The Volkswagen XL1 super-efficient vehicle is the result of over a decade of research, development and painstaking engineering excellence.  With its ultra-aerodynamic body (its drag coefficient is just 0.189 Cd) and innovative hybrid drivetrain, which combines an 830 cc two-cylinder turbodiesel engine with a 27 kW electric motor and seven-speed DSG gearbox, this carbon fibre-bodied 795 kg vision of the future can achieve a staggering 313 mpg on the combined cycle EU fuel-economy test, and emits just 21 g/km of CO2

Now, the XL1 has achieved a milestone beyond the expectation even of its engineering team in Germany, as BBC TopGear magazine has awarded it ‘Innovation of the Year’.  The award was presented at a ceremony in London on Thursday 5 December. 

Commenting on the Award, BBC TopGear magazine said that the XL1 is ‘a demonstration of boundaries successfully pushed and expanded. You can’t unlearn this kind of progress.’

While the XL1 is on sale in limited numbers, one of its principal purposes is to serve as a platform to push the boundaries of technology for mass-produced vehicles.  To this end, Volkswagen recently unveiled the twin up! concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show.  The twin up! uses a version of the drivetrain from the XL1, in the practical, five-door body of the award-winning up! city car.  It can achieve a combined fuel consumption figure of 256.8 mpg and CO2 emissions of 27 g/km. 

The Awards issue of BBC TopGear magazine is on sale now.  For more information about the Volkswagen XL1, visit