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.