New Volkswagen XL1
Super Efficient Hybrid
There has been no price announced as yet for the two seater super efficient Volkswagen XL1 and this hasn’t put off six customers in the UK who have committed to buying one.
The XL1 is the brainchild of Volkswagen boss Dr Ferdinand Piech and only two hundred and fifty will be built. What this car can achieve is really quite remarkable especially the economy which is recorded returning 313mpg. Co2 emissions are as low as 21g/km and the XL1 is capable of 0-62mph in 12.7 seconds going on to at top speed on one hundred miles per hour. The XL1 is unique to anything else on the road, the two cylinder 47bhp turbodiesel engine with a 27bhp electric motor bolted onto it is tucked behind the two seats. Behind is a boot big enough for an average sized suitcase and also hidden away is a battery pack which can be topped up in just over an hour via plug.
The exterior bodywork of the car is made largely of carbon-fibre reinforced polymer, like any good supercar it is low, in fact it is lower than a Porsche Boxster and features some fabulous scissor opening doors. The fantastic fuel consumption figure is achieved as the XL1 is aerodynamically optimised, adopting the classic ‘tear drop’ shape and utilising innovations such as removing traditional wing mirrors and replacing them with small cameras called e-Mirrors which transmit exterior images to interior displays. When you open up the doors you can see beautiful, bare carbon fibre, there is an F1-style carbon monocoque the passengers sit in, carbon-fibre reinforced plastic body parts and carbon-ceramic brakes are fitted for their light weight rather than their very impressive stopping power. Even the dashboard is made of weight-saving wood, but it still keeps the quality look and feel of any other Volkswagen plus specification includes stereo, Bluetooth connection and air-conditioning.
Reports suggest the Volkswagen XL1 is a dream to drive, press the start button and there’s no sound unless the 5.5kWh lithium ion battery (under the passenger’s feet) needs charging, then you see a ‘Ready’ notice on the dash, select D and squeeze the accelerator. The car picks up speed easily and maintains it. The steering is unassisted (a big weight saving) because the wheels and tyres are skinny, but the car is easy to manoeuvre once you get used to the way rim effort builds in corners. In every way, the new XL1 is a neat and easy handler.
Prices are yet to be announced but rumours suggest around the £86,000 mark but then VW bosses say they’d rather see the car “priced to be used”.