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Volkswagen XL1: Geneva Motor Show 2013

Sat, 09 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0800

The VW XL1 is going in to limited production with the promise of 314mpg and a price tag likely to be £100,000.

Surprisingly, one of those ‘Super’ cars is a Volkswagen that will cost £100,000 and has all the attributes of a supercar. Except its party trick is extreme performance in economy, rather than performance.

The Volkswagen XL1 is a two-seater diesel-electric hybrid we first saw at the Qatar Motor Show in 2011, and now Volkswagen has rolled it out at Geneva ahead of a limited production run later in 2013.

The XL1 is the most fuel-efficient car ever to make it in to production (of sorts) with the promise of ‘official’ economy figures of 314mpg and emissions of 21g/km thanks to its ultra slippery shape (a Cd rating of just 0.189) and low weight.

Thanks to the  use of plenty of lightweight (and expensive) materials like carbon fibre reinforced polymer, magnesium, ceramics and aluminium the XL1 weighs in at just 795kg and is powered by a little 800cc TDI engine producing just 47bhp, with a small electric motor adding just an additional 27bhp to the hybrid mix.

That adds up to performance you can live with – 0-62mph in 12.6 seconds and 100mph top speed – although you’re unlikely to be able to live with the expected supercar price of £100k when VW start building the XL1 later this year, in numbers that will be ‘dictated by demand’.

Volkswagen XL1 Pictures

It’s an interesting project to build a car that really could offer such frugality in the real world (where you can probably expect half the ‘official’ economy numbers) that oil would last forever if we all went round in an XL1.

But the build cost is extreme, the sale price is extreme and the XL1 will only ferry two around. So it’s not exactly a viable product, even if you have to admire its ‘Super’ car abilities.


By Cars UK