The Volkswagen XL1 is a next-generation vehicle focused on one thing: hitting the one-liter per 100 kilometer fuel efficiency bogey (hence its name). That ultra-low level of energy usage translates to 235 miles per gallon, but since VW says the two-seater burns even less than a liter per 100 km, the estimated fuel economy number is more like 261 mpg. Even if real-world testing sometimes returns "just" 120 mpg, there's no question that this is a car built for efficiency. So why are we hearing rumors of a sports version called the XR1?

That's what Automobile Magazine claims, after speaking with an anonymous VW board member who said that the idea behind the XR1 would be to offer performance like a Porsche 911 alongside hybrid-like fuel economy at a lower price. Interestingly, the car's electric powertrain would be removed, and the resulting weight drop would allow VW to use cheaper materials (aluminum and steel instead of magnesium and carbon fiber, for example) while still keeping the car light. The liquid-fuel engine might become a four-cylinder (maybe the turbocharged 2.0-liter found in the seventh-generation GTI, which offers 220 horsepower) and a new seven-speed automatic dual-clutch that could together provide 70 miles per gallon.

Automobile notes that a lot of other changes would be needed that would modify the car's look and feel, but if such a vehicle is approved, we could theoretically be looking at a high-efficiency sports car that reaches 62 miles per hour in under 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph – all for under $50,000. That sure sounds sweet, but when Autoblog Green reached out to Volkswagen of America, the automaker's manager of product and technology, Mark Gillies, said this was all news to him. Isn't speculation fun?


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  • 21 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 13 Hours Ago
      "unnamed Board member" , or bored member of the club the journalist was drinking at......
      Warren
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is great news. In a few years I will be able to buy a used one, and convert it to electric, and have the car VW should have built from the start. :-)
      torqued
      • 13 Hours Ago
      Rear visibility seems poor...
      Jerry
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car is without a doubt the ugliest car I have ever seen. "But the aerodynamics, FE, science, etc. blah blah blah..." There comes a point where a car is too ugly to ever have any hope of selling well despite its performance numbers. Not to mention that this is a VW and that it will probably miss its advertised numbers and fall apart just after the 36,000 mile marker.
      Giza Plateau
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yeah we need more combustion engine cars. That's the smart play
      NickR
      • 1 Year Ago
      Reached out to? Reached out to..??? Does that mean "contacted"?
      Mike Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      If VW would build these things for mass consumption...and at an affordable price point...they'd be the number one automobile manufacturer in the world(!)
        johnnythemoney
        • 13 Hours Ago
        @Mike Lee
        Expect they won't. I'm afraid to know the real cost of each XL1, and I don't think mass producing them is that easy, unless they ditch all CF chassis and parts and that would be a completely different car. No one mass produces a CF car, Alfa Romeo just released a 1.000 units per year figure for the 4C, McLaren is slightly above that but with a RIM process. For the record, the 4C weight less than 1.000 kg and has over 260 bhp, it's a mid size car (not a micro capsule like the XL1) and comes with a nice and apparently comfortable interior.. Would this be that much different? I don't think so, so bring the Alfa please.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who cares? It would make the R8 look like an econo-car and would still be an unreliable piece of crap.
      Debra
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bryce. I see what you mean... Jesus`s rep0rt is exceptional... on wednesday I bought themselves a Ford Focus when I got my check for $8710 this past four weeks and in excess of $10 thousand lass-month. it's definitly the nicest-work Ive ever had. I started this three months/ago and pretty much immediately startad bringin in minimum $79 per hour. I went to this site, ..................... www.Jam10.cℴm
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      People have been waiting for a car like this since the 1970's. We've seen hundreds of concepts teased for almost 50 years now. Some have even rolled along this earth and been leased. VW, build the f****** thing and sell it already!!
      Nick
      • 1 Year Ago
      Of course it was just a concept. Now it's a high performance ICE car. Great job VW. One more pie in the sky concept.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yes after VW decides to repossess them all and destroy all examples of the car.
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