Volkswagen XL1 Seen – Again – In Recent Spy Photos

First surfacing nearly two years ago, the Volkswagen XL1 project car built around a 1.0-liter engine said to be capable of 261 mpg, continues to get caught by stealthy automotive photogs.

The latest images of an XL1, this time seen slip-slidin’ its way along a snowy, icy road, have been published by Automobile magazine. Previous images of the hyper-miler prototype over the past year or more showed a car with bodywork that masked much of the rear wheels, giving a look reminiscent of Chevrolet’s first attempt at a mass-market electric car, the EV1.

The XL1 in Automobile’s published spy photos is seen without the rear wheel shrouds, just as it did in photos we posted last August.

Based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy test cycle, rather than the European cycle, the XL1 might come closer to 200 mpg. Nothing else about the images in Automobile suggest that the car has departed from the versions seen in the past year.

This could mean that the 800-cc, twin-cylinder turbo diesel delivering 48 horsepower and 88 pound-feet of torque, paired with a 30 horsepower electric motor and seven-speed DSG transmission, is what will wind up in the production version.

That VW continues to evaluate this aerodynamic fuel miser, and especially now in cold weather environments, is a good indication we may see the XL1 sooner than later.

Automobile