" At the beginning of the fifties, Alfa Romeo commissioned Giuseppe 'Nuccio' Bertone to produce concept vehicles focussed on the effects of drag on a vehicle. It was eight years after the war, Italy was starting to reconstruct and it was "
Cars in Skirts – Volkswagen F1 Concept
We don’t really know why skirts ever went out of fashion. There’s something obvious about the flow of air afforded by fared rear three-quarters. To quote Charlie Sheen (sooth-saying nutcase du jour) “Duh, win!”
And the fact that overt slipperiness has never been everyone’s idea of automotive style shouldn’t be a surprise. Classic car design has always been primarily about aesthetics rather than aerodynamic efficiency.
But VW’s long-drawn-out exploration of the possibility of a one-litre car that can travel 100 KMs on a single litre of fuel has inspired a succession of interesting looking concepts. The idea that covering a car’s wheels leads to quickness and fuel efficiency is essentially a pre-WW2 modernist notion.
And the XL-1 concept captures that futurist spirit whilst at the same time being a realistic exploration of the marketable potentials of hypermiling.
If fuel prices keep rising at this rate, the slippery virtue will soon become a necessity.
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