If you hear anyone talk about a 3.8 m (12.7 ft) long and 1.15 m (3.8 ft) tall vehicle, with a starting price of over EUR 110.000 and in a 250 units limited edition, you'd probably think of a sports car. Well, in this case it is not. It is the Volkswagen XL1, the most fuel-efficient production vehicle in the world at the time of its launch, in 2013.
The concept came from the idea of Dr. Ferdinand Piech, Porsche's nephew and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen, who wanted a practical car able to achieve a fuel consumption of under 1 l/100 km (235 mpg-US).
The Volkswagen XL1 has a low profile, very aerodynamic with its CX under 0.2 and a plug-in hybrid system with a two-cylinder diesel engine. The car was so energy-efficient that it needed only 8.4 hp to run at a constant speed of 100 kph (62 mph).
The energy came from an 800 cc turbodiesel, which developed 48 hp plus an electric motor of 20 kW. The power unit was mated to a 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch) gearbox. The maximum speed was an electronically limited to 160 kph (99.4 mph) and the aim of low fuel consumption was achieved. The demand for the 250 units built was so big that the manufacturer decided to analyze and choose who will get the car or not. The XL 1 was like a Ferrari for the eco-friendly car world.