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VW unveils super-efficient '1-litre' hybrid

The Local · 26 Jan 2011, 11:24

Published: 26 Jan 2011 11:24 GMT+01:00

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The two-seat XL1 prototype, launched at the Qatar Motor Show, consumes as little as 0.9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and emits just 24 grammes of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide per kilometre.

Volkswagen, which is based in Wolfsburg and is Europe's largest automaker, said in a statement the new prototype brought the ''vision of the 1-litre car close to production maturity.''

Click here for a photo gallery of the XL1.

It follows an earlier prototype the L1, which daily Bild reported is set to go into full production for release in 2012 and is expected to cost about €20,000.

“No other hybrid car powered by an electric motor/internal combustion engine combination is more fuel efficient,” Volkswagen said in its statement.

The car has a lightweight monocoque body, or structural skin, made partly from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer, the same as parts used in Formula 1 cars. Volkswagen said the body design had a very low aerodynamic drag.

Its plug-in hybrid system consists of a two-cylinder turbocharged TDI engine with 48 horsepower and an E-motor with 27 horsepower. It has a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission and a lithium-ion battery.

The car can be driven up to 35 kilometres in purely electric mode meaning it has no carbon emissions up till that point.

The battery can be charged from a household power socket. The battery is also charged by the energy captured by slowing down.

Story continues below…

Volkswagen said in its statement the XL1 was the third stage in the evolution of its 1-litre car strategy, which was kickstarted by Ferdinand Piëch, who is now chairman of Volkswagen’s supervisory board, at the turn of the millennium.

The carmaker said it aimed for the XL1 to be practical, with wing doors that make it easy to get in and out.

The Local/djw

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Your comments about this article

11:50 January 26, 2011 by marimay
Can someone please make a hybrid that doesn't look corny? Reminds me of all the "what the future will look like" concepts from the 80's.
12:26 January 26, 2011 by freechoice
i need a 4 seater family car, not a 2 seater!
13:06 January 26, 2011 by catjones
Comes up to my waist.

Prototypes are prototypes, not production. Make the claim when they come off a production line.
15:03 January 26, 2011 by cklb
citing "The car can be driven up to 35 kilometres in purely electric mode meaning it has no carbon emissions up till that point." The car maybe not, but the electricity that it got from the grid has... Why does no one ever understand that electricity is NOT perfectly clean of emissions????
15:13 January 26, 2011 by Californian
The Tesla model "S" still looks far superior, and is only ~49,000.

Will go 300 miles on a charge.

Room for 4 people.

0 to 60mph in 5.6sec


I'm sure the price will creep up on the XL1 as production nears a release date, making the Tesla an even bigger bargain.
19:21 January 26, 2011 by xx.weirich.xx
Dang... that car is sweet...
19:39 January 26, 2011 by Aschaffenburgboy
I can't believe this is what they are unveiling at this show. Disappointing.
11:52 January 27, 2011 by JDee
Marketing Car... 3 engines... joke
22:07 January 27, 2011 by Michael Belanger
This is a disruptive industry opportunity. Corvette missed this opportunity while delivering their version of high performance value to a niche (low dealer volume) but passionate group of brand owners. Can VW learn? Skip the dealer network altogether. Assign the entire XL-1 cost and it¦#39;s factory output to the marketing division of VW. Spread the new brand¦#39;s culture far beyond its dealer network. Launch the XL-1 only over the Internet, using a silent auction, direct to all global early adopters. . Support any repairs with rental car vouchers, FedExing parts and detailed maintenance and repair information on-line for an owner¦#39;s local auto repair shop.
03:39 January 30, 2011 by Thomas Paine
It is a step in the right direction by a forward thinking and innovative manufacturer. This is a step way beyond what Toyota and Honda did with the Prius and Insight. The only difference is the two seat cabin. Perhaps as it nears production two more seat will be added.

I am pumped about this. I would certainly think about buying something this fuel efficient.

It would look nice next to my Jetta TDI wagon (42mpg) and Prius (52mpg) (It's winter here in Florida- no benzin draining air conditioner).
04:05 March 22, 2011 by Chicago1996
Good luck getting through the snow with that!
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