The Volkswagen XL1 is marching ever closer to production. Spy photographers recently spotted the diesel hybrid prancing through the snow during a little winter testing, giving us our first look at the vehicle's daytime running lights, as well as the LED taillamps. The ultra-efficient two-door is said to be capable of returning up to 235 miles per gallon thanks to its two-cylinder diesel engine, 27-horsepower electric motor and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. We don't expect the car to be quick off the line, but it's hard to argue with triple-digit fuel economy numbers.

With its skinny tires and inset rear track, the XL1 should offer up interesting driving dynamics, too. All of the quirks of the XL1 can be attributed to the engineering quest for ever better fuel efficiency. Volkswagen says the car will have a slippery drag coefficient of just 0.186, which is far better than anything else on the road today.


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  • 118 Comments
      marshknute
      • 1 Year Ago
      VW, please do me a favor: sell as many of these as you can to lower your fleet-wide emissions. Then let Porsche and Lamborghini have a field day making the most gas-guzzling beasts they possibly can.
      Jeff Gilleran
      • 1 Year Ago
      I bet Opec will stick thier greedy hands into this and try to wash this fuel efficent car off the face of the earth. Honestly, Id be happy with 100 Mpg, but this is nearly 2 1/2 times that amount! Nice! I might fuel up once every couple months the way I drive. Very green vehicle. The aerodynamics is a true functionality point, not style. Although I think it looks fantastic. You could be driving a 89-94 Geo Metro with the 1.0L 3 cylinder and get up to 60 mpg, but those cars were serious penalty boxes, with zero content, and not safe at all. But they were cheap. The Honda Insight from 2000-2006, was closer to this VW, but VW has them beat in overall design. I really like them however because guys I hear that own them have achieved as high as 80 Mpg with a 5 speed. Sure, there are other cars out there, (such as the prius) that can do some pretty good numbers, but this Volkswagen blows them totally away as far as fuel economy. I hope they sell a bunch of these. Imagine if this car actually had all the safety features, and content in final production? Id take one in a heartbeat.
      canuckcharlie
      • 1 Year Ago
      finally something revoluntionary!! As much as i like power, im ok with 0-60 in 20+ sec for something that will return this kind of mpg
      Occams_Cat
      • 1 Year Ago
      235 miles per gallon...I can barely get that from a full tank.
      Stumpy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Love new tech. It is great to see these new marvels. I would love something like this for roadtrips! ..
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Stumpy
        I think it's great, too, but good luck finding someone who wants to ride in this thing cross-country...
      Chance Leo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Please let this be affordable. I will stand in line for one of these. If they can get this to around 30K toyota will be having nightmares. Actually Toyota will not, they will just come out with a diesel plug in hybrid that gets around 150.
        ExigeS
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Chance Leo
        How stupid are you that you think this car could possibly cost anywhere near as low as 30K?
          mylexicon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ExigeS
          The car probably won't be as cheap as $30K, but you should research carbon-fiber reinforced polymers. They are still relatively expensive, and the manufacturers are having a bit of trouble getting the production rates as high as steel stamping and such, but think of how cheaply cars could be built with injection molded carbon fiber. Carbon is the most abundant material on earth, and injection molding is extremely cheap compared to stamping, casting, and forging metals or hand-built carbon weaves. When the weight of the automobile components are reduced, the assembly costs fall as fewer mechanical devices are needed to install and transport parts. In the not to distant future (I hope), a simple car like this can be built for a fraction of current vehicle costs.
          The Steve
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ExigeS
          Based on the pictures and the article, it looks as though they may be using pretty modest hardware. With a two-cylinder diesel and 27 hp electric motor, it's not exactly going to have super car credentials. So why would you assume it's going to be way over $30K?
          atc98092
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ExigeS
          Maybe he isn't being realistic, but is it really necessary to insult?
      vedi123
      • 1 Year Ago
      looks really good/cool for an ecowondercar
      lordedardstark1
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the car Chevy said the Volt was going to be! The Volt is still awesome, but not the figures I was expecting. I hope this car will be under 50k
      canuckcharlie
      • 1 Year Ago
      Based on a typical 15 gal. tank, you will also need an oil change everytime you fill up.
        Dayv
        • 1 Year Ago
        @canuckcharlie
        "Change the oil and top off the fuel tank, please!"
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        HAT1701D
        • 1 Year Ago
        Why? One of the guys at work still drives and maintains a first gen Honda Insight. The OLD ones with the rear wheel skirts. He doesn't have to remove them for snow driving. They probably removed them simply for access during the testing to see how or what the snow was or is doing to the running gear and rear suspension components as well as any induction braking systems attached to the rear brakes.
      Clark
      • 1 Year Ago
      With those kind of numbers, I could care less what it looks like! Really they've done a great job thus far, even though there's sort of a Subaru SVX style going on there with the side window frames. Seriously at 235 mpg- I would drive the Wienermobile, but this looks nice!
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'll be impressed if they actually manufacture it and start selling it. I'll be very impressed if they make an electric version.
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