Fifteen years ago, the folks at Volkswagen set a challenge for themselves. They wanted to build a car that can travel 235 miles per gallon. Today, they’re tinkering with the most futuristic car – probably in the world – and it gets a whopping 261 miles per gallon so far.
The prototype of the VW XL1 was first driven back in 2002 when Dr. Ferdinand Piech drove it on down to the shareholders meeting. Granted, that ride was likely less than pleasant thanks to the nose the prototype was probably making.
Regardless, 13 years later, the hybrid that focuses on diesel and electric is preparing to hit production lines for a limited run.
To be honest, the concept scares me a little bit. The miles per gallon is stellar, despite being actually unrealistic for a car undergoing normal use. Despite that, you’ll still end up getting far more miles per gallon than you would in any other car.
The car only seats two people and it has very limited storage space. In other words, you’re not taking it on a long road trip and you’re probably not picking anyone up from the airport.
Part of the reason the MPG number is so good is the vehicle’s weight. Made of carbon fiber materials, the entire car weighs in at only 1,753 pounds.
And the part that makes us sad? When the car switches from electric to diesel, you hear a really loud grinding noise. I guess you can’t properly soundproof a car you want to be as light as humanly possible.
I don’t think I’ll be taking a ride in one anytime soon. Will you?