FRANKFURT – The biggest bit of excitement for Germany’s Volkswagen brand here was a piece of corporate backslapping dubbed the L1 concept.
The L1 stands for 1-litre; as in it needs only 1.38 litres of diesel per 100 km. Not exactly accurate, but this is a car show—who’s counting!
The new 1-litre concept—a follow up to the first VW 1-litre concept from seven years ago—is basically a covered tandem bicycle with four instead of two wheels.
Amazingly (and this is the “suspend your sense of belief” portion), VW said the L1 is "revolutionary yet close to production readiness" and is claiming about 2013 as a possible production date.
Maybe the local politicians in the crowd bought that one. But the L1’s chances of production are slim to none. And slim just got on a flight to Wolfsburg.
Also thin were VWs pickings for our market here in Frankfurt.
Despite Canadians’ penchant for sporty cars (BMW M, Mercedes AMG and Audi’s S and RS models sell a disproportionate amount of its factory hotrods here in Canada), VW Canada says the über-fun 270 hp Golf R isn’t heading our way.
Then there’s the new Polo, above.
Despite mainstream rivals like Toyota, Honda, GM, Ford and Hyundai already committed or already selling in the subcompact class, VW Canada says there are no plans to bring the Polo to Canada.
But VW had Canadian media here in Germany before the show driving Euro-spec Polos. Ostensibly, to write stories about how wonderful the car is to seed our market. Or just do the focus testing for them on the cheap. Who knows.
What I want to know is: Do you think VW is making a mistake by NOT bringing more of its European goodies over here?