Even though we've finally gotten a look at the production version of the 261-mile per gallon Volkswagen XL1, this aero-shaped two-seater was never intended for high-volume sales. Fortunately, it sounds like the same isn't true for the car's diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain, which, according to a report from AutoCar, could make its way under the hood of another Volkswagen model: the Up! minicar (shown above).

A potential Up! Hybrid would likely be able to return some of the same impressive fuel economy numbers as the XL1, but it would be a more realistic car with more passenger space and greater production capacity. The hand-built XL1 will use a 47-horsepower, two-cylinder TDI engine paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and the 27-hp electric motor and lithium-ion battery helps deliver an all-electric driving range of 31 miles.

One of the core pillars of the XL1's design is its lightweight construction with a 1752-pound curb weight, which makes the Up! a perfect recipient for using this powertrain since it weighs just 300 pounds more. The report says that the Up! Hybrid is still in the developmental phase, so a production version isn't expected for at least another 18 months.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      EJD1984
      • 1 Year Ago
      I still wish VW would bring the UP here to North America. With how good looking the car is, I'm sure it would be a sales hit.
      alistair.dillingham
      • 1 Year Ago
      This would be a MAJOR HOME RUN for VW
      CarCrazy24
      • 1 Year Ago
      VW, please sell this here with diesel/hybrid powertrain intact, I would love a car that gets well over 70mpg combined, wouldn't be surprised to see this thing get close to triple digit mpg numbers. I've always liked the look of the Up! and it should have been sold here from the beginning since the Golf is moving upmarket.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      SpikedLemon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting. This would quickly shatter any dreams Daimler has for selling smart cars in the future.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @SpikedLemon
        I'm not sure why you would think that when two seats are enough. Parking the Smart in crowded European cities is even easier, as they are not so big (!) as the Up.
      lee_york
      • 1 Year Ago
      Autocar ran this article last month - almost word for word. Not sure why they're running it again. That aside, this is great news. The XL1 drivetrain in a four seater hatchback will be awesome.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        John Hansen
        • 1 Year Ago
        Laser, calling something vaporware (which I assume is what you meant since vapor makes even less sense) implies that it has not and will never actually be sold to the public. Thirty nine thousand have been sold. You might want to look up those catchy sounding phrases in urban dictionary before opening your mouth. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Vaporware Also, since I only refill my gas tank on average once every two months, it makes very little difference to me whether I use gas or diesel. Maybe I would have a lifetime average 170MPG an instead of 165MPG. Big whoop. I would happily choose the higher availability of gas over diesel for a tiny little MPG increase.
        alistair.dillingham
        • 1 Year Ago
        ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!
          graphikzking
          • 1 Year Ago
          @alistair.dillingham
          GM Diesels were garbage in the 70's. That's why the older generation is hesitant on diesels. GM hybrids / Volt plug ins are garbage engines as well. Maybe not THAT bad, but they aren't class leading by any stretch. The Volt gas engine is extremely inefficient. Put an HCCI Opel engine in the next generation and you'll see at least a 20% savings in fuel compared to this version. Improve the electric range to 50-60 miles and then put the HCCI motor. Drop the price a bit ($29,900 to start) and add in options so that most cars leave the showroom at about $38,000 - tax rebate of $7500 back down to $30,000 and I'd be a buyer.
        F_Monk
        • 1 Year Ago
        Until the price of diesel comes down to gasoline levels--or petrol prices rise to match diesel--and the high cost of entry for the diesel motor relative to petrol engines quits being nearly so dear, diesels are a hard sell in the U.S.
          alistair.dillingham
          • 1 Year Ago
          @F_Monk
          NO. Diesels have VASTLY Superior RESALE Value AND their actual MPG are up to 10 (!!!!!) MPG OVER THE POOR EPA Voo Doo Estimates. WHILE LOSERS LIKE THE FORD HYBRIDS, EPA rated 47 MPG, barely get 39 in REAL DRIVING.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Marco: I believe the main problem with diesel for an EREV is not the weight, but the cost. There is a premium to build a diesel engine, and another for the batteries etc, so it all adds up to too much money. Peugeot are going ahead with them though.
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      another ugly hybrid smh why is every single hybrid so ugly
        John Hansen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koenigsegg
        You didn't realize that the picture above is of the gas powered VW Up, did you? Whoops!
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      56Jalopy
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm retired, all I need is something to get me to town and back without costing an arm and a leg. This not only would do the job it also looks kinda cute in it's own ugly way. If they are not considering bringing it to the US don't get our hopes up.
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      It will never show in usa and canada because of diesel availbity problems. When they got a barrel of crude oill to refine then there is more % of gasoline in it then diesel. In europe they have to use diesel car to get even overall with gasoline-diesel ratio. they have electric trains more then big diesel tractor-trailer trucks. In north america if cars become diesel then there will be a lack of diesel and surplus gasoline. All these cars are then manage by big-oil and goverments and car manufacturers are just working for them and they decide nothing. In a crude barrel there is approx 45% gasoline and 35 % diesel and the rest is kerosene and propane and engine oi and tar and asphaltl. So to get a perfect balance on a day to day basis big oil and goverments tailor the market to be able to sell everything. So there won\'t be diesel cars on the usa and canadian market if it break the equilibrum.
        tump
        • 1 Year Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        We won't get the Up! model at all, so no surprise here.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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