Icon – Volkswagen XL1

VW's Super Efficient Vehicle is going from concept to reality – and it'll be saving the planet (and you money) from next year

What’s the big deal with this Vee-Dub?

Well, despite looking rather splendid, the XL1 is a super-efficient concept car that’s now being developed for production. So it’ll be on the roads some time in 2013.

What do you mean by “super-efficient”?

Well, VW actually calls it an SEV (Super Efficient Vehicle) as it can offer around 235 miles to the gallon. And that’s pretty nifty when you consider the price of petrol these days. And it’s nice and green too, squirting out a piffling 24g of CO2 per kilometre.

More after the break...

Blimey. How does it manage that?

First and foremost, it’s a hybrid vehicle sporting two engines: an 27hp electric motor takes you up to 22mph, then a diesel engine kicks in and powers it all the way up to its (electronically limited) top speed of 99mph. And it’s also incredibly lightweight at 795kg, due to Volkwagen’s use of materials such as aluminium, magnesium and ceramics.

Anything else I should know?

Assuming you keep the speed under 22mph, it can travel 35km on a charge (at which point the diesel engine’ll take over, so you won’t get stranded). It’s not the roomiest motor, being able to carry only two people. And like we say above, you’ll be able to buy one from next year onwards.

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