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Volkswagen XL1: sub-1L/100km efficiency

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

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Derek Fung
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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.

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Sub-1L

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

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Sip it

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

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Tiny diesel

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

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Electric

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

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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.

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Electron powered

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

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Size matters

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

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Keep drivin'

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

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Featherweight

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

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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.

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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.

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Looking back

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

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Booty call

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

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Wing it

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

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Power saver, part I

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

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Power saver, part II

...and the tail-lights.

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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.

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Tell 'em the price son!

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

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