The VW XL1 will be the most fuel efficient car in the world when it is released in 2013. Here are the numbers: 153in long, 65in wide, and just 45in tall. It weighs 1753lbs, as it is made from carbon fiber and other lightweight materials. Sounds like a sports car, but as you gathered from the headline, its objective is efficiency. With the 1-liter 2-cylinder diesel fed to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, along with a lithium-ion plug-in hybrid system, it will get up to 261mpg. It will also be the most aerodynamically efficient car in the world, with a Cd of 0.189. Those are some serious numbers.
There is no word on price as of yet, but it will not be cheap. They will be largely hand-built, and only 250 will be made. This will be an exercise in technology that will hopefully find its way into the rest of the VW range someday.
While this doesn’t exactly get our pulses racing, it is definitely an interesting step forward in the evolution of the automobile. We can dig it.
(from Volkswagen Press Release) Launch of the 1-litre fuel economy car from Volkswagen
• Volkswagen to produce XL1 by handcrafting-like production methods at its Osnabrück plant in Germany
• XL1 is the most aerodynamic production car ever
• 0.9 litre combined fuel consumption was a vision – now it is a reality
Wolfsburg, 21 February 2013 – The XL1 from Volkswagen is the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, with a fuel consumption value of 0.9 l/100 km. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, the two-seater can also cover a distance of up to 50 km in all-electric mode and therefore with zero local emissions.
The XL1 is an automotive hero that follows pure sports car design principles: low weight (795 kg), perfect aerodynamics (Cd 0.189) and a low centre of gravity (1,153 mm high). This gives the efficient Volkswagen the ability to cruise on the road at a constant speed of 100 km/h using just 6.2 kW / 8.4 PS. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover a driving distance of over one kilometer.
High-tech lightweight design, perfect aerodynamics and a plug-in hybrid system – consisting of a two-cylinder TDI engine (35 kW / 48 PS), E-motor (20 kW / 27 PS), 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) and lithium-ion battery – all make it possible for the new Volkswagen XL1 to emit just 21 g/km of CO2. If necessary, the XL1, with a top speed of 160 km/h, can accelerate to 100 km/h in just 12,7 seconds. Clearly, 0.9 l/100 km fuel consumption is a record figure that has not been achieved by any other vehicle to date, and it illustrates how Volkswagen is redefining what is technically feasible in carmaking.
Conceptually, the XL1 represents the third evolutionary stage of Volkswagen’s 1-litre car strategy. When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, who is today Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, formulated the visionary goal of bringing to market a production car that was practical in everyday use with fuel consumption of one litre per 100 km. In the two-seat XL1, this vision has become reality. Despite the tremendous efficiency of the XL1, developers successfully came up with a body concept, which delivers more everyday utility than in the two previous prototypes. While the driver and passenger sat in a tandem arrangement for optimal aerodynamics in the L1, the 1-litre car presented in 2002 and in 2009, in the XL1 two occupants sit slightly offset, side by side, nearly as in a conventional vehicle.
The XL1 is 3,888 mm long, 1,665 mm wide and just 1,153 mm tall. By usual automotive standards these are extreme dimensions. For comparison: a Polo has a similar length (3,970 mm) and width (1,682 mm) but is significantly taller (1,462 mm). Even a purebred sports car like today’s Porsche Boxster is 129 mm taller (1,282 mm). So, the XL1 will make a spectacular appearance – a car of the future, built for today.