A tiny fuel-sipper with a long way to go

Talk about gas mileage. Volkswagen debuted last week in Hamburg, Germany, a prototype of its "1-litre" car, which gets an astounding 264 miles per gallon of diesel.

The concept car, shown off by Volkswagen's outgoing CEO and his successor (above), gets its name from the metric equivalent: 100 kilometers on one liter of gas.

Narrow and low (roughly three feet tall), the two-passenger car is aerodynamic. It's made of light plastic and carbon-fiber components and is unpainted, which helps explain why it weighs less than 800 pounds. The light weight could affect the vehicle's ability to withstand a collision with a car made of conventional materials. No word on when the car will actually reach mass production.

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