Volkswagen XL1 is the Future of Fuel-Efficient Driving
In the current automotive landscape, we're used to hyperbole. "Best-In-Class" towing and "Class-Leading" shoulder, or knee, or pelvis room. It's all a little much, and its all usually skewed. Far too often those superlatives are created in a vacuum, under special conditions. It is rarer to find car that can lay claim to a particular achievement that stands objectively alone in the automotive world. The Volkswagen XL1 may be that kind of car. According to VW, the XL1 is the most fuel efficient car in the world, with an economy rating that looks more like a Bugatti Veyron top speed, at 261 MPG. The car is able to achieve this number via a diesel hybrid-powerplant, lightweight materials and some pretty immersive engineering.
Lets start with the exterior. The body has a drag coefficient of 0.189. Under the rear half of that shell is a two-cylinder diesel engine, mated to a seven-speed direct shift gearbox, and paired to a lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor. The combined output of this system is 68 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. With a curb weight of just 1,752 pounds, it can still get from zero to sixty in 12.7 seconds. Not amazing, but the 1989 Dodge Caravan that could do the same 0-60 time only returned 26 MPG highway. This is progress, people. The XL1 features an offset, two-seat interior. To be truly palatable as a marketable vehicle, those seats would have to be side-by-side. There would probably need to be a second row of seats too, but for a vision for the future, VW is on the right track! PHOTOS: See more of the Volkswagen XL1