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Formula XL1 can travel up to 22 miles on battery power alone

We don't usually think of the Qatar Motor Show as a place where major automotive product announcements/advances are made, but Volkswagen used the show to unveil the latest in its line of vehicles aimed at extracting the ultimate mileage out of a single gallon of gasoline.

The German company today announced its Formula XL1 concept car that makes use of a two-cylinder turbodiesel engine, hybrid electric motor (with a lithium-ion battery pack), and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Formula XL1 has enough juice from its lithium-ion pack to travel for 22 miles on battery power alone, and gets a total combined fuel efficiency rating of 260 mpg.

When the subject of gasoline electric hybrids is brought up on DailyTech, there quite often is chatter from our European readers stating that they have been getting similar -- if not better -- mileage from turbodiesel engines for years in similar vehicle types. So it's nice to see that VW is taking the best of both worlds with this new vehicle concept. 

And it's not just the turbodiesel-electric hybrid powertrain that gives the Formula XL1 its impressive fuel economy; the vehicle also makes use of lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymers for the body panels to further reduce weight. The driver and passenger also sit in a tandem arrangement -- the passenger sits slightly aft of the driver and behind the driver's seat (think McLaren F1) -- which allows the Formula XL1's body to cut through the wind more efficiently, which also improves overall fuel efficieny. 

There is no word if or when such a vehicle will be put into production, but we're sure that there are more than a few hypermilers here in the United States that wouldn't mind getting their hands on one.

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Wonder how well...
By theArchMichael on 1/25/2011 5:46:31 PM , Rating: 0
this thing takes speedbumps and potholes with the rear wheels covered by the body panels...

that has got to be painful to watch/hear.

RE: Wonder how well...
By Amiga500 on 1/25/2011 5:59:41 PM , Rating: 2

As long as there is enough room in the wheel well, it won't present a problem.

Covered rear wheel arches were not unknown in the past.

The Citroen DS for example.

RE: Wonder how well...
By Souka on 1/25/2011 7:16:00 PM , Rating: 2
More recent, Honda insight (1st gen)

RE: Wonder how well...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/26/2011 8:09:38 AM , Rating: 2
My 1968 Buick Skylark.

RE: Wonder how well...
By kattanna on 1/26/2011 11:37:41 AM , Rating: 2
Covered rear wheel arches were not unknown in the past

while true, big difference here. in cars past you still had basic access to the lug nuts on the tires. according to the pic above on this vehicle, you dont. which would be an issue for me.

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