Blog Post Driving VW-s Astonishing 200 MPG XL1 Car Talk — Volkswagen XL1

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Volkswagen XL1

Jim Motavalli

NEW YORK CITY—What’s it to drive a car that gets 200 mpg. Nice but noisy it up. The very aerodynamic (a CD of .19, and low-to-the-ground Volkswagen XL1, looks like something see parked at Starfleet Academy, is all fuel economy, and it sacrifices a few power windows and sound get there. But no fossil-fuel-powered production car has gotten 200 mpg before, so this one is

The diesel plug-in hybrid with 31 miles of all-electric is headed for the market—at an eye-popping of $145,000. It might take, I ten thousand years to pay back investment with just savings.

This car is headed for Europe—it engineered for the U.S. and such as headlight height could it up here. I asked VW’s Harrison who he expects to buy the astonishing XL1 there. He said, “Early the tech-savvy, and people who are environmentally with good disposable Yes, that would I was able to pull the cover off car at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ in Chattanooga last October. but get to drive it down there.

250 will be made, and that’s to be it. Fifty have been but they haven’t reached the yet. Mark Gillies, the auto writer ( Car and Driver, ) who now does product communications at VW, me, “I haven’t heard of any plans to it elsewhere. If some mega-celebrity in wanted an XL1, maybe sell him one.” Even the with everything doesn’t the slipperiest, most fuel-efficient car in the

The XL1 has gullwing doors that on chrome struts, and swinging up and out of the way does make the super-low car a lot to get into. I’m reminded of my old Volvo which also felt riding in a bathtub. But the car that the XL1 resembles is the first-generation two-seat Insight hybrid circa That one weighed about the (1,800 pounds for the Honda, for the XL1, which benefits a carbon fiber monocoque got only 70 mpg and couldn’t operate as an EV. Of it cost less than

Midtown Manhattan isn’t the place to test cars, but I to do the road course twice. inside, the XL1 is comfortable, if not exactly the tour de force you might for that kind of money. The seat is set back from the which increases the interior There’s no rear window or mirrors (they’re a big drag) so cameras are embedded in each They were a great in Manhattan traffic, where big can make little cars this feel even The side windows are made of again for lightness.

Volkswagen XL1

The XL1 defaults to mode when it has battery and is driven by its 27-horsepower electric and 5.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion pack Sanyo cells). It’s as a mouse in EV mode, but possibly the charge was down the two-cylinder (just 830-cc!) cranked life fairly often my drive. Although VW has done a job of stifling the diesel rumble in its it’s a presence here. worry, you’ll get used to you’re getting 200 mpg!

This isn’t a performance though it rather looks one. It takes 12.7 to get to 62 mph, and tops out at 99. I gunned it I saw some open asphalt, and got acceleration than you’d from a two-cylinder engine, but all the stayed on the tires. Another you notice is the lack of power but it lightens up at speed.

This is a city car, but urban dwellers want to get out to the occasionally. The XL1 has a small luggage out back, where the drivetrain resides. Pack light,

The combination of light weight and explain this car’s efficiencies. It can cruise at 62 mph (100 per hour) using just 8.3 and in electric mode just .1 of electricity moves it six tenths of a It’s factoids like you’ll be offering to friends if you for an XL1. Here’s a walk-round the car on

Volkswagen XL1
Volkswagen XL1

Volkswagen XL1
Volkswagen XL1

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