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VW XL1: Driving review with the world’s most efficient car


Nice driving video here of the VW XL1, the world’s most efficient car, including a video. Enjoy!

No boring old CVT golf-cart transmission here. Volkswagen has added even more VW-ness to the proceedings by employing its energy-efficient – though a tiny bit heavy in this application – seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission. Oddly, however, there is nary a paddle for shifting to be found at the steering wheel. The interface for the transmission is simply the center console joystick, with D for normal automatic and braking/coasting energy recuperation and an S mode reserved for greater energy recuperation via increased resistance and later shifts.

The liquid fuel tank of the XL1 holds just 2.64 US gallons of diesel. In theory, if you run the XL1 as absolutely frugally as humanly possible off the internal combustion engine and drain the fuel tank to the bone, you can travel 690.3 miles before refilling the 2.64 gallons for around 10 bucks. Then add in the 32 miles of full-EV motoring on a fully charged battery at speeds of up to 62 miles per hour when you press the e-drive button, and your observed range could be well beyond the 700-mile mark per tank and charge. (Always plug in when possible, however, dear readers. Let us refer you to The New York Times.) It all sounds remarkable, and with these big numbers dancing in our heads, we pressed the Start button and were off along the north shore area of Lake Leman.