Think of the annual industry gathering in Los Angeles, this week as auto show light. The 2009 L.A. Auto Show is bringing with it the debut of an assortment of downsized cars, crossovers and concept vehicles, including the Volkswagen Up! Lite show car.
That’s the latest spinoff from VW’s new minicar platform, the first model, dubbed Up!, getting ready for launch next year. The German maker has been actively showing off a variety of spinoffs, some geared for production, others, like Up! Lite, serving as a platform to try out new technology and gauge consumer reaction.
The three-door, with an advanced hybrid drivetrain under the hood, is laying claim to being the world’s most fuel-efficient four-seater, at least in concept form. The drivetrain consists of a micro-sized, 0.8-liter turbodiesel generating about 50 horsepower mated to a 15 hp electric motor. It’s the same system used in the L1 tandem two-seat concept vehicle shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show, last September.