Volkswagen unveiled the production version of its XL1 two-seater car at the Geneva Motor Show recently. It’s a diesel-electric plug in hybrid vehicle that gets about 261mpg and an electric-only range of around 30 miles! While those numbers may end up slightly lower once the car goes through the US tests (the European test cycle turns in higher numbers typically), it’s still incredibly impressive.
Powered by a .9 liter two cylinder diesel engine, it’s not especially fast, even with the electric motor assist….0-62mph takes 12.7 seconds, for example. There’s no official word on price, though since it’s a low volume, largely hand-built production car, you can expect the price to be pretty high, probably pushing six figures. Definitely an ‘early adopter toy’, but also a good example of the future of automobiles.
Supercars may be environmentally wasteful and pointless in a world with speed limits, but I’ll admit I have a weak spot in my heart for them and am thankful that car companies still make these magnificent machines. One of the newest, the Ferrari LaFerrari, can be viewed – and heard – in all its glory in the short video below. 950hp in a V12 hybrid powertrain, in a car that weighs about the same as Subaru BRZ. I haven’t seen mention of price, but then, for a car like this, you typically need to be invited by Ferrari to buy one, and chances are you don’t really care what it costs.
The Prius has been the shining example of hybrid technology for many years, but let’s face it, its design is aging and the technology isn’t keeping up. Ford has really led a charge lately with fuel efficient hybrids, such as this Fusion Energi that provides 21 miles of electric range (up to 85mph) and a combined MPGe of 100. All this in a big, traditional family car…not bad! They have a similar drivetrain in the smaller C-Max and given those choices, I’m not sure why anyone would choose a Prius anymore (except for perhaps wanting a car with a more normal-sounding name…).
I think of these Fords as second-generation hybrids…they offer better styling and usability, as well as electric-only mode. What’s really cool are the third generation hybrids being worked on, especially the Volkswagon XL1. The XL1 is really optimizing ALL pieces of the puzzle…slippery aerodynamics combined with a maximum efficiency diesel engine to produce an astounding 235mpg! Note that this is just a two-seat car, but imagine one of these as your commute vehicle…pretty cool!