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Volkswagen XL1

ultra efficient XL1, a 1,700-pound two-seater that nets a claimed 261 miles per gallon. And while that degree of insane efficiency is admirable, we’d be lying if we didn’t see some performance potential with the car’s low curb weight and fanatical elimination of aerodynamic drag.

The crew in Wolfsburg must have had the same thoughts, as a story has emerged from German publication Ducati 1199 Panigale. It’d be relegated to the track, but what a firecracker it would be.

And before we get wrapped up in Bild’s tabloid reputation, the story is accompanied by a shot that looks about as authentic as can be. We can’t run it here, but Comments

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Since its ignominious departure from the US car market in 2006, there have been any number of on-again/off-again rumors about the Volkswagen Phaeton returning to our shores. With that said, VW’s aggressive goals in terms of worldwide sales dominance would seem to countenance all manner of new product; taking a second stab at a halo-luxury car for the US, included.

At least that’s the gist of a new report from Bloomberg, which dangles the idea of a new Phaeton potentially being “shown to US consumers in January,” or just in time for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

Short on specifics and citations, the Bloomberg report seems to rely on the expansionist behavior of VW as a whole over the last few years, and a few statements of positivity from VW CEO Volkswagen needs a halo project in the upscale segment.” Bloomberg also states that Winterkorn was “confirming” the Phaeton’s return to the US.

The supposedly Detroit-bound Phaeton demonstrator could come in concept form, as a way of better judging public reaction to the reintroduction of the sedan. Pending a greenlight, the next-gen Phaeton is likely to share architecture with the Comments

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A report in Motor Trend says that CAFE requirements are driving won’t give the CAFE-busting XL1 a resident’s visa for the States.

The next-generation MkVI Polo has been the subject of speculation for more than a year now, with Audi A3 and weight savings over the current car. To be built on the MQB platform, an oft-repeated rumor is that it will maintain the same length as the current car but have a wheelbase five centimeters longer, providing more interior legroom. The next Polo could arrive sometime late next year as a 2015 model.

There will be plenty hoping that the subcompact crossover will be a Comments

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Volkswagen BlueSport Roadster

Despite the a report in Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport magazine, states that there are many people within Volkswagen who still believe that this sort of vehicle would be good for the brand.

“I’m not the only one in our company who is convinced that a small roadster wouldn’t be the worst thing for Volkswagen,” the automaker’s design chief, Walter de Silva, told AMS, according to CarScoops. “This is a vehicle that we particularly like, and we always have in mind.”

Volkswagen showed the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, but the project was quickly put on hold, with earlier reports stating that there simply wasn’t a business case for the car. Those reports were contradicted early last year, and it’s good to hear that spokespeople within the company are still looking to move forward with the project.

The BlueSport concept debuted with a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, good for 177 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. According to Volkswagen, the BlueSport would hit 62 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 140 mph, and able to hit fuel economy numbers as high as 54.7 miles per gallon. Of course, a small turbocharged gasoline engine could also work in this application, and CarScoops states that this sort of vehicle could also find homes within the Comments

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The launch of a new Golf R.

Although this prototype wears GTI lettering on the front fenders, it’s more than just the roll cage and Sparco racing seat hinting that this is something a little more serious. Unlike the Golf and GTI, this car shows that the Golf R will continue to flaunt massive air intakes on each side of the fascia, and the rear of the car (though it’s hard to see) has quadruple exhaust outlets. We still don’t have an official word on power, but rumors indicate that the next Golf R could be pushing Comments

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Diesel

Lightweight and low drag are hallmarks of great sportscar design. But when paired with a super-efficient, hybrid powertrain, you have the Volkswagen’s XL1 that has been formally introduced in Geneva today.

When the 1,700-lb, carbon-fiber-bodied two-seater hits the road, its claimed 261 miles per gallon will make it the world’s most-fuel-efficient production car. Though “production car” might be a stretch since VW said in a February press release that the XL1 would be built using “handcrafting-like production methods.” We translate that to mean you won’t be seeing many of these cars on the road. Though no one at VW has mentioned pricing yet, early rumors suggested a six-figure price tag.

That’s supercar budget for a vehicle that has a 47-horsepower, two-cylinder diesel engine and a 27hp electric motor. With numbers like that, owners can expect 0-62 mph times of 12.7 seconds and top speed near 100 mph.

No new information was released in Geneva so we still don’t know how many XL1s will be built or when interested buyers can start placing their orders. Still, we invite you to check out the high-res images live from VW’s annual pre-show event above.

Comments

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Volkswagen XL1 production car - front three-quarter view

After years of rumors, Geneva Motor Show in just a few weeks.

As soon as it hits the streets, the two-seat XL1 will instantly become the most fuel-efficient and most aerodynamic production car in the world. The car uses a plug-in hybrid system to achieve mind-blowing consumption of just 0.9 liters of diesel fuel consumed every 100 kilometers (and average of roughly 261 miles per gallon). Plus, the XL1 can go up to 50 kilometers on its battery power alone. Coefficient of drag is a miniscule 0.189, thanks to a tiny frontal area and an obviously slippery shape.

XL1 power comes from a 47-horsepower, two-cylinder diesel motor connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, while the 20 kW (27 hp) electric motor is fed by a lithium-ion battery. Both combine to give the XL1 performance figures that are, while not stirring, not shabby considering its extreme frugality: 0-62 miles per hour comes up in 12.7 seconds and top speed is nearly 100 mph.

There’s still no word as to how many examples of the XL1 Volkswagen plans to build, nor how much the company intends to charge for each. The press release does mention that the car will be constructed using “handcrafting-like production methods” though, so we’re guessing that it won’t be cheap or ubiquitous – not by a long shot. Early rumors had a six-figure price tag attached, suggesting the XL1 be viewed as more of a green halo supercar for VW than a volume proposition.

Scroll down to read a bit more about the Volkswagen XL1 in the Comments

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With an innovative new plug-in hybrid diesel powertrain, the Volkswagen CrossBlue Concept has just been uncovered today at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. www.autoguide.com Subscribe www.youtube.com YouTube – www.youtube.com Facebook – facebook.com Twitter – twitter.com Google+ – goo.gl Web – www.AutoGuide.com AutoGuide reviews the latest new cars with test drives, car comparisons and shootouts plus coverage of breaking auto industry news, auto shows, rumors and spy photos. Help shop for your new car with informative car buying tips and car recall news, and be entertained with feature stories, Top 10s and car review videos.

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