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Volkswagen‘s 261-mpg XL1 concept car is headed to production, easily besting fuel economy claims by cars like the Chevrolet Volt. Unveiled this week at the Qatar Motor Show, the vehicle is actually billed as a prototype and not a concept, with Volkswagen commenting in an official press release that this latest rendition of its 1 Liter car (a vehicle that can travel 100km on one liter of diesel), puts the project one step closer to production.
In an interview with Automobilwoche, VW execs confirmed plans to build a small production volume of the car (about 100 models), with initial sales in Germany, then in the U.S. and China.
Previous to this news, Volkswagen claimed that at the introduction of the L1 Concept (the XL1′s predecessor) at the Frankfurt Show in 2009 that a vehicle based on that concept would see production in 2013.
The XL1 uses plug-in diesel hybrid powertrain, with a 2-cylinder TDI motor with 48-hp, mated to a 27-hp electric motor and using a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. Volkswagen says that due to the plug-in hybrid setup, the power contained in the lithium-ion battery pack can propel the car 35 km (roughly 22 miles) emissions free.
GALLERY: Volkswagen LX1 Prototype
Ahead of its debut at the Qatar Motor Show, Volkswagen has unveiled a a new version of its 1L (1 Liter) car, bringing the company’s goal of delivering a production vehicle that can travel 100 km (62 miles) on a single liter of diesel fuel. The XL1 Prototype, achieves 0.9 l/100 km, or 261-mpg.
Powering the carbon fiber shell is a plug-in diesel hybrid powertrain, using a 2-cylinder TDI motor with 48-hp, mated to a 27-hp electric motor and using a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. Volkswagen also says that due to the plug-in hybrid setup, the power contained in the lithium-ion battery pack can propel the car 35 km (roughly 22 miles) emissions free.
It may look like a bizarre concept, but Volkswagen clearly indicates this vehicle as a prototype, highlighting the side-by-side seating, rather than the odd tandem setup in the L1 concept from the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show. It even has a near-production interior.
Also of note, VW says it has achieved “significant reductions in productions costs” for carbon fiber reinforced polymer parts (CFRP) allowing this project to move ahead. In the past execs at the German automaker have indicated the car will see production in 2013.