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The Volkswagen XL1 was a two-seat, limited production, diesel-powered plug-in hybrid produced that VW introduced in 2014. Volkswagen was developing PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric) technologies, and wanted to test them in real-world scenarios. While 250 examples were reportedly built, only 200 were made available for sale to the public.
The XL1 car was touted as able to achieve 280 mpg, thanks to a combination of lightweight materials, a very aerodynamic body, and an engine and transmission designed and tuned for economy. The main body tub is carbon fiber, which helps the XL1 achieve an amazing 1,700 lb curb weight. Special attention was paid to the aerodynamics as well. In lieu of traditional wing mirrors, so-called “e-mirrors’ were affixed to the doors to save drag; cameras are mounted inside the door panels to provide rear visibility. Note the lack of a rear window. Along with rear wheel spats, The XL1 slips through the air at a spaceship-like drag coefficient of 0.186.
Manufacturer: Volkswagen A.G.
Country of Origin: Germany
Drivetrain Configuration: Rear diesel engine (generator only), rear electric motors, rear-wheel drive
Engine: (diesel) 800cc turbocharged two-cylinder, water-cooled; (electric) 20 kW motor; combined, 74hp
Transmission: 7-speed dual clutch automatic
Top Speed: 100 mph (electronically limited)
Years of Production: 2014
Number Produced: 250
Original Cost: $146,000 USD