UK publication Autocar states a new four-seater model based on the Volkswagen XL1 plug-in hybrid diesel is in the works, as the brand looks to expand its eco-conscious range of vehicles in anticipation of a number of high-tech rivals - namely the production Honda FCEV and Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell models. The new, more practical car is expected to be called the Volkswagen XL2.
Currently, the limited-production two-seat Volkswagen XL1's high-tech drivetrain consists of an 800cc (0.8-litre) two-cylinder diesel engine producing 35kW of power, which is teamed to a 20kW electric motor. The XL1's claim to fame is its fuel use - 0.9 litres per 100 kilometres.
The new car is expected to see a larger capacity battery, with a bigger safety cell, two more seats and extra doors expected to add about 150 kilograms to the current car's 795kg frame. However, the report suggests the bigger, heavier model will still retain the same fuel use figure thanks to aerodynamic enhancements that stem from extending the length of the body of the car. In short, it'll be sleeker.
The body of the car will require significant changes, and while the main underpinnings such as subframes, suspension and braking systems will likely be carried over, the new four-seater will likely ride on a longer wheelbase and feature two rear seats accessed via a pair of rear-hinged doors, similar to those seen on the BMW i3.
The Volkswagen XL1 isn't sold in Australia, and the brand has previously stated it has no plans to offer the car here. In Europe, the vehicle is a niche offering that costs 111,000 euros ($159,500).
Stay tuned for more on the Volkswagen XL2 as it comes to hand.