Volkswagen; While enjoying global success with the Mk1 hatchback Golf model, engineers were working on a much more elegant model. The model called Aerodynamic Research Volkswagen (ARVW) was introduced in 1980. ARVW was designed to achieve the limits of aerodynamic efficiency and succeeded.
ARVW became a car far beyond its time
The single-seat vehicle was designed to be as light and slippery as possible, and eventually reached only a friction coefficient of 0.15. One of the most streamlined modern vehicles on the market right now, the all-electric Porsche Taycan has a friction coefficient of 0.22. This information shows how far Volkswagen’s ARVW prototype is ahead.
Only 84 centimeters high and 110 centimeters wide, the ARVW was designed like an arrow. We can say that it is almost impossible for a modern vehicle of today to reach the friction coefficient of ARVW. Even a stylish supercar like the Ferrari F8 Tributo is about 38 centimeters longer than the ARVW.
The aluminum frame of the ARVW was placed under a body made of fiberglass and carbon. The car used a 2.4-liter, turbocharged, six-cylinder engine that produced 177 horsepower. The engine was placed behind the driver and power was given to the rear wheels.
Modifications such as hidden wheels, a soft underbody and minimum engine cooling holes helped ARVW pierce the air with maximum efficiency. When tests began to be carried out in October 1980, the car reached a speed of 355 km / h and took the world record. Then he went back to the test and broke his own record, speeding up to 362 km / h.
Volkswagen never gave green light for mass production of ARVW model. ARVW was not a model that the company wanted to display in showrooms around the world alongside Golf and Jetta. It was built so that engineers could show off their talents and give eye to opponents. Volkswagen’s record-breaking model quietly disappeared in the 1980s.