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