- 2009 Volkswagen L1 Concept: Hang on; yes, this is a real car, on a real platform. It's the L1 Concept, and while it may look very very weird, it's under that body what defines it. First off, that 'squeezy' body, which hides the rear-wheels and has somewhat in-line seat design, is actually fully-made of carbon-fiber, and therefore, it's ultra-light, weighing just 380 kilograms. Then there's the world-wonder drive-train; it's a full-on hybrid. Volkswagen say that when the L1 Concept comes out as a showroom car, it will crack as the world's most efficient hybrid! How? Well, the basic recipe for this is a 0.8L TDI turbo-diesel, and a battery-powered electric-motor, making a total power of 53 hp and roughly 100 lb-ft of torque. However, because both the diesel engine and electric motor are placed at the rear, and the electric-motor specially is located between the engine and the transmission, VW were able to fit their 7-speed DSG transmission, allowing for excessive fuel-economy numbers. Add that, plus a start-stop technology, the L1 Concept can crack a combined fuel-economy rating of 157 mpg! That easily makes it the most fuel-efficient hybrid, but it surely doesn't make it the fastest. When it comes in a production form in 2013, a 1.6L TDI engine will be offered as an option.
- 2010 Volkswagen Golf R: Bad news Golf GTI owners, the awaited R-Line edition of Golf is here. However, unlike the last generation Golf R, which had a bullet V6 engine, the new 2010 Golf R is actually based on the new Scirocco R; so, it comes with a 2.0L turbocharged engine, with 265 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. With VW's 7-Speed DSG transmission, the Golf R will sprint to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, and also, can achieve 21 mpg fuel-economy rating. All 2010 Golf R models are driven by VW's 4-Matic all-wheel drive system. Beneath the sheetmetall, Volkswagen's engineers upgraded the Golf's chassis with a lower suspension that features new dampers and springs, improved disc brakes all around measuring 345mm up front and 310mm at the back, plus a new electronic XDS differential. The cosmetic department gives out an extended body-kit, updated LED taillights, sporty 19-inch wheels, and dual center exhaust pipes. Inside, the hot Golf sports a set of front bucket seats, a three-spoke steering wheel with a flattened bottom featuring the 'R' logo, aluminum decorative trim around the center console, plus subtly restyled instrument dials special for the Golf R. . The Volkswagen Golf R can be ordered in Germany starting at the end of 2009, in 3-door and 5-door variants. So in essence, this is the closest rival to the Scirocco R, since they're basically the same thing.