Volkswagen made big claims about the efficiency of their purpose-built XL1 diesel-hybrid. They claimed the car was good for 261 mpg US, which equates to 0.9 l/100km in the Metric system. However, at a recent test drive event organized by VW, a handful of journalists were given the chance to drive the mid-engined XL1, so that they could share their thoughts.
Automobile Magazine was also represented at the event, and their own test reveals something very interesting about the XL1. Sure, it’s very efficient, because it was specifically built with that purpose in mind, but it’s not as near as efficient as the lab tests would have you believe.
In the magazine’s test, it averaged “only” around 160 mpg or 1.47 l/100km, which is still a hugely impressive figure since the car is reportedly no slouch and can even handle quicker overtaking maneuvers with ease.
The car is also praised for the way in which it is engineered, the fact that its (good) driving dynamics reflect its mid-engined nature, and of course, the still very impressive efficiency figure.
Furthermore, since the XL1 wouldn’t be a viable solution for the US market as it is far too low-volume and expensive, the magazine says VW could make an XR1, which would be a “carbon-fiber sports car that would offer Porsche 911 performance (and hybrid fuel economy) for half the money.” It would use a widened version of the same frame, which could house anything from a 2.0-liter turbo from the new GTI, to any number of small displacement engines with some form of forced induction.
The design would change too, and with the wider body, the car would adopt a more ‘coke-bottle’ shape, which looks good on any car, especially one that is low, wide and sporty-looking.
By Andrei Nedelea