The XL1 from Volkswagen is the most fuel-efficient production
car in the world, with a fuel consumption value of 0.9 l/100 km. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system,
the two-seater can also cover a distance of up to 50 km in all-electric mode and therefore with zero
The XL1 is an automotive hero that follows pure sports car design principles: low weight (795 kg), perfect aerodynamics (Cd 0.189) and a low centre of gravity (1,153 mm high). This gives the efficient Volkswagen the ability to cruise on the road at a constant speed of 100 km/h using just 6.2 kW/8.4 PS. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover a driving distance of over one kilometre.
High-tech lightweight design, perfect aerodynamics and a plug-in hybrid system – consisting of a two-cylinder TDI engine (35 kW/48 PS), E-motor (20 kW/27 PS), 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) and lithium-ion battery – all make it possible for the new Volkswagen XL1 to emit just 21 g/km of CO2. If necessary, the XL1, with a top speed of 160 km/h, can accelerate to 100 km/h in just 12.7 seconds. Clearly, 0.9 l/100 km fuel consumption is a record figure that has not been achieved by any other vehicle to date, and it illustrates how Volkswagen is redefining what is technically feasible in carmaking.
With the XL1, Volkswagen is implementing a plug-in hybrid concept, which utilises the fuel-efficient
technology of the common rail turbodiesel (TDI) and the dual clutch transmission (DSG). The TDI
generates its stated maximum power of 35 kW/48 PS from just 0.8 litre displacement. The entire
hybrid unit is housed above the vehicle’s driven rear axle. The actual hybrid module with electric
motor and clutch is positioned between the TDI and the 7-speed DSG; this module was integrated in
the DSG transmission case in place of the usual flywheel. The lithium-ion battery (capacity: 5.5 kWh)
which is integrated in the front section supplies the E-motor with energy. Operating at 220 Volts, the
power electronics manages the flow of high voltage energy from and to the battery or E-motor and
converts direct current to alternating current. The body electrical system of the XL1 is supplied with the
necessary 12 Volts via a DC/DC converter and a small auxiliary battery.