Remember the world’s most fuel-efficienct car? Volkswagen has been showing off increasingly-efficient versions of their original 1L concept for the past decade…and now it appears as though VW will do more than tease use. According to one VW exec, the German automaker will start a smaller series of production of the XL1 in Germany starting in 2013.This is the second time rumors of XL1-production have surfaced, in my mind making it more than just hearsay. Powered by a 27-horsepower electric motor and 48-horsepower two-cylinder diesel engine, the XL1 can go 100 km on less than a liter of fuel. That equates to about a 261 mpg rating on the U.S. cycle, thanks to an extremely low weight of just over 1,700 pounds. Martin Winterkorn, CEO of VW Group, told Autonews Europe regarding the XL1 concept that “We will start small series production by 2013 – in Germany.”
With a 0-62 mph time of about 12-seconds, the XL1 isn’t exactly a rocketship. But what it lacks in performance it will make up for in fuel efficiency, or so VW hopes. The reality will hinge on the cost, and I doubt this little foray into extreme fuel efficiency will be cheap. However, it could lead to a future of ultra-efficient commuter vehicles. I also imagine a few of these lightweight pod cars will get a performance boost from thrill-seekers like myself.
What would you pay for a 261 mpg car? And would you be willing to sacrifice any illusion of speed for such extreme efficiency?
A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, Chris can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.