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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Geneva Motor Show: Volkswagen XL1

    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 21, 2013

    Almost six years ago, Volkswagen’s Chairman Ferdinand Piëch promised a production vehicle that would deliver fuel economy of 1.0 liter of fuel burned per 100 kilometers driven (about 235 MPG on the European cycle). Well Volkswagen has delivered a vehicle that can do better; returning 261 MPG on the European cycle or 0.9 liters per 100 kilometers. That vehicle is the new Volkswagen XL1.

    The XL1 is a very unique vehicle for many reasons besides the impressive fuel economy. For starters, the XL1's structure is a carbon fiber monocoque, with aluminum front and rear crash structures bolted to it. Body panels are made from carbon fiber and the windshield is only over 0.1 of an inch thick. This helps the XL1 get a very low curb weight of 1,753 lbs.

    The XL1's shape is very futuristic with angular LED headlights, scissor doors, inset rear wheels with covers, and no side mirrors (cameras mounted in the doors take the place). The shape is also very efficient, delivering 0.19 cd of drag.

    Power comes from two-cylinder turbodiesel engine producing 47 horsepower, an electric motor producing 27 horsepower, lithium-ion battery pack, and a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. The run to 60 MPH takes about 12.7 seconds and a top speed of 99 MPH.

    Inside the XL1 is seating for two and many of the features and comforts you expect in a modern car.

    We'll have more information on the XL1 such as how many Volkswagen plans to build and a price tag when the XL1 makes its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

    Source: Volkswagen

    Volkswagen XL1 3
    Album: Volkswagen XL1
    7 images

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    • Volkswagen to produce XL1 at its Osnabrück plant in Germany, using carbonfiber technology
    • The XL1 is the most aerodynamic production car ever, with a Cd of 0.19
    • 261 mpg combined fuel consumption was a vision—now it’s a reality

    Wolfsburg, Germany - The XL1 from Volkswagen is the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, with a European combined fuel consumption rating of 261 mpg. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, this two-seat vehicle can also cover up to 32 miles as a zero-emissions vehicle in all-electric mode.

    The XL1 is an automotive standout that follows pure sports-car design principles: light weight (1953 pounds), exceptional aerodynamics (Cd 0.19), and a low center of gravity. This super-efficient Volkswagen thus has the ability to cruise down the road at a constant 62 mph while using just 8.3 horsepower. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover more than a kilometer.

    The XL1 emits just 21 g/km of CO2, thanks to its high-tech lightweight design, aerodynamic efficiency, and a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a 47-hp two-cylinder TDI® engine, a 27-hp electric motor, a seven-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a lithium-ion battery. The 261 mpg fuel consumption figure is a record that has not been achieved by any other vehicle to date, showing that Volkswagen is redefining what is technically feasible in the automotive industry. The XL1 also has a top speed of 99 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds.

    Conceptually, the XL1 represents the third evolutionary stage of Volkswagen’s 1-liter car strategy. When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, currently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, formulated the visionary goal of putting into production a practical car that had combined fuel consumption of one liter per 100 km (235 mpg). In the two-seat XL1, this vision has become reality.

    Despite the tremendous efficiency of the XL1, the engineers and designers successfully came up with a body design which delivers more everyday utility than the two previous prototypes. In the L1, the 1-liter car that was shown in 2002 and 2009, the driver and passenger sat in a tandem arrangement for optimal aerodynamics; in the XL1, the two occupants sit slightly offset, side by side, almost like a conventional vehicle.

    The XL1 is 153.1 inches long, 65.6 in wide, and just 45.4 in tall. By comparison, a Volkswagen Polo is slightly longer (156.3 in) and wider (66.2 in), but is significantly taller (57.6 in). Even a purebred sports car like today’s Porsche Boxster is 5.1 inches taller. The XL1 will look spectacular going down the highway—a car of the future, built for today.

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    Doors Cool, Exterior reminds me of the old Ford Probe, very ugly and the rear quarter panel sides reminds me of that first Honda ugly hybrid. The Dash is blah also and while I am impressed with the technical aspect of the car, I find no passion in the body, the interior or anything else for that. Souless car.

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