Home Transportation Efficient engines

Volkswagen XL1, The 270 MPG Diesel Hybrid to be Exhibited in Geneva


volkswagen-xl1Volkswagen XL1, a diesel hybrid that has a fuel efficiency to be envied by GM or Toyota: 270 miles per gallon, while doing 60 mph, will be unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

The Volkswagen XL1 can go for up to 31 miles on electric mode. Its ultra-high mpg is partly due to the car’s lightness, 795 kilograms (1752 pounds) and to its aerodynamic shape and low center of gravity. It’s 12.5 feet long, 5.4 feet wide and only 3.8 feet high.

The VW XL1 can run at 60 mph using as little as 6.2 kW of energy (8.3 hp). In the 100% electric mode, it only needs 0.1 kW per kilometer, almost half of what the Tesla Model S uses.

The hybrid powertrain of the XL1 is made of a 48-horsepower, 2-cylinder diesel (TDI) engine and an electric motor delivering 27 hp, and features a 7-speed DSG gearbox. The two-seater can reach a maximum speed of 100 mph, and can go to 60 in 12.7 seconds – not bad, considering its advertised fuel economy.

VW hasn’t said anything about prices yet, but you’ll be able to see it next month in Geneva.

Maybe the VW XL1 will once again wake up GM’s senses on efficient motoring, as did Tesla Motors after GM ditched their entire EV1 fleet. Do you remember the GM Ultralite, tested in 1992 and shown at the Detroit Auto Show the same year? It did 100 mpg. As well, Justin Capra, a Romanian inventor, built a machine that did 784 mpg (well, it was smaller and lighter, too). That had the same water drop shape as the XL1 – maybe his invention is no secret to them, after all.

So ultra-efficient diesel engines coupled with electric motors and an aerodynamic shape can do miracles so big that even Volkswagen realized it. Only I think it’s going to be expensive.

(Visited 334 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Thanx for this.
    some issues-
    1-cg affects handling,not mileage.Did you mean cross section area?
    2-Drag coeffiecent is only inspiring by auto standards.WW1 areo engineers would still sneer if alive(ass end in particular).
    3-Expensive-The carbon fibre  obsession  will be.But these weights were achieved in 1960’s with light alloy skins filled with foam-in aircraft. much cheaper and utilising existing tooling.
    4-lighter and less total drag would be easily achieved by going with one rear wheel.With the low centre of gravity centered in frame,handling need not be impaired.The weight and expence of the differential eliminated.
    See also-Rigely XR3.

  2. This is amazing – but probably at present only for the wealthy.  However when you think back to the cost of th first computer or mobile phone, …. as with all new technologies, I’m sure a solution will be found to make it more affordable.  One thing that is for sure is that Hybrids are the way to go.  I see that the German Schaeffler Group have also built a Hybrid concept vehicle which provides a comparison of the various options available for e-mobility and has an combustion engine, a central electric motor and two wheel hub motors and can re-charge using it’s own kinetic energy, although it is a plug-in.  I also saw at the Detroit motor show that they had another Concept car which showed several options for fuel saving in order for automotive manufacturers  to be able to comply with the fuel consumption and emission regulations required by CAFE by 2020 and 2025.  But with the increased range offered by the VW XL1, I find this a very exciting development.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.