Using lightweight materials, slick aerodynamics and a diesel-hybrid, VW's XL1 achieves 250 mpg.
You could dole fuel out with an eyedropper and ignore the latest pump prices were the Volkswagen XL1 sitting in your driveway. The newest VW concept vehicle claims a fuel economy of a seemingly impossible 250 miles per gallon.
Unveiled at this week’s Qatar Motor Show, the prototype uses a variety of techniques to reduce weight and minimize wind resistance, while turning to a plug-in diesel-hybrid powertrain to squeeze out every last bit of energy.
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Among the various steps taken to improve aerodynamics are a closed front end, extensive underbody covers, closed wheels and pin-sized cameras that replace conventional sideview mirrors. The VW XL1 yields a drag coefficient of just 0.19, compared to 0.25 for the relatively slick Toyota Prius.
There’s less than 400 pounds of steel or iron on the XL1. The chassis is a monocoque made of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic, or CFRP, a material normally found on extremely low-volume supercars, such as the Lamborghini Sesto. That and other lightweight materials, such as aluminum and magnesium, and the ceramics of the prototypes brakes, and VW has been able to hold the mass of the XL1 down to just 1,749 pounds.