Volkswagen XL1

Volkswagen's XL1 concept is a diesel-electric hybrid that, thanks to extreme aerodynamics, is the most energy efficient production vehicle in the world. To believe these claims, just take a look at the numbers offered by the German manufacturer. Indeed, the XL1 only consumed 0.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, with an average CO2 emissions of only 21 grams per km. No standard vehicle to date has been able to achieve such results. Surprising everyone, Volkswagen has decided to take this concept to the production stage, and offer a small number of the XL1 for sale. It's a daring bet, because in terms of style and design, the XL1 has no market equivalent. It's a given that the first copies will certainly find takers very quickly, but the exotic design, necessary for the aerodynamics may repel a large number of potential buyers. On top of design, the fact that the Volks XL1 is only a two-seater will limit interest as well.

Before production could begin, Volkswagen had to revise certain aspects of the concept to meet safety criteria, and made some major changes. Don't forget, the initial vision had the car weighing only 381 pounds. The production version saw the weight nearly double to 795 pounds before leaving the factory.

In regards to the XL1's powertrain, Volkswagen is using it's unrivalled expertise in the field of diesel engines. Therefore, the German automaker equipped the vehicle with a twin 0.8 litre TDI team. The engine block is actually based on the standard 1.6-litre TDI already found in several of the brand's European models. This new twin turbo diesel generates 48 HP, the equivalent of about 35 kW. The engine is assisted by an electric motor located between the twin and dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The engine is assisted by an electric motor located between the twin and dual-clutch DSG 7 automatic transmission. It creates 20 kW, or 26 HP and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be recharged directly from a standard electrical outlet. Volkswagen announced that the range is about 40 miles (65 km) in all-electric mode.

From a performance perspective, and despite the fact that this is not the main purpose of the Volkswagen XL1, it can reach a top speed of 160 km/h and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 12 seconds.

By Linda Aylesworth -


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