Geddit?

Volkswagen's quest to have a sub-1-litre car — that's 1L/100km, not engine capacity — on sale is nearing fruition.

Rather cheekily Volkswagen took the wraps off its latest sub-1L concept car, the XL1, at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
1
of 19

Sub-1L

Volkswagen claims that the XL1 drinks just 0.9L/100km in EU testing.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
2
of 19

Sip it

How does it achieve its parsimonious feats? First up, the XL1 is powered by a diesel plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
3
of 19

Tiny diesel

The XL1's 0.8-litre two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine pumps out 35kW of power and 120Nm of torque.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
4
of 19

Electric

Accompanying the diesel is a 20kW/100Nm electric motor powered by a Lithium-ion battery pack.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
5
of 19

Behind you!

Both electric and diesel motors are located behind the driver and passenger. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
6
of 19

Electron powered

The XL1 can be driven up to 35km on electric power alone.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
7
of 19

Size matters

Most cars have a fuel tank that's at least 45 litres, the XL1 only has a 10-litre fuel tank.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
8
of 19

Keep drivin'

Overall range, using both the diesel and electric motors, is 550km.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
9
of 19

Featherweight

Carbon fibre is used extensively throughout the car's structure, meaning that the XL1 tips the scales at just 795kg.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
10
of 19

Are we there yet?

The XL1 can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 11.9 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 160km/h.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
11
of 19

Slice through the air

Standing just 1.15m tall, and featuring covered rear wheels and a lot of wind tunnel work means that the XL1 is very aerodynamically efficient. Its coefficient-of-drag is a meagre 0.186 — most cars have a drag rating of 0.3 and upwards.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
12
of 19

Looking back

External wing mirrors are quite a drag, so the XL1 uses rearward facing cameras and in-door monitors instead.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
13
of 19

Booty call

There's no rear windscreen, but the XL1's boot can swallow up 100 litres of luggage.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
14
of 19

Wing it

Gullwing doors aren't confined to supercars (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG) or time travellers (DeLorean DMC-12).

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
15
of 19

Power saver, part I

LED lights are not only efficient, but cool. Hence its use for the headlights...

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
16
of 19

Power saver, part II

...and the tail-lights.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
17
of 19

We've met before, right?

If XL1 looks familiar, it may be because it's related to the L1 concept car from 2009. That car didn't quite reach the 1L/100km target, though.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
18
of 19

Tell 'em the price son!

VW hints that XL1 is headed for limited production, possibly around 2015.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Volkswagen
19
of 19
Up Next

Jump-starting your car is really easy