Print 53 comment(s) - last by shiftypy.. on Jan 28 at 8:51 AM

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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By Paj on 1/26/2011 7:48:46 AM , Rating: 2
I thought exceeeding 50mpg was IMPOSSIBLE

RE: object
By silverblue on 1/26/2011 8:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
Nah. There are petrol cars out there that can manage more than 50mpg (US) average such as Fiat 500s using the 0.9l TwinAir engine. Diesels with larger capacity engines can easily achieve the same thing.

My diesel car achieves an average of 56.5mpg imperial (47mpg US) with a rather untuned 2 litre engine. With tuning, it'll get the 50mpg with little effort AND perform better, though I'm understandably wary of tuning.

RE: object
By Paj on 1/26/2011 10:00:09 AM , Rating: 2
Thats cool. Good to see progress is being made.

I was just being my cynical self, and referrring to a previous article where US automakers said it wasnt possible.

RE: object
By Just Tom on 1/26/2011 10:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
The question is not whether it is possible the question is whether anyone will buy them. Small cars are profit killers for American manufacturers and will be as long as legacy costs are so high.

RE: object
By silverblue on 1/27/2011 6:57:57 AM , Rating: 2
With the exception of cars like the Bluemotion VWs, I suppose, as these will carry a bit of a premium as a result of their better fuel consumption.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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