Volkswagen showed a new version of its XL1 ultra-fuel-efficient car on the eve of the Qatar motor show

Volkswagen showed a new version of a one-liter car on the eve of the Qatar auto show.

The new XL1 prototype, which has combined fuel consumption of 0.9 liters per 100 km, is powered by a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, the German automaker said.

The XL1 is based on a 10-year-old concept that aimed to show that a practical one-liter car could be built. “In the new XL1, Volkswagen is demonstrating that this goal is now within reach,” the company said in a press release.

The XL1 could actually be produced in a few years. “In a pilot project a number of cars could be on the streets by 2013, but quantities haven’t been decided yet,” said a VW development executive.

The new plug-in hybrid prototype is 3,888 mm long, 1,665 mm wide and weighs 795 kilos.  It is powered by a 48hp two-cylinder TDI engine and an electric motor with lithium-ion battery. The XL1 can be driven 35 km in pure electric mode. Overall CO2 emissions are 24grams/km, VW said.

One significant difference from the earlier version is the side-by-side seating arrangement, which replaces the original tandem-seating design.