Don't worry it's not another too good to be true hydro car. This is Volkswagen's 282 mile per gallon (MPG) super fuel efficient car. It was around as a prototype model in 2002 and is known by metric system users as the '1 Liter car' since thats how much gasoline is needed per 100 km. Volkswagen has decided to make a limited number (in the thousands) of these vehicles, and will put them up for sale in 2010.
So just how good is this fuel efficiency? Lets compare it with the top selling cars in the US during January of this year: Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. The Toyota Camry will squeeze out 35 MPG on the highway, while the Accord maxes out at 29 MPG.
So how do they do it? The 1 Liter car weighs only 660 pounds, and is made from a body of carbon composites. Due to its slippery shape, it has a coefficient drag of only 0.16 (the average car is about 0.30). The prototype was powered by a 1-cylinder diesel engine, but the soon to be released model should be equipped with a 2-cylinder, and perhaps a stop-start anti-idling feature.
Until we can produce a completely new method, we might as well improve on the one that's around now. It might not be available to the masses yet, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.