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VW XL1: Setting efficiency benchmark with 313mpg!


As announced a few days ago here, VW has released the VW XL1 at the Qatar Motor Show and it’s nothing short of stunning: 313mpg, diesel-hybrid drivetrain and a hi-tech chassis. Car geek heaven!

Bosses at VW are laughing in the face of rising fuel prices – with the sensational 313mpg XL1.

The new suburban runabout 
is designed to show off the firm’s latest efficiency techniques, and as well as its headline economy, it claims 25g/km CO2 emissions.

Measuring 3.97 metres long and 1.68 metres wide, the XL1 has a similar footprint to the Polo. But its 1.18-metre height is closer to a Lamborghini Gallardo – with the low stance and teardrop body providing slippery aerodynamics.

Enhancing this are small 
cameras instead of wing mirrors, plus a covered rear wheel. That cuts drag to an incredible 0.19Cd; a Toyota Prius registers 0.25Cd.

The newcomer features a 
conventional two-seater layout, instead of one seat behind the other in the L1. Its returns are even better as it uses a plug-in diesel-electric hybrid powertrain. This comprises a 47bhp 800cc TDI engine, mated to a 27bhp electric motor – so a total of 74bhp is sent to the rear wheels. Plus, a pure electric mode enables the XL1 to travel 22 miles with zero emissions.

The fact the car is 
so feather-light helps efficiency. A host of cutting-edge materials restricts kerbweight to 795kg, despite the 
batteries’ bulk.

The monocoque chassis is made of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) – the same as used on Lamborghini’s Sesto Elemento. This means the XL1 is extremely rigid and safe, as well as light.