Dig very deep ─ the VW XL1 offers unrivalled fuel efficiency at a supercar price.
First production was confirmed, now Volkswagen has given the XL1 a price. The world’s most fuel efficient car, which was unveiled at the Qatar Motor Show in 2011, will set you back an eye-watering £98,515. Yes, we’re talking nigh-on 100 grand before you add on any extras.
That may seem like a huge amount of money and, frankly, it is. Especially as your traditional ‘supercar’ can do more than the XL1’s electronically-limited top speed of 99mph and is capable of 0 to 62mph in far less than 11.9 seconds.
But the definition of a supercar means something extraordinary. In that respect, the VW XL1 and its hybrid diesel powertrain ticks the box. The two-seater weighs just 795kg ─ 230kg of which comes from a body made from Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP). Elsewhere, lightweight materials such as carbon ceramic and magnesium keep the weight to a minimum.
The result is a car that can achieve a claimed 313mpg. We’re being serious. The 48PS (47bhp) 800cc TDI two-cylinder diesel and 27PS (26bhp) electric motor could, in theory, get you from London to Somerset and back for the price of 4.5 litres ─ that’s about £6.50 based on current diesel prices.
On electric power alone the XL1 can travel 50 miles without touching a drop of diesel. That and the CO2 emissions of 21g/km make it ridiculously efficient and cheap to run. There is, of course, the small matter of recouping the initial investment. Think decades.
The interior is a pretty barren place but still reeks of VW build quality. Two bucket seats make the car fairly impractical, but by no means uncomfortable. A VW Polo is about as long and wide.
The XL1 is much lower, mind you, helping it achieve a 0.186 coefficient of drag figure that allows it to cut through the air like a warm knife through butter. A typical car can manage 0.30 at best.
Only 30 VW XL1 cars will be coming to old blighty, so eco-warriors and anyone fascinated by its quirky looks will need to strike quick. Check out our VW XL1 first drive before you break open the piggy bank.