According to rumors floating around the Internet, Volkswagen will reportedly fit the 261 -MPGe plug-in hybrid powertrain from the limited production (translation: uber expensive) XL1 into its cute and extremely affordable Up!
VW XL1 Powertrain
Here's a brief refresher on the radical XL1, which is indeed production bound: The XL1 is powered by a two-cylinder (800 cc), 47-horsepower, TDI (turbo diesel) engine and supplemented by a 27-hp electric motor and 5.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It tips the scales at en estimated 1,753 pounds, boasts an electric-only range of 31 miles and we expect it to be priced well beyond the reach of most.
But that's why the plug-in hybrid Up! has us geeked. There's no way an Up! would be expensive, even if fitted with a radical plug-in hybrid setup. And it's still light enough (estimated at 2,200 pounds in plug-in hybrid trim) to return spectacular fuel economy. Apparently, VW says a plug-in hybrid Up! would be good for 250 MPGe on the NEDC test cycle.
Sources say the Up! plug-in hybrid would return the highest fuel economy rating of any vehicle, aside from the XL1. VW supposedly hints at 90 mpg under ideal conditions and suggests that its electric-only range will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 miles.
It's not clear if this rumored Up! plug-in hybrid will ever make it to the States, but sources do say it will enter the production cycle in 18-ish months. Pricing is unknown, but it's an Up!, so it would be an utter failure if expensive. Up! is a bare bones urban runabout. Not a radical vehicle like the XL1.