Volkswagen XL1

Volkswagen says its XL1 will get 261 mpg by using a small turbodiesel engine paired with an electric motor and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. (Volkswagen)

Volkswagen plans to bring a 261-mpg production car to the Geneva Motor Show next week. Unfortunately, the company won't be bringing it to the U.S.

Ever.

That's the official word on the two-seat, carbon-fiber, plug-in hybrid. However, the featherweight XL1 should be available to Europeans in the near future.

VW says the car is powered by two sources. The first is a two-cylinder, turbo-diesel motor making 47 horsepower. It's paired with an electric motor making another 27 horsepower. The car also has a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and a lithium-ion battery.

Photos: Volkswagen's 261-mpg XL1

The XL1 will be able to travel up to 32 miles on electric power only, according to VW. Its top speed will be 99 mph, while a zero-60 run will take a leisurely 12.7 seconds. The car weighs just 1,753 pounds, or about half the weight of your average family sedan.

The XL1 keeps the weight down through the extensive use of carbon fiber, and by staying small. It's less than 4 feet high and a few inches shorter than the compact Toyota Prius c.

Further aerodynamic gains are made by covering the rear wheels and by putting the passenger at a slight offset from the driver's seat, allowing the XL1 to stay narrow.

The result is an estimated fuel economy rating of 261 mpg in combined driving. This, VW said, makes the XL1 the most fuel-efficient production car in the world.

The car is to be officially unveiled in Geneva on March 5. VW has yet to release pricing info, but given the significant R&D the company put into creating the XL1, don't expect it to be cheap.

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