For the past decade, Volkswagen has been working on its "one-liter car": a vehicle that can travel 100 kilometers on a single liter of fuel. Shown off first with the L1 and currently with a car called the XL1, the concept relies on an extremely aerodynamic design, small frame, and an electric engine with a range of about 31 miles. Now, Volkswagen says it may finally be ready for production. The company tells Jalopnik and others that a final version of the XL1 will be seen at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in preparation for a limited run in the relatively near future. What's more, Volkswagen says it can now run 100 kilometers on 0.9 liters — or 261 miles per gallon in American parlance.
Calculating effective miles per gallon gets more complicated with hybrid vehicles, but that's an impressive number no matter what. The XL1 runs on a comparatively puny 47-horsepower engine, which necessitates its small size: it weighs 795kg (1,800 pounds) and Volkswagen describes it as 129mm (about 5 inches) shorter than Porsche's low-slung Boxster sports car. Much of the XL1 is put together by hand, so it's likely to be both very rare and very expensive whenever it finally hits the road.