The most fuel efficient and aerodynamic production car ever built, the Volkswagen XL1, tore up the streets of New York this week while on its three city tour of the U.S., according to The New York Daily News.
The XL1 looks straight from the future and, in a way, it is. Technologically advanced materials like carbon fiber and magnesium make this car years ahead of anything else on the road. It boasts a staggering 261 mpg and is the most aerodynamic car on the road with a coefficient of drag of just 0.189.
The XL1 relies on a combination electric-diesel powertrain to hit that high milage. A 27-horsepower electric motor can run the car for up to 31 miles before switching to the 48-horsepower two cylinder clean diesel engine. Gear heads might initially find themselves underwhelmed by the low power, but the insane aerodynamics and ultralight 1,753-lb body allows the car to cruise at 62 mph while using only 8.3 horsepower.
Volkswagen's engineers have been busy since the XL1 was first introduced as the L1 concept at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Outwardly, the XL1 hasn't changed much. But inside, the car looks very different. Most notably, the old tandem seats have been moved side by side to mirror regular two-seat cars. Originally weighing in at a svelte 837 pounds, the production car is double the original weight, but is also more efficient by 91 mpg.
The XL1 will be touring New York, Los Angeles and Washington this month. But this is more of a tease than a launch. Volkswagen plans on building only 250 of the $145,000 cars and won't be selling them here in the states.