Volkswagen is an automaker that has an unusually varied portfolio. On one hand they’re the parent company of Bugatti, makers of the world’s fastest production car. On the other hand, they’ve recently come up with something called the XL1. It is a diesel-electric hybrid that is purported to achieve 261 miles per gallon. This is especially impressive when you consider that the initial target was “only” 235 MPG.
It comes at the end of a more than decade-long project, and they’ve thought of everything. First, the necessary stats:
- 0.8L TDI engine
- 5.5kWh lithium battery
- 68 horsepower and 103 ft-lbs of torque.
Its looks might make you think of racing, but the car’s performance rather reflects the emphasis on economy. 0-60 mph takes 11.5 seconds to reach, and with a top speed of 99 mph, the XL1 is not a speed demon’s car. Perhaps this is for the best, as the brakes and steering both are unassisted.
The motor’s truly miniscule displacement means very low fuel consumption. Adding to that effect are things like covered rear wheels, lots of carbon fiber in the body, and numerous other weight-saving and drag-reducing features, each contributing to the car’s efficiency in some way. Of course, this masterpiece of lightness is likely to carry a heavy price tag when it gets to the showroom, so this Volkswagen won’t quite be a “car of the people”. Even so, it might be the car of the future, or something a lot like it.