It's the summer of 2008, the energy prices are sky-rocketing. The price of a liter of fuel has broken the €1,50 barrier. It's time to consider doing something, it cannot go on like this. A lot of people see the Diesel engine as the solution, this however, pushes the price of Diesel, at times, higher than that of petrol. Apart from the price, a Diesel engine is only worthwhile when travelling more than 15.000 km per year. For the same reason natural gas is also not viable. What is needed, is a low-consumption vehicle.
There's not a great deal to choose from, and what there is, is mostly manufactured in Japan. Once one has overcome this hurdle, there's still not much choice, indeed, all we need is a car. The choice is finally made in favour of the Daihatsu Cuore, It's narrow and high, but has an incomparably large amount of interior space for a vehicle of this overall length. Even though the boot is sufficient for just two cases of mineral water, if transporting any thing large, one simply has to do without one or two passengers.
You may ask yourself, why we have depicted a vehicle with a glass sun-roof in connection with a project where our aim is to keep the consumption at approx. four liters per 100 km. It was thought of as the, admittedly, not quite perfect compensation for the missing air-conditioning. Since with air-conditioning four liters per 100 km can certainly not be achieved. The difficulty is however, to buy a car like this. Judging by the comments of the dealer, it has zero trade-in value. One would also have to accept a much longer wait for delivery.
Actually, we never intended to save money through the purchase price, but rather through the maintenance costs, however, we were able to shorten the waiting time by taking a demonstartion car. Unfortunately it had no air-conditioning, unless one was prepared to accept heavy losses in the fittings-and-features department. Included here, is a very simple display with a speedometer and otherwise just lamps to indicate what's going on. We also had to forego the very practical, moveable rear seat. At least, it was equipped with 5 air-bags, otherwise we would probably have had to abandon our plan.
Low consumption driving in a one-liter car is not as simple as one would think. At least, one can orientate oneself by listening to how loud it is. If the engine is always kept nice and quiet, one has already done a lot in the right direction. It cannot be taken for granted, but in the case of the 2008 Cuore, the engine is suitable for pulling off almost without giving gas. We have even tried long distance touring and haven't been dissapointed yet.
What was that about the sun-roof? Naturally, it was delivered only the day before our holiday was to begin, and because we couldn't get an appointment in the workshop, we installed it ourselves. At this point, I would like to urgently warn against doing what we did, or at least to make sure that you have the same electric sheet-metal shears that are used by coach-builders. Our nerves were frazzled, cutting open the roof of an, although inexpensive, but still relatively new car. Due to the uneven surface of the roof, even the template supplied didn't help much.
The first driving impression in summer: The roof must be able to be opened, even if this makes the car even louder than it is anyhow. Were our expectations fulfilled? Yes and no. On the motorway, at 120 km/h (=genuine 114km/h), as well as in mixed- including urban traffic, using an ideal driving manner in summer, a consumption of 4,4 liters/100km is possible. A very quiet and gentle tour through the wonderful Erzgebirge region in eastern Germany, rewarded us with a fuel consumption of less than 4 liters per 100 km. 10/08