Matthew Jones 20 November 2013

VW Up hybrid does 258mpg

‘Twin-Up’ plug-in diesel concept pinches XL1 tech. It’ll officially do 1900 miles on a tank. Whuh?

This is the Twin-Up concept from Volkswagen. It officially returns a staggering 258mpg, which, multiplied by the Up’s 33-litre tank, means it should officially go 1873 miles between refills.

Revealed at the Tokyo motor show, the littlest VW pinches a lot of the clever stuff from VW’s XL1 pod-thing. Its drivetrain sees a turbocharged 800cc two-cylinder diesel working alongside an electric motor fed from a lithium-ion battery pack.

The combustion engines makes 47bhp and 88lb ft, while the electric motor develops a similar 47bhp (20bhp more than XL1’s) and 103 torques. When they’re running together, they Twin-Up produces a total output of 74bhp and 158lb ft through the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

It’s not exactly… lightning, however. In hybrid mode, the Twin-Up accelerates from 0 to 37mph in 8.8sec, 0-62mph in a sedate 15.7sec and tops out at 87mph. Its average CO2 emissions stand at just 27g/km, which we're pretty sure means the tax man has to pay you to keep your car on the road.

The Up can also operate in electric-only mode, with a zero-emissions range around 30 miles and a top speed of 78mph.

Though it’s officially a concept, the Twin-Up is entirely production-viable: the body is virtually unchanged from the petrol Up, while the drivetrain has been proven in the XL1. A city car that’ll go from John O’Groats to Rome on a single tank: is this the answer to, well, everything? 

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