FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen AG has unveiled a one-seat concept car with an electric powertrain, ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt auto show later this month.
The NILS lightweight concept car has the same basic layout as a Formula 1 race car, with the driver in the middle, the engine in back, and free-standing wheels.
VW development chief Ulrich Hackenberg said the goal of the NILS project is to research a technically concrete and economically feasible micro vehicle based on electric drive technology.
VW said the concept ''drives like a go-kart'' and can accelerate to 100 kph (62 mph) in less than 11 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 kph (80 mph).
NILS weighs 460kg (1014 pounds) and has a number of weight-saving features such as an aluminum space frame, high-strength plastic panels and two glass gull-wing doors.
At 3040mm (120 inches) long, the car is 500mm shorter than VW's new Up minicar, which will also debut at the Frankfurt show. It is also low and narrow with a width of 390mm (15.24 inches) from wheel to wheel and a height of 1200mm (47.16 inches).