VW Updates The One Liter (235 MPG) Car

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
vw updates the one liter 235 mpg car

Volkswagen’s 2002 “One Liter Car” was a classic project of the firm’s legendary chairman Ferdinand Piech. The grandson of Ferdinand Porsche was taken to setting staggering tasks for his engineers, who dutifully turned out such mechanical wonders as the world’s fastest car (Bugatti Veyron), the first car to achieve 1 liter per 100km fuel economy (the so-called “One Liter Car”), and the world’s most unnecessarily expensive Volkswagen (the Phaeton). Though it was never introduced for production, the One Liter Car convinced VW that diesels could be as efficient as any hybrid, and became a point of great pride for the company. A few years ago, there was even a rumor that a limited number would be made for sale to the public, but only an updated concept and vague talk of 2013 production ever materialized. And now, VW has introduced a new One Liter Car, called the XL1, in Qatar of all oil-rich places.

This time, the XL1 seats two side-by-side and has a plug-in hybrid drivetrain featuring a two-cylinder diesel making 47 HP and a 26 HP electric motor hooked to a Li-ion pack with up to 22 miles of EV range. The concept can reportedly hit 62 MPH in 11.6 seconds and has a top speed of 99 MPH. A 2.6 gallon tank gives the XL1 a 341 mile range, thanks in part to the low overall weight of 1,753 lbs. And with its larger, more conventional layout, VW isn’t being shy about the fact that this One Liter car represents a step closer to production.

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2 of 27 comments
  • Tuborg Tuborg on Jan 26, 2011

    Wow. There aren't many concept cars that have looked this good to me. Notice the missing side mirrors that have been replaced by cameras and LCD's in the doors.

  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Jan 27, 2011

    They could have gone 236MPG and 25miles electric for the same weight (with an Atkinson petrol).