“Volkswagen is proud to debut this ultra-fuel-efficient vehicle before the Society of Environmental Journalists, a group that shares in our commitment to environmental stewardship,” is how Oliver Schmidt introduced the VW XL1 at the Chattanooga Convention Center in Tennessee on October 3rd.
Schmidt is the general manager of the Engineering and Environmental Office of the Volkswagen Group of America.
The Volkswagen XL1 is the limited production version of the German automaker’s so-called ‘One-Liter-Car’. This odd classification refers not to the engine’s cylinder capacity, but to the extremely low fuel consumption of one litre (the metric unit is Liter) per 100 km.
As you know, European fuel consumption is measured in liters per 100 km (l/100 km), instead of miles per gallon (mpg). The ‘one liter car’ sips only one liter of gasoline per 100 km. In the American mpg, this equates to 235, or 282 mpg in the old imperial system.
The Volkswagen XL1 has actually consumed gasoline at the astonishingly small rate of only 0.89 l/100 km –as tested–, which equates to 315 imperial mpg. That should eliminate the gas-guzzler tax for sure.
This kind of ‘Advancement through Technology’ –to borrow Audi’s slogan– does not come overnight, though. As you may know, it usually takes up to seven years to bring a new model to production; the XL1 took fifteen years. Volkswagen started in 1998 to work on a ‘One Liter’ car. After several proto-types and show cars, the go-ahead was given in 2013 to produce a small series of the XL1. It is the VW Group’s first car built with extensive use of carbon fiber and other lightweight materials, resulting in a rare production car of a slim 795 kg.
The XL1 is a pure hybrid electric vehicle; it can drive for about 50 km in silent electric-motor mode, or with its small ‘TDI’ Diesel engine, or combination both, motor and engine; I wonder what we can expect from the Volkswagen Group in the near future?
The newest VW was certainly built for economy, but Ferdinand Piëch, a gifted design engineer and successful manager, and presently Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Volkswagen, recently told engineering students, that it just might be possible to use a Ducati motorcycle engine – with reduction gearing- to triple the horsepower of the super-lightweight XL1 and make it a super lightweight supercar.
I would like my XL2 (?) in light charcoal grey with matching leather interior, please, — PLEASE!
BTW, Ferdinand Piëch is a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche; is it any surprise then?
(Ducati is owned by Audi, VW’s technology incubator and luxury carmaker, and the Porsche and Lamborghini sportscar firms are part of the VW Group, who have considerable experience in carbon-fiber vehicle construction)
Don’t miss this cute video, and don’t blink, or you will miss the last picture.