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Old 12-14-2013, 06:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My Lupo 3L 1.2 Tdi - Kermit a few months in

Well as a few of you may have gathered I bought a Lupo 3L here in the UK a few months back needing a little TLC & I have been living with it for daily driving & or long trips. So I have some results on these rare little cars....

It is a fairly low mileage car for the age with only 84k KM on the clock, originally imported from Germany by its original owner when they moved over to the UK. So yes its LHD not RHD as the norm in the UK. With fuel prices in the UK at roughly $10 a gallon!! fuel cost is everything.

So what's it like to drive?
In some respects its a lot better than I ever expected, its comfy, its quiet at speed (very quiet) the ride is great, its not by any means a slow car either, it happily keeps up on UK motorways (70ish limit) & will also bomb along at 80-100mph with relative ease. This is with either eco mode 42bhp or "sport" mode with 64bhp

The downside though is the flippin manualised gearbox especially around town, its dire!!!. On the open road its perfectly fine & I could live with it. However around town it drives like a learner would, appalling clutch control (its automated) laughably comedic throttle control during changes (its also automated during gear changes) so myself & any passengers look like they could be singing waynes world in the mirth mobile with the amount of head nodding going on

Now to the interesting bit, fuel economy....
Wow would be a good description, its mega. High speed cruising 80-90mph on long distance runs eg 100m or more it will average 4.0-4.4 L/100km (64-70mpg imp) always. This is about as bad as you will ever get.

Driving slower eg the UK Limit 3.2 L/100 km (88mpg imp) is the norm.
Sit behind a truck at 56mph & it will do sub 3L eg 2.5-2.6 L/100km (114-108mpg)
Sit behind a coach at 70mph & it will do 2.8l L/100km (100mpg)

Bear in mind its on slightly taller tyres than stock & they are winter tyres too.


However its most endearing feature is the cabin electric heater, that is warm within a min of starting it up in cold weather. Its utterly brilliant, happily defrosts the car in a few mins. There is nothing worse than diesel cars that don't heat up in the morning.


I have had cruise control enabled on the ECU so thats the next "fit" just about to order an OE stalk kit for it. Then we are off on a road trip in the new year to the the Alps in Europe for a winter boarding trip & clock up some more uber eco miles.


I like to think of Kermit as a tool for giving us free beer after every road trip

Oh & the Insight on the left will be soon in my posession too, now the owner has just ordered a BMW i3


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Black Lupo 3L 1.2tdi Manual converted the windsurfing bus!

Kermit the Lupo 3L 1.2 Tdi with a current mpg record of 114mpg (imperial) Now sold

G1 JDM Insight I hate the ride but love the quirkiness
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Congratulations that will make a nice pair of eco cars. But the color ......
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Congrats on the good results.

I think the automated manual would drive me bonkers as well. Did they even offer the car in a straight up manual version? A good (eco) driver would likely beat its fuel economy, if they did.

I'm hoping the Insight is manual.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Slight update for you all

The gearchanges are driving me insane especially round town, its fine on a long run. Let me explain I'm a professional driving coach so smooth driving is something I teach & profess, its like my wife is driving it! Using the manual tiptronic mode makes life better but it has far from perfect throttle control.


So looking to resolve it with a manual conversion at some point... plus I need to source some VAGCOM/VCDS software first.

Other than that I've given it a service with the proper super thin engine oil & its buzzing around quite merrily at 3.6L 100km with my slightly heavy foot


In addition to the Lupo I was offered a Mk1 Insight, which I test drove for the first time last week, sadly I could'nt match the asking price which had been upped but still useful to compare side to side. I'm looking at another one next week.
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Black Lupo 3L 1.2tdi Manual converted the windsurfing bus!

Kermit the Lupo 3L 1.2 Tdi with a current mpg record of 114mpg (imperial) Now sold

G1 JDM Insight I hate the ride but love the quirkiness
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Why not start a fuel log here? And share the results?
The Lupo 3L is one of the best eco cars to date, along with the Audi A2 i alu version. Both with very good areodynamics.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have been thinking about the Audi 3L for some time. Maybe ill pull the trigger at some point. Congratulations on your purchase :-)
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There was another silver one for sale in the UK over the past few weeks, I think it was on Spanish plates but that is easy to sort out.

I need to get the COC form from VW for my car so I can apply for the free road tax as it was registered without the COC & so I have pay the annual road tax at 130 currently.
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Black Lupo 3L 1.2tdi Manual converted the windsurfing bus!

Kermit the Lupo 3L 1.2 Tdi with a current mpg record of 114mpg (imperial) Now sold

G1 JDM Insight I hate the ride but love the quirkiness
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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One of my lodgers works in Germany 1 week a month so I was going to get him to look out for one for me....
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptsideways View Post
The gearchanges are driving me insane especially round town, its fine on a long run. Let me explain I'm a professional driving coach so smooth driving is something I teach & profess, its like my wife is driving it! Using the manual tiptronic mode makes life better but it has far from perfect throttle control.
That would drive me bonkers, too.

Shift quality is the #1 complaint about the automated manual transmission in the Smart Fortwo here, just FYI.

Quote:
So looking to resolve it with a manual conversion at some point...
Is that something owners have done before, or will you be a pioneer?
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
That would drive me bonkers, too.

Shift quality is the #1 complaint about the automated manual transmission in the Smart Fortwo here, just FYI.

Is that something owners have done before, or will you be a pioneer?
Its been done before, though its not as simple as you would think, requires ecu swaps & recoding, fabrication of mounts & exhaust mods etc

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Black Lupo 3L 1.2tdi Manual converted the windsurfing bus!

Kermit the Lupo 3L 1.2 Tdi with a current mpg record of 114mpg (imperial) Now sold

G1 JDM Insight I hate the ride but love the quirkiness
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