Volkswagen presents what it calls the world's most fuel-efficient car at the LA Auto Show. The small Up!Lite Concept has a hybrid system based on a 0.8 TDI engine and an electric motor.

The Volkswagen Up! Lite Concept has made its world debut at the LA Auto Show. Its makers say it's the most fuel-efficient car in the world. The Up! Lite is really a technical extension of the L1 Concept car presented at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Power comes from two sources. The first is a 2-cylinder 0.8-litre TDI engine making 38kW (51hp) at 4,000rpm and 120Nm between 1,800rpm and 2,250rpm. The other is a 10kW (14hp) electric motor working with a lithium-ion battery. Together they produce a system output of 48kW (65hp).

Further fuel-saving technologies include brake regenerative technology, a stop/ start system and a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). That plus a vehicle mass of 695kg help the car achieve an average fuel consumption figure of 2.44 litres per 100km or 70mpg on the highway. C02 emissions are 65g/km. A total range of over 800km (497mi) is possible from the small 20 litre diesel tank.

Although not meant to be a performance model of any sort, the little 3-door zipper will accelerate from 0 - 100km/h in a respectable 12.5 seconds and cruise comfortably at a top speed of 160km/h (100 mph).

In terms of its design VW preferred clean, clear lines, a new simple front grille that opens/ closes according to need and a rear profile akin to a sports hatch. The roof is made of 3.3kg carbon fibre.

The car is made largely from aluminium, steel and carbon fibre. It measures 3.8 metres long, 1.4m tall, 1.6m wide and has a wheelbase of 2.45m. Safety systems installed include ESP, one rear and two side cameras in place of rear-view mirrors.

Exterior features include front fog lights, LED daytime running lights, 18-inch aluminium and carbon fibre wheels and LED rear lights.

Interior equipment comprises of a 5.7-inch touch screen, an MP3 player, an Internet connection and a telephone.

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