Volkswagen's Formula XL1 prototype made its official debut at the Qatar Motor Show this week. This is the culmination of a project which aimed to bring to market an everyday-use vehicle with fuel consumption of 1.0 liter per 100 kilometers.
This electric motor, which is powered by lithium-ion batteries and features a sleek design, claims to get 261 miles-per-gallon.
The XL1 has a drag coefficient around 0.18. Compare that with the latest Toyota Prius, which features a drag coefficient 0.25. Drag coefficient refers to a ratio of resistance measuring an object in movement.
The XL1 makes use of wing doors, which Volkswagen says will make it easier to enter and exit the car. They swivel upwards, and slightly
forwards as well. The doors also extend far into the roof.
The XL1 is relatively small and seats just two passengers. Consumer Reports describes it as "a little shorter than a Honda CR-Z and a lot lower." Still, it's likely to appeal to the green-conscious consumer - especially given the upward trend in the price of a gallon of gasoline. The company has not yet set pricing but Volkswagen chairman Dr Martin Winterhorn, who attended the Qatar debut, told reporters that the vehicle will go on sale for an "affordable" price.
Large sections of the vehicle's body consist of carbon fiber reinforced polymer. The car weighs 795 kilograms, or 1,752 pounds.
Volkswagen says the XL1 can go from zero to 60mph in 11.9 seconds with a maximum speed of 99 miles-per-hour.
Volkswagen hopes to start production of the XL1 by 2013.