Not news as such, more an excuse for some interesting photos, Volkswagen’s superb hybrid XL1 supercar (not in the speed sense but in the technology stakes it certainly is) hit the streets of New York.

Some very lucky Volkswagen employees are conducting a month long tour across America which takes them right across from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and New York.

For those of you who don’t already know of the XL1, it is a mostly carbon fibre built diesel-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with the lowest drag coefficient of any production vehicle. Not being just a concept car, Volkswagen are to make 250 examples of the car. It is by no means going to blast past anything else on the road in a fit of noise and speed though as it’s performance is oriented towards economy rather than power.

Producing power jointly is a 0.8 litre diesel engine outputting a mere 48 horsepower and a 27 horsepower electric motor. Attached to these  are a seven speed DSG gearbox which allows for super fast dual-clutch automatic gear changes and power to the electric motor is provided by way of a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery.

VW XL1 New York (3)

Consequently, the XL1’s performance is startlingly good in the economy stakes but not so much in the performance category. 0-62 mph is served in 12.7 seconds and the car’s official top speed is just short of 100 mph. Those pointless figures aside though, fuel consumption is measured at a combined 261 mpg and, due to the low drag, only requires 8.3 horsepower to maintain a constant 62mph (on flat ground of course). CO2 is rated at a mere 21 g/km too, but before that is produced by the diesel engine, a full 31 mile EV range is possible.

XL1 Specifications

Body Carbonfiber reinforced polymer monocoque and panels
Length x width x height 153.1 in x 65.6 in x 45.4 in
Wheelbase 87.6 in
Drive system Plug-in diesel hybrid, rear-wheel drive
Engine TDI Clean Diesel, two cylinder
Capacity 830 cc
Output 48 hp, 89 lb-ft
Electric motor 27 hp, 103 lb-ft
System output 68 hp, 103 lb-ft
Transmission Seven-speed DSG automatic
Battery type 5.5 kWh lithium-ion
Weight 1753 lb

Performance/fuel economy

Max speed 99 mph (electronically limited)
European fuel consumption 261 mpg
C02 emissions 21 g/km
EV range 31 miles
EV/TDI range More than 310 miles (10 liter fuel tank)

Source; Volkswagen

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