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Volkswagen XL1 Going Head-to-Head with Prada for Design of the Year

In a competition that will include chairs, clothes and piano keys, the Volkswagen XL1 will compete for Design of the Year.


The Volkswagen XL1, the world’s most fuel-efficient hybrid car, has been named the winner of the Transport category in the annual Designs of the Year Awards.

The competition continues, as the VW XL1 now goes forward in head-to-head competition for Design of the Year 2014. The innovative ride will compete against winners of the other categories, including Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics and Product.

The Designs of the Year exhibition honors the best-of-the-best in cutting-edge innovation and original talent, showcasing the very best in global design—and not just in vehicles. Chairs, clothes, even a re-invention of the piano keyboard are included in this year’s winners. The car is one of 76 designs in the seven categories which are on display at the Design Museum in London until August 25th.

Now in its seventh year, the overall winner will be announced at an event on June 30th. Curator of Designs of the Year Gemma Curtin said:

From the daringly innovative to the reassuringly good, Designs of the Year 2014 is a condensed and vivid selection of the last twelve months in design. This spectrum of expert-chosen design is an insight into what design can do for us both as individuals and as a society.

Conceived by a team led by Klaus Bischoff, head of design for the Volkswagen brand, the XL1 is a limited series production two-seater car that explores the limits of energy efficiency for a road-legal production vehicle. It was nominated for the exhibition by author and automotive design and technology expert, Andrew Nahum.

The design brief for the XL1 was to produce a ‘one litre’ car, i.e. a car that uses one litre of fuel per 100 km, equivalent to 282 miles per gallon. The resulting vehicle uses just 0.9 litres per 100 km, or 313 mpg, and this high mpg figure correlates to a very low carbon dioxide emissions value of just 21 g/km.

Think the Volkswagen should win Designs of the Year? Take a trip to the Design Museum and you can cast a “Visitor Vote.” Can’t make it there? The Social Vote, new this year, will allow people from all over the world to participate via the Design Museum Facebook and Twitter.