VW Announces Finished XL1

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It's been a long time in the making, but Volkswagen is finally ready to put its ultra-efficient XL1 into production.

It's been over a decade since Volkswagen announced its intention to build a one-liter car - an automobile that would use less than one liter of fuel to travel 100 kilometers. The challenge resulted in a series of prototypes over the course of the years, the latest iterations of which have been called the XL1. Now Volkswagen is moving ahead with plans to put the hyper-economic vehicle into production, announcing its final specifications in advance of its debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Inside the svelte, wind-cheating shape and lightweight chassis sits a plug-in hybrid powertrain that pairs a 47hp two-cylinder turbodiesel with a 27hp electric motor mated to a 7-speed DCT. The XL1 in its final specification reaches 62 mph in 12.7 seconds, but performance, of course, is not the objective. Fuel economy is, and the XL1 is said to undercut its target at 0.9 liters per 100 km, traveling up to 50 km (31 miles) on electric power alone. The car sits just over a meter tall, with the passengers sitting staggered to help achieve a drag coefficient of just 0.189 - lower than the Prius' 0.25 or GM EV1's 0.195.

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