Aerodynamic and Lightweight, the VW XL1 Leads in Electric Drive Mode Efficiency

Aerodynamic and Lightweight, the VW XL1 Leads in Electric Drive Mode Efficiency

Volkswagen wants us all to know that it's ultra-aerodynamic XL1 plug-in hybrid is the world's most efficient electric-drive vehicle.

The German automaker just released a nifty graphic (posted above), which compares the electric-drive efficiency of today's available plug-in vehicles.

As the graphic shows, the XL1 is easily the most efficient operator when it's in electric-only mode.  However, the XL1 can only stay in that mode for up to 31 miles and that's an optimistic claim for sure.

It's worth pointing out that VW used EPA test methodology for all of the vehicles shown in the chart above, but choose to use NEDC test procedures (likely because the XL1 has not been subjected to EPA testing) for the XL1.

According to VW, the XL1 achieves this top-level efficiency mainly due to aerodynamics (it is the most slippery production vehicle ever with a coefficient of drag of 0.189) and low weight.  The XL1 barely even tips the scales at 1,753 pounds.

We've listed below some additional specs that might be worth mentioning here:

  • slightly askew 2 person seating
  • top speed of 98 mph
  • 0-62 mph in 12.7 seconds
  • scissor doors
  • NEDC rating of 261 mpg
  • 0.8 liter two-cylinder TDI diesel engine that puts out 47 hp
  • 20kW electric motor
  • 7-speed dual-clutch transmission