Futuristic VW Diesel-Electric Gets 261 MPG

VW claims it is the most fuel-efficient hybrid ever, and it shows what’s possible when you let your engineers run wild.

VW_Futuristic_Car_CroppedThe mad scientists at Volkswagen have wheeled out a bullet-shaped diesel-electric plug-in hybrid that gets a stunning 261 mpg. VW claims it is the most fuel-efficient hybrid ever, and it shows what’s possible when you let your engineers run wild.

It is with supreme irony that the Germans will unveil the XL1 concept car at the Qatar Motor Show this week. The car, the latest in the company’s ongoing experiments with ultra-efficient vehicles, was born of the simple question, “Just how much could the energy consumption of cars be reduced if all the stops were pulled out for efficiency?”

This is a question Volkswagen then-chairman Dr. Ferdinand Piëch posed to his engineers almost a decade ago, and one automakers around the world are grappling with as they face tightening fuel economy and emissions regulations.

Piëch challenged his team to build a car capable of going 100 kilometers on a single liter of fuel — the equivalent of 235 mpg. VW’s been at it ever since, turning out concepts with stellar fuel economy but less-than-stellar practicality. The XL1 is the latest project, the one you’d most likely want to live with and the one most likely to see production.

“When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch formulated the visionary goal of bringing to the market a production car that was practical for everyday use with a fuel consumption of 1.0 liter per 100 km,” the company said in a statement. “In the new XL1, Volkswagen is demonstrating that this goal is now within reach.”

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Source: Chuck Squatriglia | Wired
Photo: Volkswagen