Fleet News

Small model makes big splash

THE smallest car to be produced by the Volkswagen Group made big news when the doors opened on the show. First, it was revealed that despite its relatively high price, the unique Lupo three litres of fuel per 100 kilometres economy model had won more than 2,500 customers only nine weeks after going into the showrooms.

Company officials were said to have been surprised at the high demand for the special version, the world's first production car to be capable of covering 100 kilometres on three litres of fuel. 'That we are attracting more interest than we expected is the source of much delight to us,' said group chairman Ferdinand Piech.

At present on sale only in Germany, the three-cylinder, 1.2-litre TDI car uses pump-jet direct injection to achieve an output of 61bhp. It also has tiptronic direct shift transmission and a stop-start function. Its bodywork features aluminium and magnesium. As the take-up of the special Lupo was being made known, it was announced that SEAT, the group's Spanish division, will also offer its Arosa supermini in 'three-litre' form.

Then Volkswagen revealed that its first direct-injection petrol engine was also going under the bonnet of the Lupo. 'With the Lupo FSI, we present the most economical unit available in its performance class. We see it as an innovate milestone in engine development,' said Piech. At 1.4-litres, the motor produces 105bhp and is claimed to return economy 15% better than conventional engines of similar size.

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