Metroactive News & Issues VW Lupo — Volkswagen Lupo I

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Volkswagen Lupo I

VW’s most fuel-efficient car available in the U.S.

By Joy Lanzendorfer

you’ve probably never a Volkswagen Lupo, let me describe it to For one thing, it’s cute. not quite as cute as a VW Beetle, but pretty darn adorable for a It weighs less than a great for weaving in and out of traffic. it’s not the fastest car on the road, it can go zero to 62 mph in 8.3 seconds, according to the VW website. It’s a marvel of with a three-cylinder, 1.2-liter engine. And if you wanted to, you could your own fuel to run it.

Best of the Lupo has gotten up to 99 miles per in test drives, though in driving situations, it may be closer to 78 per gallon. It has been called the fuel-efficient car in the world.

But VW has no plans to sell the Lupo in the States. The company believes is no market for fuel-efficient cars in our country.

Local programmer White started an online to change VW’s mind the car. White commutes Oakland to her job in Petaluma. Though happy with her 1993 VW she has been looking for a newer, efficient car. She heard the Lupo from colleagues.

I saw it and thought, ‘Oh, this is I want!’ she says. But when I Volkswagen America to ask when the would be available here, said they aren’t to sell it in the United States. some pleading and whining on my they suggested I petition it.

In June, White launched a (www.lupousa.com) with an online asking people to sign if want VW to sell the Lupo White sent the first of 500 signatures to Volkswagen a little a month later. As of this the petition has nearly 700 signatures.


told White they given the petition to marketing and get back to her. In the meantime, plans to continue gathering and will send the company a every 500 names or so.

Though there are a number of why VW doesn’t sell the Lupo the main concern seems to be the market isn’t big enough to the cost of meeting U.S. standards.

But White believes part of an untapped niche for cars like the Lupo.

I thought about the market a she says. And I don’t think true there is no market though I think it may be kind of There are a lot of people like me who are with fuel-efficiency and having a car, but aren’t as concerned price.

There are reasons to if the Lupo would do well in the States. Some reviews of the car say its frame makes for a loud and ride. Other reviewers say slow to accelerate though to maintain speed well. And the size of the car may turn some off, especially at $13,000 to

But despite the downsides, word of seems to be spreading.

Volkswagen Lupo I

We’ve had a few people ask about the Lupo, Jason Smith, a sales for Prestige Imports in Santa I think the market would be for it. I really think the Lupo compete with other in its class.

The Lupo would encounter difficulties coming California. In 2006, California restrict the import of diesel to cut down the pollution caused by diesel.

The irony is that such could keep environmentally cars like the Lupo Since the Lupo uses far gas, it gives off less than other cars.

The could also use low-sulfur which sells for about $2 a and biodiesel vegetable oil that has treated to have the same as diesel. Biodiesel is 100 percent doesn’t pollute, and is good for cars, though using it may some warranties. You can even biodiesel yourself using oil from restaurants, according to Hassett of the Sonoma County Co-op.

Diesel engines been getting a lot of bad press for Hassett says. Because of I believe the Lupo would a tough time coming to

At this point, VW has not said how signatures it needs before it marketing the Lupo here.

I no idea how many they says White. But 700 seems a good start.

From the 21-27, 2003 issue of the Bay Bohemian.

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