Posted By RichC on February 26, 2013
Not that the Volkswagen UP! is the sleekest looking VW model (image to right), but it may be the model getting the highly efficient 261mpg XL1 diesel-electric hybrid powertrain. According to Autocar.co.uk, the UP! minicar might be the 2-cylinder diesel and electric minicar produced en masse.
I know VW enthusiasts would love to see the XL1 in every showroom (it’s debuting at European auto shows this month), but Europeans at least look to be getting this unique powertrain in the lightweight economy car, but not all that confident that we’ll see it in the U.S.
Autoblog: “A potential Up! Hybrid would likely be able to return some of the same impressive fuel economy numbers as the XL1, but it would be a more realistic car with more passenger space and greater production capacity. The hand-built XL1 will use a 47-horsepower, two-cylinder TDI engine paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and the 27-hp electric motor and lithium-ion battery helps deliver an all-electric driving range of 31 miles.
One of the core pillars of the XL1’s design is its lightweight construction with a 1752-pound curb weight, which makes the Up! a perfect recipient for using this powertrain since it weighs just 300 pounds more. The report says that the Up! Hybrid is still in the developmental phase, so a production version isn’t expected for at least another 18 months.”