Volkswagen said its 200-plus MPG XL1 made its U.S. debut Thursday, Oct. 3 at the automaker’s Chattanooga, TN assembly plant.
According to the press release from Volkswagen, “the most fuel-efficient and aerodynamic production car in the world,” as VW likes to refer to it, was on hand for the 23rd Annual Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) Conference at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
Volkswagen Group of America Engineering and Environmental Office (EEO) General Manager Oliver Schmidt said, “The XL1 offers a glimpse into Volkswagen’s present and future eco-mobility capabilities, and highlights the ultimate successes of ‘Thinking Blue.’ Volkswagen is proud to debut this ultra-fuel-efficient vehicle before the Society of Environmental Journalists, a group that shares in our commitment to environmental stewardship.”
In addition to seeing the XL1, SEJ Conference attendees got a tour of Volkswagen’s LEED Platinum-certified manufacturing site in Chattanooga including the Solar Park, a bird-watching expedition on VW’s sanctuary grounds (no, really,) and test drives of some of the most eco-friendly cars in VW’s lineup, including the e-Golf, the Chattanooga-built Passat TDI, and the Jetta Hybrid.
The XL1 is an odd duck among current cars, albeit an athletic-looking odd duck, given its extremely low ride height. Volkswagen provided some measurements to put it into perspective:
The XL1 is 153.1 inches long, 65.6 inches wide, and just 45.4 inches tall. By comparison, a Volkswagen Polo is slightly longer (156.3 in) and wider (66.2 in), but is significantly taller (57.6 in). Even a purebred sports car like today’s Porsche Boxster is 5.1 inches taller. The XL1 will look spectacular going down the highway—a car of the future, built for today.
The XL1 is an automotive standout that follows pure sports-car design principles: light weight (1753 pounds), exceptional aerodynamics (Cd 0.19), and a low center of gravity. This super-efficient Volkswagen has the ability to cruise down the road at a constant 62 mph while using just 8.4 PS (6.2kW) horsepower. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover more than a kilometer.