Take one gallon of diesel fuel and drive 313 miles – that is the claim of Volkswagen’s XL1 concept car:
The XL1, which seats two adults, combines a 0.8 litre two cylinder diesel engine with an electric motor.
The car is constructed around a carbon fibre reinforced polymer monocoque to reduce the weight to just 795 kilos.
These two videos show what the car looks like:
However, there is something about this announcement that feels not-quite-right. If they are capable of 300 MPG, wouldn’t it seem reasonable that there would already be a predecessor, like a 100 MPG car, on the road? It seems like 100 MPG would be easy if you can do 300 MPG in a concept car.
And in Volkwagen’s case, the 100 MPG car does exist. It is the L1. It has been rumored and teased for a decade as a production car – the latest production date is 2013:
But the L1 is tiny, low and narrow. It has tandem seating, and it weighs only 380 kg – half that of the XL1.
So if the tiny, low, narrow, tandem, featherweight L1 gets only 170 MPG, how can the much bigger, twice as heavy XL1 get 313 MPG?