Futurist Volkswagen XL1: 261 Miles per Gallon

The VW XL 1 at the Qatar Motor Show 2011 Volkswagon

The VW XL 1 at the Qatar Motor Show 2011
Volkswagen

What with gasoline prices at the pump well past $3 a gallon - and edging ever higher - drivers understandably are pining for the day when technology will come to their rescue.

If you're willing to wait a couple of years, though, Volkswagen may have what you're waiting for.

At an auto show in Qatar this week, Volkswagen showed off a proof-of-concept car that will get 261 miles to the gallon. The XL1, a two cylinder, two-seater made from carbon fiber, is expected to go into production sometime in the next two years. If the auto's fuel efficiency lives up to the advance billing, VW likely will be able to say it makes the world's most economical car.

This is a retooled design of a concept vehicle that the company initially showed at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show. At the time, VW said the car would get almost 170 miles per gallon.

The idea got an early thumbs up from Consumer Reports, which wrote that the "the XL1 demonstrates how far relatively conventional technology take fuel economy. It will be interesting to see if Volkswagen is able to bring this car to market overseas and how successfully they can bring down the cost of producing the carbon-fiber body."

Volkswagen is not the only automaker planning to make carbon fiber autos; so are BMW and Mercedes.

You can find the full spec list here.

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