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).
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).
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