Cars vw xl1

Published on March 2nd, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


World’s Most Efficient Car

March 2nd, 2013 by  

The Volkswagen XL1 may soon be on the market, and when it is, it will be the world’s most efficient car (at least, that’s what green gearhead Jo Borras of Gas2 tells us — he is a pretty sketchy guy, but I think he’s trustworthy when it comes to auto facts).

vw xl1

Here are some more details about the 261mpg XL1, most of which are Greek to me, from Jo:

Volkswagen’s new XL1 should look exotic, because it is – with lightweight material, engine, and chassis technology that rivals the high-dollar, high-horsepower rarities coming out of the Porsche and Ferrari factories. It’s more than that, though, as its fuel-efficiency figures (more than double those of my old 50 cc Metropolitan) testify to.

In true supercar fashion, most of the Volkswagen XL1 will be built by hand in VW’s Osnabrück factory, while the carbon fiber monocoque comes courtesy of a supplier in Austria (KTM?). The 800 cc engine is derived from the company’s 1.6 L diesel, though modified for smoothness and even more efficiency, and is good for 47 horsepower and 89 foot pounds of torque, with an additional boost up to 68 horsepower and 103 ft-lb from the hybrid electric motor available – enough for a 100 mph top speed and 0-60 runs in the 12-13 second range. Not good, but not totally awful (and plenty fast enough, given enough road, to land its less fuel-conscious drivers in some seriously hot legal waters).

Jo’s got more pics over on Gas2, as does Jalopnik.

Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report — Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Tags: , , , , , ,

About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media:, .

  • Pingback: 261 MPG VW XL1 Likely To Just Be Available For Lease | CleanTechnica()

  • Bruce Miller

    Not to invite ridicule on Joe Borras’ head, but Israel has a 1000 km electric due shortly with prototypes working today, and the Chreos (Google this one!) claims of a 1000 kn electric are easy to substantiate with recent Asian electric storage technologies, and/or a glimpse on Google of the latest proven nano carbon super-capacitor claims in the U.S., operating at even twice the voltages of Li batteries and offering no ‘internal resistance” inherent in chemical batteries? Proven torque availability in the three moving part power train in the White Zombie drag race ‘surprise’ in the U.S. furthers the electric supremacy claim for speed and power, durability and low moving part design for a superior longer lasting vehicle. U of Alberta Canada has hemp, cast bodies ready and in place to replace metal and very expensive carbon fibre vehicle bodies with few trade – offs and higher economical rewards. Google and see!

  • Pingback: San Diego Loves Green – Impending Debut of the World’s most Efficient Car – at least, that is what they say.()

  • Otis11

    While that one will be in the 6 figures, the are also planning another economy model for the rest of us:

Back to Top ↑