There are three main ways to improve fuel efficiency. You can decrease the power output of the engine (come on now, who needs a 500hp beast for the daily commute), drop significant weight from the vehicle, or make the car work more efficiently, getting the most power out of every drop of petrol.
I’m not sure about the last of the three, but Volkswagen definitely has the first two of those ideas down pat with their latest prototype, a four-wheeling car that uses less than a litre of gas per 100 kilometres traveled (about 240 miles per gallon!).
But how did they achieve this? For starters, this is a vehicle of miniscule proportions, weighing it at 290 kg (640 lbs) thanks to its magnesium frame and carbon fibre body. They do say that there is room for two people though.
Of course, with a one-cylinder diesel engine (mounted in front of the rear axle), this isn’t the fastest vehicle on the road. In fact, with only 0.3-litres of displacement, this VW prototype is capable of 8.5hp. Don’t expect to see anything like this in showrooms any time soon, but it is a good indication as to where the automotive industry is heading.