VW will build XL1 plug-in hybrid car
Piech's 1-liter dream car becomes a reality
Volkswagen said it will build the XL1 plug-in hybrid, which the automaker says will be the most fuel-efficient production car in the world.
The two-seater uses a diesel hybrid powertrain, an aerodynamically shaped body and lightweight materials to limit fuel consumption to 0.9 liters of diesel per 100 km (270 U.S. mpg, 313 UK mpg)). It has CO2 emissions of 21 grams per km.
The car will debut at the Geneva auto show on March 5.
The production XL1 closely resembles the concept VW unveiled in early 2011. The aerodynamically shaped body includes fully covered rear wheels and rearview mirrors integrated into the door skin.
The XL1 makes extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic for the body panels and aluminum for the frame structures. VW says the car has a curb weight of 795 kg (1,753 pounds).
The plug-in hybrid powertrain combines an 800-cc, two-cylinder diesel engine, rated at 47 hp, with an electric motor rated at 27 hp. Power flows through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The XL1 has a lithium-ion battery pack under the hood. The car can travel up to 50 km (31 miles) on electric power. VW says the XL1 needs just 8.3 hp to cruise steadily at 100kph (62 mph). It has a top speed of 160kph (99mph).
Piech's one-liter car
The XL1 is the culmination of VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech's aim to build for everyday use a "one liter" car, so called because it uses one liter of fuel per 100km. VW said the XL1 delivers more everyday utility than two previous prototypes created in 2002 and in 2009.
VW has certified the XL1 for sale in Europe and has not said whether it will sell the vehicle in other markets such as the United States.
VW will put the XL1 into production later this year but has not disclosed a price. It can produce up to 1,000 units a year.
The XL1 will be hand-built at VW's plant in Osnabrueck, Germany, which also produces the Porsche Boxster and VW Golf convertible.
AutoWeek contributed to this report