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Futuristic exhibit is one of world’s top green cars

It looks like a supercar but the Volkswagen XL1 which has gone on show for summer visitors is one of the world’s most fuel efficient production cars.


Representing the cutting-edge of low emissions, this is a sheep in wolf’s clothing which can achieve more than 300 miles per gallon and is one of the most environmentally friendly cars on the road.

Volkswagen XL1 hybrid Billed by Volkswagen as ‘a car of the future, built today’

The 2015 model has joined the National Motor Museum’s Driving Change display which tells the story of motoring innovations and technology. Its futuristic aerodynamic bodywork, with sports car wing doors, may look more suited to a science fiction film but the XL1 uses ingenious plug-in hybrid technology beneath its skin.

Volkswagen XL1 hybrid It can be driven purely on electric power for up to 30 miles on one charge

As a Super Efficiency Vehicle, it is fitted with both an electric motor and compact 800cc two-cylinder diesel engine, linked by a dual-clutch seven-speed transmission driving the rear wheels. It can be driven purely on electric power for up to 30 miles on one charge, staying in electric mode until greater power is required, or until the lithium ion battery charge drops below 14%. Then both motors start to work together to achieve as many as 340 miles on one gallon of diesel, with low emissions.

Volkswagen XL1 hybrid It is fitted with both an electric motor and compact 800cc two-cylinder diesel engine

The sleek bodywork isn’t just for show. Constructed from carbon fibre reinforced polymer, the body shell and panels are strong yet weigh a fraction of steel equivalents. With polycarbonate windows, the XL1 tips the scales at just 795kg, which is less than a modern supermini. Light weight means that acceleration from rest to 62mph is a respectable 11.9 seconds, with the top speed electronically limited to 99mph.

Volkswagen XL1 hybrid The new exhibit can be seen as part of a visit to Beaulieu

Billed by Volkswagen as ‘a car of the future, built today’, the XL1 was made in small numbers as the third generation of the German manufacturer’s fuel-efficient 1-litre car project, exploring efficient and environmentally friendly motoring. The first concept car of 2002 and the second version of 2009 had tandem seating but the production-ready XL1 was unveiled in 2011 with staggered side-by-side seats.

The new exhibit can be seen as part of a visit to Beaulieu with a general admission ticket.



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