Volkswagen's latest eye-catching creation, the ultra-efficient diesel-hybrid XL1, debuted at the Qatar Auto Show, immediately garnering attention both for its looks and its specs. But according to German publication Automobilwoche (warning: German), VW actually intends to bring the XL1 to market, albeit in a (very) limited run.
The XL1 boasts both a teeny two-cylinder diesel and a teeny plug-in electric engine--the diesel engine puts out 48hp and the electric only 27hp--so though it may look like an electric supercar (its body shape was inspired by a dolphin's), it's far less super in the muscle department. Early impressions from drivers seems positive--Autocar liked the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the gull-wing doors, though wished the engine had a bit more oomph behind it.
But that lack of power is responsible for maybe the most impressive spec VW's been circulating: An astronomical 261 MPG fuel efficiency. Hopefully VW will be able to retain that spec while it goes through the process of making the XL1 street-legal, even though it seems like the car is not destined for a large release. Automobilwoche reports that a limited run of 100 cars is being produced, destined first for Germany and then for the States and China. No word on the other essentials, like price, but we're definitely excited for the prospect of such a gorgeous and efficient car on the streets.
What a great idea. I've been wondering when this would happen. Back in the early 80's the VW Rabbit diesel had a 48 hp engine and would get 50 to 60 mpg on the highway. Nothing comes close to that today, largely because 48 hp isn't a lot of pep; 0-60 in about 30 seconds, and it topped out at about 85 mph. Japan has had 2- and 3-cylinder engines for decades that are powerful enough for their (very small) version of a minivan. Is there a market for this in the U.S.? I'd guess there is. Horsepower isn't everything, especially when fuel hits $4 a gallon again.
It's so ugly like the original Honda Insite it will never sell!! Jeeze that thing is UGLY!
great just.... just don't get a flat rear tire...
Sadly this will probably never make it big in the States...
We live in a country of people that generally have the mentality of "BIG TRUCK = BIG MAN!"
Wasn't it the people who were originally laughed at ended up with something BIG?
I say it is a beautiful design, I personally want one with a roll cage
My family is one that enjoys tools and cars that have the power to do whatever you need. Although this car isn't designed to do heavy work like our dual-wheeled, extended-bed, crew-cab truck we love the idea. If they could mass produce these things and bring the cost down to a reasonable level then this power-loving American would buy one.
What a joke! Strip a current mpg champ down to nothing and it will get huge numbers too. When this thing gets road certified it will be lucky to get 70 mpg and probably 40 in the city with even less "oomph". Where are the folks that come up with the goods BEFORE they talk big.
There going to spend all that time and money for a 100 car production run, are you serious. This thing will never be made. The Volt said they would get about 250 mpg before it hit the street.
I've styled a few cars and aircraft in my time and I have to say the lines on this VW concept are gorgeous. I haven't had a flat tire since the 50's and if you did, do you suppose that wheel cover just might be designed to pop off easily for tire access? There's more to driving than dragging for pink slips. If the price was right I'd stand in line for one.
Big car = small penis Small car = big brain
vw ceo (german accent): it gets 260 mpg!
US goverment : mmm, sounds too good to be true
IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety): thats unsafe
this adds up to the US will never see it
It doesn't matter if they pile in the equipment and bring the mileage down or not. The fact is that if they make this car it can easily be viewed as a historic vehicle on the virtues it has as tested currently. Therefore it can be given an Historic Vehicle plate and registration, just like a Stutz Bearcat or a Ford "Tin Lizzy" or a Stanley Steamer. You are fully permitted to return said historic vehicle to it's historically significant roots at your leisure, and never have a word said to you about it, just like the million or so non-street legal historic vehicles that will drive our nations roads this year.
