An average sedan in Dubai (the Camry for example) consumes an approximate 6 litres per 100 km. That is a number guaranteed by Toyota, and if you aren’t driving using the tip of your toes, (which is often the case on highways here where it is important to floor the throttle to complete maneuvers quickly) you can easily expect that number to rise to 8-9 litres per 100 km.
Now that you have an idea about the mileage of the most famous taxi in Dubai, let me present you a car that manages to sip in just a litre of fuel for the equivalent distance. You read that right, one litre per 100 km! Any guesses about which manufacturer it might be?
Sorry to keep you waiting, but this car deserves all this attention. It was made by Volkswagen and was called the XL1. A pretty fancy name for a car that is super frugal on real roads and not just paper.
Check out the image below, with it’s scissor doors, it looks like it was made by aliens who used it as a machine to travel through space.
At first glance, it might look like it’s designed to beat the fastest car in the world, but the designers at Volkswagen decided to go for a streamlined shape so that the XL1 slips easily through the air and has a small drag coefficient (drag coefficient is indirectly proportional to fuel consumption).
Let’s dive into the fine details that make the XL1 a legend. It is a two door coupé and seats two. It houses a tiny 800cc hybrid engine that produces a combined total of 74 bhp which power the rear wheels. If driven on pure electric power, it can crawl a decent 50 km. It weighs less than 800 kg and produces emissions of 21g/km.
Unfortunately Volkswagen made just 250 fine examples as the XL1 was a limited production vehicle. When new in 2013, prices started at Dhs 535,000.
To read a realistic experience of the lofty claims made by Volkswagen, check out the wheels magazine, where they took up the challenge of covering 700 km across UAE with just 7 litres of fuel. In February 2014, it was also selected as one of the top five finalists for the coveted title of World Car of the Year.