A production version of the Volkswagen XL1 plug-in hybrid, which the German automaker says can get up to 270 mpg, will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. VW will put the high-mileage two-seater into production later this year but has not disclosed a price.
The production XL1 closely resembles the concept VW unveiled in early 2011. The aerodynamically shaped body, which includes fully covered rear wheels and rearview mirrors integrated into the door skin, cuts through the wind with a low 0.189 coefficient of drag.
VW says it will hand-build the XL1 at is plant in Osnabrück, Germany, which also builds the Porsche Boxster and VW Golf convertible. The XL1 will initially be produced in a run of just 50 cars. After that, Volkswagen says production will be altered to meet demand.
The XL1 makes extensive use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic for the body panels and aluminum for the frame structures. VW says the car has a curb weight of 1,753 pounds.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain combines an 800-cc two-cylinder diesel engine, rated at 47 hp, with an electric motor rated at 27 hp. Power flows through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The XL1 carries a lithium-ion battery pack under the hood. The car can travel up to 31 miles on electric power.
VW says the XL1 needs just 8.3 hp to cruise steadily at 62 mph. The two-seater can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds, and top speed is limited to 99 mph. A 2.6-gallon fuel tank gives the XL1 a theoretical range of 700 miles.
The XL1 measures 153 inches long, 65.6 inches wide and stands 45.4 inches tall. That makes the XL1 as long as a Toyota Yaris and 1 inch narrower, but the Yaris stands 14 inches taller than the Volkswagen.
VW has certified the XL1 for sale in Europe. There is no word on whether it plans to sell the car in the United States.
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It will never make it here in the U.S. The Opek and oil exec.greed mongers will keep it from even entering the open market.