Volkswagen’s futuristic XL1 took a drive on the British capital streets this July 10.
The XL1 is known as the world’s most fuel-efficient production hybrid car.
The two-seat diesel-electric hybrid, which achieves a fuel consumption figure of 313 imperial mpg turned heads as it passed through the streets of the city, with its white carbon fiber body shell standing out in contrast to black cabs and red double-decker buses.
While one XL1 made its way to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to take pride of place on the Volkswagen stand and make its way up the famous hill climb, another crossed the capital, heading to Buckingham Palace where it will be displayed as part of the Coronation Festival this weekend.
The innovative and frugal XL1 model looks like a vision of the future, but it is in fact already in limited production.
Its body is made largely of carbon-fiber reinforced polymer, while its drivetrain combines a two-cylinder 800 cc diesel engine with an electric motor.
Like any good supercar, it is also low (at 1,282 mm high it is lower than a Porsche Boxster) and features scissor-opening doors.
To achieve the target fuel consumption figure the XL1 was aerodynamically optimized, adopting the classic ‘tear drop’ shape and utilizing innovations such as removing traditional wing mirrors and replacing them with small cameras called e-Mirrors which transmit exterior images to interior displays.
The XL1 is manufactured in left-hand drive only configuration at Volkswagen’s Osnabrück factory in Germany (which also produces the Golf Cabriolet and Porsche Boxster). Unlike these cars, the XL1 is ‘handcrafted’ using small series production processes.
An initial production run of 250 XL1 vehicles will be made.