Some hot rodder heritage you guys exhibit on here. Enough grandmas like you running around, we'd never have seen any of the vehicles I named above outside a museum, nor such extreme high performance vehicles as a 200 mph plus Lamborghini or a jet motorcycle, that while legal, exhibit features that make them inherently unsafe. It was self defeatists who allowed our government to ban the mighty Kawasaki Triples, or to say the Porche 959 or others must water down what was compared here if I remember right; to the automobile equivalent of the Space Shuttles. And many others; which prevented our nation from learning those advanced technologies at the ground level, and slowed our common level of advanced understanding as newly emerged trading nations began to occupy favorable positions in technology that we once held without question, at least in our own minds.
that thing looks awesome
i think the benefit will out weigh the cost, and personally i've always been a car guy, if you see one truck with a lift kit you've seen em all.
there was a local car show and a good 80 percent of all the cars were trucks with lift kits, another 15 % was stock cars like mustangs camaros and other cars like that. really only 5% of the cars there were worth my attention.
because of the specs on this one, it's grabbed my attention.
Why is that every time a new hybrid/electric concept comes up it really butt-ugly. Did the designers ran out of steam at the end? Clearly there are probably thousands of kids in the design schools who would love to participate in design competition.
Not that they would, but Ferrari Hybrid, or Austin Martin Electric? What do I know....
I've been in the market for a car for a few weeks. An HONEST car salesman (I know, paradoxical...) showed me something I didn't realize. A hybrid doesn't actually get any better highway mileage. The fuel savings comes only when you operate the vehicle in the city. And even that city average m.p.g. isn't worth the extra money that you'll shell out for the hybrid. The highway mileage will usually be the same and actually could be a bit worse!
Name one hybrid that gets worse highway MPG than it's comparable non-hybrid counterpart?
I've heard other people in public speak of the kind of nonsense your salesman is talking, not sure if this is what he is doing, but they'll interpret the fact that a hybrid's highway MPG rating is LOWER than it's city MPG rating, where as a regular gas car has a higher highway MPG rating than its own city MPG rating. People will use this to lead themselves to the false conclusion that when driving on the highway you are better off in a gas car. If a prius is 51 / 48 and a non-hybrid civic is 28 / 40, which is better on the highway? Drrrrrrrr.
Also, what is better financially? Spending $3000 more on a hybrid system and getting that money back when you sell the car? (since hybrids are well known to depreciate at a slower rate than regular gas cars) Or literally lighting $3000 on fire as fuel purchases? (which is worth $0 after you've purchased it and used it)
Do some due diligence and look up the price of used hybrids on autotrader or cars.com and you'll find that a comparable model with comparable mileage will have the hybrid version STILL worth a few thousand or however much more than it's gas car cousin it was worth when it was new.
And again, let me know of at least one hybrid car that gets worse highway mileage than its gas powered sister model. I've never heard of such a thing.
UHHHH... not too long ago (year or 2) when the all the MPG numbers got redone, wasn't one or two of the hybrid affected actually the same or worse as the non hybrid version???
didn't take me lnog to find a WORSE performing hybrid than NON-hybrid... frist one i checked...
2007 chevy silverado classic 15 5.3L V8 2wd
hybrid 16 city, 19 hwy.......................combined 17
reg. 89octane gasoline 15 city, 20 hwy....combined 17
E85 Gasoline 11 city, 15 hwy..............combined 12
WORSE performing hybrids ARE out there... that's a pickup truck.. add a full passenger cabin, payload or trailer.. the numbers get worse.
.. i wonder what i'd find when i looked at a 2nd canidate.
BTW: WOW, i forgot how terrible E85 gas was....
i would like to see the car make it one day in Dallas TX traffic...there is no way this car can accelerate fast enough to make it into traffic. i think i could settle for say...100 mpg but with a little more "KICK!"
I like the looks of it. We have many different cars because not everyone likes the same thing. I am sure the back wheel cover easily comes off for wheel access. It would make it even more aerodynamic if they covered the front wheel also. It would help to keep your car clean. A fab would be to paint the wheel covers how you like or buy different ones. The gull-wing doors are pretty neat. I would like one with some cool electric current wave graphics from the back of the door continuing on back.