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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.
Volkswagen claims that the XL1 drinks just 0.9L/100km in EU testing.
How does it achieve its parsimonious feats? First up, the XL1 is powered by a diesel plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
The XL1's 0.8-litre two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine pumps out 35kW of power and 120Nm of torque.
Accompanying the diesel is a 20kW/100Nm electric motor powered by a Lithium-ion battery pack.
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.
The XL1 can be driven up to 35km on electric power alone.
Most cars have a fuel tank that's at least 45 litres, the XL1 only has a 10-litre fuel tank.
Overall range, using both the diesel and electric motors, is 550km.
Carbon fibre is used extensively throughout the car's structure, meaning that the XL1 tips the scales at just 795kg.
The XL1 can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 11.9 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 160km/h.
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.
External wing mirrors are quite a drag, so the XL1 uses rearward facing cameras and in-door monitors instead.
There's no rear windscreen, but the XL1's boot can swallow up 100 litres of luggage.
Gullwing doors aren't confined to supercars (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG) or time travellers (DeLorean DMC-12).
LED lights are not only efficient, but cool. Hence its use for the headlights...
...and the tail-lights.
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.
VW hints that XL1 is headed for limited production, possibly around 2015.