Futuristic VW XL1 cruises the streets of New York City

vw xl1New Yorkers will be able to get a glimpse of the futuristic and highly efficient Volkswagen XL1 for the next week.  The VW XL1 arrived in New York City as part of a month-long American tour that has gone from Los Angeles to Washington D.C., and now has hit the New York City aka the Big Apple.

The XL1, which looks like it came straight from a sci-fi movie, is the most fuel-efficient production car in the world.  (At least that is Volkswagen's claim.)  The plug-in hybrid 2 seater gets 261 mpg and can go 31 miles on full electric power if you choose.

Volkswagen engineers mated an incredibly efficient, diesel-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain with a lightweight carbonfiber structure.  The futuristic car weighs just 1753 pounds and uses a 48-horsepower two-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection TDI Clean Diesel engine which is paired to a 27-horsepower electric motor and a 7-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, and a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery.  In addition the XL1 has aerodynamics that would make a race car jealous with a coefficient of drag of just 0.189.  This means the VW XL1 can travel at speeds around 62 mph while using just 8.3 horsepower. In all-electric mode, the XL1 requires less than 0.1 kWh to cover more than 0.6 miles (one kilometer because they use that in Europe).

What's the top speed?  Ok, well now speed demons will be buying since it has a top speed of 99 mph and goes from 0 to 62 mph in 12.7 seconds.  That's probably fine for 90%+ of US city driving though.

Want to buy one?  Well you can see the Volkswagne XL1 cruising the streets of New York City not that many will be built.  Just 250 XL1s will be built at the Volkswagen factory in Osnabrück, Germany.   They VW XL1 is going to sell for roughly $145,000 per car.  Expensive?  Yes, but it's totally worth it so you can brag to your friends you are getting 261 mpg.

2013 Acura ILX, the Best of Both Worlds

The last thing someone wants to do is shell out $20,000 for a new car and then have their family's physical well-being be in jeopardy. With every unveiling of a new or updated model, the safety of the vehicle is always a consideration for a buyer and the 2013 Acura ILX is no exception.

The ILX contains many parts derived from the Honda Civic sedan model. Considering the Civic's reputation as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, that's a good sign.

Honda's ownership of the Acura brand has resulted in a fairly simple transition from the manufacturing of Honda parts to Acura parts. In addition to its shared safety and performance features, the ILX is offered at a substantially lower price than any comparable Acura model in the past. With that said, while the ILX shines in certain aspects, it lacks in others.

What The Acura ILX Has to Offer

  • The ILX features a variety of Acura parts in each of three models. The first features a 2.4-liter, 201-hp engine remarkably similar to that of the Honda Civic Si. The smaller model ILX has a 2.0-liter, 150-hp engine with a five-speed automatic transmission and custom paddle shifters. Both models get anywhere from 20 to 35 MPG, depending on driving conditions.
  • The third model is perhaps the most attractive to the modern car shopper because it is a hybrid. As you may have guessed, the Acura ILX Hybrid is derived from the 2012 Civic Hybrid. No surprise there, but it still has a decent 110-hp, 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine and Honda's CVT transmission.
  • Due to the ILX’s front wheel drive, it holds nearly two-thirds of its weight in the front end of the car. To compensate, it features increased grip on the nose, allowing the ILX to corner steadier and with increased traction.
  • Again borrowing from the Civic, but differing slightly, the ILX's frame includes a prominent overhang meant to draw out the car's hood. On the back end, the ILX has a sedan-like trunk featuring a slight deck lid. Overall, the car’s design appears far more similar to that of a Honda than an Acura.

What’s Inside?

The ILX's interior is reminiscent of other Acura models both past and present. The shifter and center console, along with many other interior aspects, bears a striking resemblance to the Acura TSX. From the driver and passenger seat frames to the upper and lower dashboard, the ILX borrows a lot from its Acura siblings.

In addition, the ILX has a premium package available that includes the latest automobile technology with voice navigation, Bluetooth hands-free technology, weather/traffic updates, rear camera and patented AcuraLink communication system built in.

Conclusion

There is no question that the new 2013 Acura ILX has borrowed a few parts from the Honda Civic. With the safety of a Civic and a selling price starting at $25,900, the LXI lands on the middle ground between security and appealing design. But for those who are concerned with safety and affordability over luxury, the Acura ILX is a solid option.

by Annabella Clavette