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 wasn’t engineered for the U.S. and niceties as headlight height trip it up here. I asked Darryll Harrison who he expects to buy the XL1 over there. He said, adopters, the tech-savvy, and people who are conscious with good income.” Yes, that help. I was able to pull the off this car at the Society of Environmental conference in Chattanooga last but didn’t get to drive it down

Only 250 will be made, and likely to be it. Fifty have produced, but they haven’t the public yet. Mark the former auto writer ( Car and Automobile ) who now does product at VW, told me, “I haven’t heard of any to sell it elsewhere. If some in China wanted an XL1, we’d sell him one.” the person with everything have the slipperiest, most car in the world.

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 electric mode it has battery power, and is driven by its electric motor and 5.5-kilowatt-hour pack (with Sanyo It’s quiet as a mouse in EV but possibly because the charge was the two-cylinder turbodiesel (just cranked into life often during my drive. VW has done a great job of stifling the rumble in its TDIs, it’s a here. Don’t worry, get used to it—remember, you’re 200 mpg!

This isn’t a car, though it rather like one. It takes seconds to get to 62 mph, and tops out at 99. I it when I saw some open and got smoother acceleration than expect from a two-cylinder but all the rubber stayed on the tires. thing you notice is the lack of steering, 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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