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Nature · Economy

Efficiency über Alles

March 02nd, 2013
in:Nature, Economy
by:Itai Lahat
located in:Germany
tags:fuel, fuel-efficiency, Germany, plastic, vehicle, VW, XL1

Some say it is too ugly to drive, others think it’s a beauty waiting to be shown to the world. Ugly or not, the new Volkswagen XL1 is going to be the most fuel efficient car in the world. And now, the car manufacturer has confirmed that this concept car has serious production plans.

So how efficient is this car? Short answer is: 0.9 liter for 100km. that’s a staggering number. Compared for example with the will of the Obama administration to set the Average Fuel Economy to 4.31 L/100km by 2025, well, it makes Obama looks pretty outdated. But there is also a longer answer to the efficiency of the XL1, and that’s because it’s also a plug-in hybrid. And this ability gives it another 50km of road using only the electric motor. In total, that makes it 0.6 Liter per 100km, or simply put a 150 km drive on 1 litter of fuel.

So how does the company achieve that? Well, mostly because of its small size and lightweight body. This two seater car is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and weighs 230kg. It’s ultra-thin yet just as strong as steel. The engine is a 0.8-liter motor with two cylinders. Doing the maths suggests something VW confirms: it is a 1.6-litre TDI Golf engine cut in half. This engine provides it with 47 horsepower and an extra 27 horsepower are generated from the electric motor that runs on a lithium-ion battery, and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. According to VW the XL1 reaches 0-100kmh in 12.7 and reaches a top speed of 160 kmh.

Volkswagen will build the XL1 at its Osnabrück factory in Germany, but it has not yet announced pricing for the vehicle or the final details on availability.

Article written by:
Itai Lahat
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