Like some automakers, Volkswagen hasn’t been particularly quick off the line when it comes to electric and hybrid vehicles. Still, this doesn’t mean that Volkswagen has been sitting on its haunches.
After all, Volkswagen engineers need to meet the same emissions limitation regulations that all the rest of the automakers do, even if they hem and haw about how strict they are. There are a few options out there, but the more exotic ones are hard for the public to swallow. Aside from electric vehicles, which are more somewhat more expensive, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which are far more expensive, hybrid vehicles seem to make the best sense for automobile technology in the interim.
Oddly enough, Volkswagen’s first super-mpg vehicle, the Volkswagen XL1, will most likely go for more than $140,000. The lightweight two-seater borrows from supercar and formula racing technology and runs on a combination diesel internal combustion engine [ICE] and electric motors, pushing for fuel economy and emissions numbers unheard of in ICE territory, 261MPG. Volkswagen’s next vehicle will be shown at the Tokyo Motor Show, a
257MPG 214mpg four-seater hybrid vehicle. No word, yet, on the price of this new hybrid vehicle, likely similar to XL1 pricing, but we do have some details.
The Volkswagen Twin-Up, referring to its combination of diesel ICE and electric motors, is a compact hatchback that borrows from what will make the XL1 so efficient. The Twin-Up’s diesel hybrid vehicle powertrain is a slightly more powerful version, to make up for the extra 410kg and two passengers that it needs to push. The 880cc i2 turbodiesel is the same as in the XL1, but the electric motor and battery has been upgraded to offer more power and range, as well as a larger fuel tank. The system only generates 74hp and 158lb•ft of torque, but with an estimated fuel economy of
257mpg 214mpg and an electric-only range of up to 31mi, power really isn’t the point. This is a citycar, no doubt about it.
UPDATE: Adjusted MPG ratings to reflect new press release.
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