Volkswagen has been toying with the idea of a “1-liter” car for more than a decade in Europe–a car that can achieve 100 km of range (62.1 miles) on just a liter of fuel. After a few notable attempts, and a concept car here and there, the automaker is finally going to debut a production version of its XL1 plug-in hybrid. And its stats are nothing short of incredible.
The Volkswagen XL1 will boast a drag coefficiency of .189; it cuts through the air better than the Tesla Model S (.24) and Toyota Prius (.25). At just under 1,800 pounds, it will need just 8.4 horsepower to maintain a steady 62 mph on the highway.
Powering the Volkswagen XL1 will be a 48-horsepower, two-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine and a 27-horsepower electric motor, paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. That will allow it to hit 62 mph from standstill in an unimpressive 12.7 seconds, yet achieve as much as 261 mpg at highway speeds. That’s not mpg equivalent; that’s actual fuel economy.
That said, it is a plug-in hybrid, and it will be able to run more than 30 miles in all-electric mode, carrying two passengers that sit staggered inside. They sit in a car that’s lower than a Porsche Boxster and similar in length and width to a Ford Fiesta.
Will we ever see the Volkswagen XL1 on our shores? Likely not. But the XL1 shows what a no compromises car dedicated to achieving ridiculous fuel economy numbers can do with no expense spared and no detail overlooked. Look for more details during the production-car debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.