21 October 2005
21 October 2005
Volkswagen are presenting a prototype of what could potentially be the most economical sportscar ever made at the Tokyo Motor Show, starting this week.
At the Tokyo Motor Show (22 October to 6 November) Volkswagen will present Ecoracer, a sportscar boasting an average fuel consumption of 3.4 litres for 100 km and a top speed of 230 kph.
Thanks to its carbon-fibre (CFP) bodywork, this sports car with its centrally located engine weighs in at only 850 kilograms, and accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in just 6.3 seconds.
With speeds of 230 kph in 6.3 seconds, the EcoRacer is based on the premise of creating a prototype vehicle which features both fuel economy and performance.
The EcoRacer features carbon-fibre bodywork which was developed to afford a lightweight performance with improved stiffness. Structurally, it is a CFP polycoque (the safety structure embraces room for two persons) with roll bar, CFP crash elements and a CFP skin. The main parts of the polycoque are a chassis pan, two side members and the dashboard. The crash elements in the front area are the CFP crash absorber and an aluminium bumper cross-member. A further CFP module carries the engine and rear axle. The vehicle floor with integrated diffuser is also made of CFP.
The Ecoracer coupe also features carbon fibre on the bonnet, boot-lid and doors – which incidentally open via a Keyless-Entry-and-Go system and swings the roof wing upwards on a gas-pressure damper to optimise the entry and exit. These roof sections and the so-called T-bar, the longitudinal web between them, can be removed completely and stowed behind the seats.
The front double-wishbone axle is a new design made of aluminium, as are the pivot bearings. The four-control-shaft rear axle is based on the derivate that was used in the Golf. Its use in a central-engined sports car emphasises the potential of an axle that harmonises perfectly with front-wheel, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. In the EcoRacer (weight distribution front / rear: 40 to 60) it was tuned specifically to the central-engine concept, and robbed of a few kilograms.
Volkswagen commented that the “body design with its new sports car front configuration, LED head and rear lights-system, solid proportions and strong lines, demonstrates that even very economical cars can be a fascinating drive”
The sister ship of the renowned passenger ferry Vision of the Fjords takes sustainability one step further. A catamaran constructed from carbon fibre composite that runs entirely on batteries, Future of the Fjords will offer sightseeing with a minimum of environmental impact.