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Volkswagen Lupo's record attempt in Australia

1 June, 2000

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The world's first three litre car, Volkswagen?s 3L Lupo, is taking on the huge quest of being the first car to travel around the world in 80 days on just 1,000 litres of fuel.

Following in the tradition of Phileas Fogg, the hero of Jules Verne?s classic story, Around the World in 80 Days, the Volkswagen Lupo aims to gain an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records.

With an average usage of 2.99L per 100 km, the Lupo is the most economical car on the road and is the first car to break the magical 3L barrier.

The 3L Lupo began its 33,000 km trip around the world in Berlin, Germany on May 16 and will finish the trip in the home of Volkswagen, the city of Wolfsburg, Germany on August 3.

On Wednesday (May 31) it left Perth on its Australian leg of the journey to travel to Sydney, arriving on Tuesday June 6.

On its arrival in Perth the Lupo had already travelled 4,768.5 kms, using only 119.18 litres of fuel. This results in an incredible average fuel consumption of 2.5 litres/100kms, travelling at an average speed of 80.7km/h.

This level of fuel efficiency has been achieved through Volkswagen's use of innovative technology, weight-optimising materials and superior aerodynamics.

Aerodynamically shaped bumpers, the shape of the tailgate door, and the flush headlights and windows ensure smooth airflow around the car without the need to add weight.

The materials used for the body construction are a lightweight combination of steel, aluminium and magnesium however, no compromise for safety has been made resulting in a sturdy yet lightweight body.

The Lupo 3L TDi is powered by a three-cylinder diesel engine with direct fuel injection. Each cylinder has its own pump-injector unit, and from its displacement of 1.2 litres the engine produces 45kW of power.

A turbocharger with variable blade geometry, a charge-air intercooler and various friction-reducing design measures have increased the engine's efficiency by more than 40 percent. Yet, this small three-cylinder engine is not the only explanation for the car's low fuel consumption. The automated direct-shift gearbox with stop-start function also makes a significant contribution towards extracting maximum energy from every drop of fuel.

It combines the convenience of automatic transmission with the fun of using a modern "tiptronic" shift. In the Economy mode, the engine is switched off as soon as the car is at a standstill with the brakes applied. The clutch is disengaged when the accelerator pedal is lifted, so that the Lupo coasts with the engine running at idle speed.

The Lupo arrives in Sydney on Tuesday June 6 and will be welcomed with a reception at the Powerhouse Museum from 5pm.

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