VW XL1

After beginning life as a concept car over a decade ago in 2002, the Volkswagen XL1 will finally become a production car. But not just any production car: When the XL1 hits the roads, it will become the most fuel-efficient and aerodynamic car in the world.

The numbers look pretty remarkable. Using a plug-in hybrid system, the XL1 is supposed to achieve an incredible consumption of just 0.9 liters of diesel fuel per 100 kilometers (or roughly 261 miles per gallon). Additionally, the XL1 can travel up to 50 kilometers (31 miles) on its battery power alone. And the coefficient of drag is a tiny 0.189, thanks to its super aerodynamic design.

Add gull-wing doors and lightweight carbon fiber material, and you have one very futuristic car.



The car uses a 47-horsepower, two-cylinder diesel motor connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, along with a 20 kW (27 horsepower) electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery. The performance specs aren't exactly earth shattering, but still aren't all that bad. It'll take 12.7 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph, and the car's speed tops out around 100 mph.

Unfortunately, the vehicle only seats two people, seriously hindering its real-world practicality. And rumors have indicated that the XL1 will have a six-figure price tag, meaning you won't see too many of these on the road.

Still, the efficiency numbers are pretty incredible and hopefully preview future fuel economy with mass production cars.
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02.21.2013
VOLKSWAGEN ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF XL1, THE WORLD'S MOST EFFICIENT PRODUCTION CAR
• Volkswagen to produce XL1 at its Osnabrück plant in Germany, using carbonfiber technology
• The XL1 is the most aerodynamic production car ever, with a Cd of 0.19
• 261 mpg combined fuel consumption was a vision-now it's a reality

Wolfsburg, Germany - The XL1 from Volkswagen is the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, with a European combined fuel consumption rating of 261 mpg. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, this two-seat vehicle can also cover up to 32 miles as a zero-emissions vehicle in all-electric mode.

The XL1 is an automotive standout that follows pure sports-car design principles: light weight (1753 pounds), exceptional aerodynamics (Cd 0.19), and a low center of gravity. This super-efficient Volkswagen thus has the ability to cruise down the road at a constant 62 mph while using just 8.3 horsepower. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover more than a kilometer.

The XL1 emits just 21 g/km of CO2, thanks to its high-tech lightweight design, aerodynamic efficiency, and a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a 47-hp two-cylinder TDI® engine, a 27-hp electric motor, a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a lithium-ion battery. The 261 mpg fuel consumption figure is a record that has not been achieved by any other vehicle to date, showing that Volkswagen is redefining what is technically feasible in the automotive industry. The XL1 also has a top speed of 99 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds.

Conceptually, the XL1 represents the third evolutionary stage of Volkswagen's 1-liter car strategy. When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, currently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, formulated the visionary goal of putting into production a practical car that had combined fuel consumption of one liter per 100 km (235 mpg). In the two-seat XL1, this vision has become reality.

Despite the tremendous efficiency of the XL1, the engineers and designers successfully came up with a body design which delivers more everyday utility than the two previous prototypes. In the L1, the 1-liter car that was shown in 2002 and 2009, the driver and passenger sat in a tandem arrangement for optimal aerodynamics; in the XL1, the two occupants sit slightly offset, side by side, almost like a conventional vehicle.

The XL1 is 153.1 inches long, 65.6 in wide, and just 45.4 in tall. By comparison, a Volkswagen Polo is slightly longer (156.3 in) and wider (66.2 in), but is significantly taller (57.6 in). Even a purebred sports car like today's Porsche Boxster is 5.1 inches taller. The XL1 will look spectacular going down the highway-a car of the future, built for today.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.