Volkswagen Debuts XL1 Super Fuel Efficient Sports Car

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Calling it “the most fuel-efficient and aerodynamic production car in the world,” Volkswagen launched its plug-in XL1 this week. VW claims this enviro-wonder vehicle gets a European-estimated combined fuel consumption rating of 261 mpg (a record not achieved by any other vehicle to date) and can drive for around 32 miles in all-electric mode.

The XL1 is a plug-in hybrid vehicle equipped with a 48 PS (35kW) two-cylinder engine, a 27-hp electric motor, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a lithium-ion battery. VW also claims the XL1 has a top speed of 99 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds.

At only 1,753 pounds, the XL1 is considered an ultra fuel-efficient two-seater sports car with its exceptional aerodynamics (Cd 0.19) and a low center of gravity. This super fuel efficiency allows the XL1, so says VW, “to cruise down the road at a constant 62 mph while using just 8.4 PS (6.2kW) horsepower. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover more than a kilometer.”

Sheryll Alexander is an automotive journalist and lifestyles editor based in Costa Mesa, California.