It started a decade ago when Volkswagen showed off its 1-Litre concept car. This streamlined two-seater was designed to travel 100 kilometers (62 miles) on just one liter of diesel fuel. That works out to a jaw-dropping 235 miles per gallon.
To deliver such eye-popping numbers it featured a single-cylinder engine, lightweight construction enabled by the extensive use of carbon fiber and a coefficient of drag of just 0.159. For context, Toyota’s slippery Prius hybrid clocks in at 0.25.
Fast-forward 10 years and the company is still developing this concept. It’s now called the XL1 but the goal is the same: 235 miles per gallon in a practical, production vehicle. It seems like VW has figured things out with the XL1 due to go on sale sometime next year.
When asked if it might be offered in United States Vee Dub’s Gillies responded “we haven’t said anything officially and I don’t know if it would ever be sold here, either”.
Fuel prices are a lot cheaper in the U.S. than elsewhere around the world. Gasoline clocks in at nearly $10 per gallon in Italy, for instance. This means VW may not be able to make a business case for selling the XL1 in America.