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VW reveals plug-in diesel hybrid concept, claims 261 mpg

Tue, 25 Jan 2011

Volkswagen has used a car show in the Middle East nation of Qatar to unveil a two-seat plug-in hybrid concept car that the automaker says will deliver 261 mpg.

The VW XL1 uses a lithium-ion battery pack, an electric motor and a two-cylinder, 0.8-liter diesel engine for the powertrain.

We're still digesting the press release, but here are some highlights:

-- VW says the XL1 can travel about 22 miles on electricity from the battery pack. The battery gains some charge from regenerative braking but is mainly recharged from a wall outlet.

-- The two-cylinder diesel engine is rated at 47 hp. The electric motor is rated at 26 hp. Torque flows through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The powertrain is mounted behind the seats.

-- Extensive use of carbon fiber in the body keeps the curb weight low at 1,753 pounds.

-- VW says the XL1 can run from 0 to 62 mph in 11.9 seconds. Top speed is limited to 99 mph. With a 2.6-gallon fuel tank, VW says the concept has a driving range of 341 miles.

-- The XL1 has a wheelbase of 87.6 inches. It's overall length is 153.1 inches, which is seven inches shorter than a Honda CR-Z. The XL1 stands 45.5 inches tall and is 65.6 inches wide.

By Dale Jewett