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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

VW’s New Diesel-Electric Concept Gets 261 MPG

VW XL1 image

Volkswagen’s latest concept vehicle may look like something from the very distant future, but it could wind up on the road within a few short years. The Formula XL1 Concept combines a two-cylinder TDI engine, an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery pack, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to attain over 260 miles per gallon.

In addition to this diesel-electric’s innovative powertrain, it features a plug-in system, low drag, and a bevy of lightweight materials to maximize fuel-efficiency. The Formula XL1 can also cover just over 20 miles on electric power alone for emissions-free driving. Technology proven in Formula 1 racing has also found its way into the Formula XL1, including the extensive use of carbon fiber reinforced polymer parts to reduce weight.
“When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch formulated the visionary goal of bringing to the market a production car that was practical for everyday use with a fuel consumption of 1.0 liter per 100 km,” VW said in a statement. “In the new XL1, Volkswagen is demonstrating that this goal is now within reach.”
Inside, Volkswagen promises that the interior is well-suited for everyday practicality. Wing doors also make it easy to get in and out of this tiny two-seater.

One of the biggest variables in whether the Formula XL1 will get the green light for production is cost. But Volkswagen says it has found ways to significantly reduce production costs, and that factor alone could help this vehicle become a reality — at least in limited quantities.

VW XL1 rear image

VW XL1 front image
VW XL1 top image