Volkswagen XL1: 'World's most efficient car' makes its US debut

October 7, 2013 by Bob Yirka report

( —VW's XL1 hybrid car made its official debut in the United States this past week at this year's Annual Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Chattanooga Tennessee—home of one of VW's hi-tech manufacturing plants. The vehicle has been dubbed by various media outlets as the "world's most efficient car." Testing has shown the vehicle to have a fuel consumption rate of 261mpg European-200mpg US. VW reports that the car is able to travel 32 miles when driven in all-electric mode.

The has a sleek, aerodynamic look—the back wheels are covered and mirrors on the doors are digital cameras instead of the wind grabbing old-school variety—the body is also tapered. The XL1 is the latest entry by VW to make vehicles it calls 1-liter cars—those that consume just one liter of fuel when traveling 100 kilometers. The XL1 is considered a limited edition that VW is making to test demand. To achieve such high efficiency, VW has followed three main ideas: making cars that are light, aerodynamic and that have a low center of gravity. To that end, the car is made light (it weighs just 1,753 pounds) by using carbon fiber polymers, magnesium, ceramics and aluminum in its various parts. It's small as well, measuring just 153.1 inches in length, and 65.6 inches across and 45.5 inches from ground to roof.

VW has given operators several options when driving the vehicle—it can be run as an all-electric, all-gasoline, or as a hybrid. It can also be set to run in electric mode for cruising then jump to gas mode automatically if more power is needed for sudden acceleration. The XL1, despite its name, is actually the third generation of a line of 1-liter vehicles from VW—the first was so thin driver and passenger had to sit in tandem. The XL1 is the first such vehicle from VW to be made for sale to consumers, though initially, only a lucky 250. That's all the company is going to make unless there is added demand. VW has not yet announced when the car will be made for sale in the U.S. or how much it will cost.

The video will load shortly

The video will load shortly

Explore further: Volkswagen will debut XL1 hybrid at March auto show

Related Stories

Volkswagen will debut XL1 hybrid at March auto show

February 24, 2013

(—Volkswagen will debut its XL1 two-seater, plug-in hybrid at the Geneva Auto Show in March. Publicity and blog previews are pointing to the car's considerable design and technical features. The company views its ...

VW to invest in renewable energy

August 26, 2011

The biggest European automaker, Volkswagen, plans to invest almost one billion euros ($1.44 billion) in renewable energies over the coming years, a press report said on Friday.

Volkswagen's XL1 said to be world's most economical car

January 28, 2011

( -- Volkswagen has unveiled its new, prototype super-efficient hybrid vehicle, the XL1, at this week's Qatar motor show. The car has been under development for a decade and Volkswagen claims it is the most economical ...

VW makes headway with its E-Bugster

August 1, 2012

Volkswagen brought some reporters to Europe recently to talk about green cars, and then spent much of the trip deriding the whole concept of battery vehicles. I drove a prototype electric Golf (with 26.5 kilowatt-hours of ...

Hybrids, concept cars generate auto show buzz (Update)

September 9, 2013

Here are 10 of the most eagerly awaited new cars going on display at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The show opens to journalists on Tuesday, industry visitors on Thursday and the public on Saturday. It runs through Sept. 22.

Recommended for you

Samsung to disable Note 7 phones in recall effort

December 9, 2016

Samsung announced Friday it would disable its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones in the US market to force remaining owners to stop using the devices, which were recalled for safety reasons.

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Solar panels repay their energy 'debt': study

December 6, 2016

The climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1.3 / 5 (13) Oct 07, 2013

a similar concept , unfortunately, using ethanol.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2013
VW has not yet announced when the car will be made for sale in the U.S. or how much it will cost.

Some time ago VW quoted that the price would be around 100k (Euros)..which is WAY out there for what the public would (or could) pay for a micro car such as this. Drop that to 10-15k (max) and you have the makings of an mass-market vehicle vehicle that will sell like hotcakes...just like the first PCs did for IBM while making them a fortune - because no one could come up with a competitive product for almost half a decade.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.