In the views of several famous news papers, the above caption sets aptly for this highly fuel efficient, low weighted, lowest carbon-di-oxide releasing car. It is a two seated diesel concept car from Volkswagen. It is said to achieve a mileage value of 100km/litre which seems to be highly fascinating as well as unacceptable. This series starts with Volkswagen L1 shown below.




This car’s CO2 emissions are crazy low i.e., just 24 grams per kilometer where as top speed is 100 mph. The L1 has two driving modes – eco and sport – and, of course, features Auto Start-Stop.


For light weight, the car uses an unpainted carbon fibre skin over a magnesium-alloy sub frame. Individual components have been designed to be low weight, including engine, transmission, suspension, wheels (carbon fibre), brakes (aluminium), hubs (titanium), bearings (ceramic), interior, and so on. Empty vehicle weight is nearly 600 kg. Hence this light weight construction and its shape which reduces the aerodynamic drag swiftly reduce the fuel consumption. Its drag coefficient is 0.186. In total just 23.2% of the car (184 kg (410 lb)) is made out of either steel or iron with the drive train weighing 227 kg (500 lb).


According to Volkswagen, the XL1 can achieve a combined fuel consumption of 0.9 litres per 100 kilometers (310 mpg) andCO2 emissions of 24 g/km. Like the L1, the XL1 uses a two-cylinder turbo-diesel. Displacing 800 cc, it is rated at 35 kW (47 hp) and 121 Nm (89 lb-ft) of torque and transmits power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed DSG transmission. The electric motor pitches in with 20 kW (27 hp) and 100 Nm (74 lb-ft) of torque, and can work in parallel with the diesel or drive the car independent of it. Fully charged, the XL1 can travel up to 35 km (22 miles) on electric power.


Despite the very high levels of efficiency, developers constructed it to prove its practicality. In this new XL1, seats are arranged side by side irrespective of tandem seating arrangement i.e., front and back arrangement as in L1. This car consists of gull-window doors which ease in entering and leaving the car.

With the Volkswagen XL1, Volkswagen is implementing a plug-in hybrid concept, which utilizes the fuel efficient technology of the common rail turbo diesel (TDI) and the dual clutch transmission (DSG).
At the rear, the design takes an entirely new path, reinterpreting the brand values of precision and quality. A new dimension of Volkswagen styling was created here. Four characteristics are discernible:

1. Once again, the dolphin body form that narrows towards the rear with very precise trailing edges for perfect aerodynamics.

2. The coupe-shaped roofline without rear windscreen. Merging into the roofline is the large rear boot lid that covers the drive unit and 100 litre luggage spaces.

3. A strip of red LEDs that frames the rear section at the top and on the sides. Integrated in this LED strip are the reversing lights, rear lights, rear fog lights and brake lights.

4. A black diffuser, which exhibits nearly seamless transitions to the completely covered underbody.

Lightweight construction: safer than ever: The Volkswagen XL1 is not only lightweight, but very safe as well.  Depending on the type of collision, the load path may be directed through the A- and B-pillars, cant rails and sills, all of which absorb the impact energy. Additional side members and cross members in the front and rear perfect the car’s passive safety.

Comparing this XL1 with its previous series…

XL1 (2011) L1 (2009) 1-Litre (2002)
Construction method CFRP monocoque and add-on parts Aluminium and CFRP Magnesium and carbon fibre
length, mm
width, mm
height, mm
wheelbase, mm
Drive system
Type Plug-in hybrid
Rear-wheel drive
Plug-in hybrid
Rear-wheel drive
Rear-wheel drive
Internal combustion engine TDI, two-cylinder
800 cc
35 kW / 48 PS, 120 Nm
TDI, two-cylinder
800 cc
39 PS, 100 Nm
Single cylinder
299 cc
8.5 PS, 18.4 Nm
Electric motor 20 kW / 27 PS, 100 Nm 10 kW / 14 PS n/a
Gearbox 7-speed DSG 7-speed DSG 6-speed automated
Battery Lithium-ion Lithium-ion n/a
Emissions class Euro 6 Euro 6 n/a
Kerb weight 795 kg 380 kg 290 kg
Performance / fuel economy
Top speed, km/h 160 (electronically
160 (electronically limited) n/a
0-100 km/h, secs 11.9 14.3 n/a
Fuel consumption,
l/100 km / mpg
0.9 / 313 1.38 / 189 0.99 / 285
CO2 emissions, g/km
24 36 n/a
Range: E-drive 35 km n/a n/a
Range: TDI + E-drive approx. 550 km
(10 litre fuel tank)
670 km
(10 litre fuel tank)
650 km
(6.5 litre fuel tank)


The TDI engine is linked to an electric motor and a seven-speed DSG gearbox with an automatic clutch mounted between each unit. The electric motor can either work independently of the TDI engine or in tandem when accelerating. In pure electric mode the Volkswagen XL1 can travel up to 35 km before the diesel engine cuts in. Accelerating from rest to 62 mph can be achieved in 11.9 seconds; the electronically limited top speed is 100 mph.

Posted by

Gopi Chand (MGIT ECE 3rd year)

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