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Cars Image Credit: Autoblog

Published on May 30th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


261 MPG VW XL1 Likely To Just Be Available For Lease

And not in the US….

The Volkswagen XL1, which has been deemed the world’s most efficient car, is apparently not likely to ever be in the hands of many drivers. Rumor is, only about 250 units of the car will be manufactured, and the car won’t be shipped to and US shores (unless a super rich individual gets their hands on one and does so).

Also, rumor is, the car will only be available for lease.

Image Credit: Autoblog

Image Credit: Autoblog

If the car still interests you, here are a few notes about it from Jo Borras of sister site Gas2:

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).

vw xl1

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to and click on the relevant buttons.

  • dwj

    Unfortunately, while this is a very interesting car, VW has taken too long to do anything with it (I have been following its development for years) and it is now largely irrelevant. Who wants a noisy, polluting diesel engine a few mm behind their ear when they could have a clean, silent, pure electric drive. VW could just lose the engine and up-size the electric system but the expensive materials might be less compelling with an electric car.

  • Ross

    I wonder will they like GM with the EV1 take them all back at the end to crush them while a candle light vigil is held for them.

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