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When we drove the Volkswagen XL1, the incredibly efficient plug-in diesel hybrid pod that gets something like 261 miles per gallon, we learned that Volkswagen is only going to make 250 of them.
We later heard it was unlikely to come to the US, which isn't all that surprising.

What VW hasn't been very vocal about is how the car will make it in to customer hands, whether it will be a lease or sale deal, except to say that an announcement would come this summer. So, when Wired recently had the chance to get behind the wheel, it made sense that VW officials were a little more open, and hinted they are leaning more towards leasing rather than selling. We asked a VW representative ourselves, and VW of America's manager of product and technology communications, Mark Gillies, told AutoblogGreen that "it will most likely be a lease scheme."

We thought the XL1 shared more than aerodynamic looks with the classic GM EV1.

You can read our XL1 First Drive here.


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  • 50 Comments
      Warren
      • 2 Years Ago
      It is ridiculous that an OEM can not make a two passenger car out of carbon fiber and magnesium that weighs less than 1900 pounds! The old 1960's Saab Sonett weighed 1455 pounds. This conversion should be lighter than the XL1!! http://www.evalbum.com/4522 http://krissmotors.com/blogs/ If people feel this old car is too crude, or too dangerous, it speaks volumes about our pampered, frightened society.
        Marco Polo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Warren
        @ Warren Warren, of course an OEM could make a car out of carbon fibre and magnesium, any material you car to name. But not at a price that would justify mass-manufacture. (Even Aluminium is expensive). As for safety regulations, I don't think society has become 'too frightened' or 'pampered', by not wanting to resurrect the horrific road trauma's of past era's ! No responsible driver should want to risk the lives of passengers, or fellow road users with unsafe vehicles !
        2 wheeled menace
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Warren
        Cool car. It's our safety standards, not necessarily society, that makes such a car unavailable for purchase today. Keep in mind that the powertrain on the xl1 is very very heavy. 1900lbs is actually quite impressive. It would be dramatically lighter with just an ordinary gas engine in it, or all electric tho..
        Giza Plateau
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Warren
        Quite. It could and should be dramatically lighter. Same problem with BMW i3 which is all carbon fiber body yet ends at a very conventional 1200+kg weight. Inexplicably incompetent. Bureaucracy and job division I guess. No holistic head.
          EVnerdGene
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          Is it BMW or VW's incompetence that current batteries are so friggin' big and heavy ?
      Puck
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ok, it might be superduper efficient. Meanwhile Nissan, Toyota and GM are pushing out actual cars.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Im interested to buy
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should send the car here, I think the lease would do fairly well here, at least 1000 units minimum. Unless the least is over $1000 a month it would do fine here.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      In many ways it's really close to a yummy car, something I could vouch for. But they mess it up in a few places so we end up with a vehicle that can't be bought and has no rear view. With just a few tweaks it could have been awesome. Something I would approve of. Think about that : )
        me_myself3
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        "Yummy" - yeah that might be the right word. I suspect a heavy vehicle would devour this thing in a small-overlap frontal crash. Being a motorcycle rider it would not deter me, but I think they need extra safety measures for the general populous. Going from 35 to -5 mph is a worse than 35 to 5.
      Bradford
      • 6 Months Ago
      "that is the future" lol
      RC
      • 2 Years Ago
      Blah blah blah VW where are dreams die.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd rather have an Aptera for about half the price and it would be all electric. The Edison2 VLCe would also eat this thing for lunch in efficiency for 1/3 the price. Too bad I can't buy either of those. Then again, I can't buy this one either. You could probably buy the IP for Aptera, build one, and still come in under the price of this thing. It's still a cool car though.
        Giza Plateau
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        The XL1 could be made very cheap. Don't be such a sheep and fall for the rumors and misplaced faith in big corp competence. This is a tiny car with tiny drivetrain components, yet like a mindless sheep you believe it should cost 100k just because these liars tell you.. Get rid of the dumb ICE, do the body in fiberglass and chassis in alu and you really got something.
          Giza Plateau
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          No, it just lets them lie, pretending like they have tried while they keep selling the same old crap tech with no intent to change.
          Grendal
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Giza Plateau
          I think it is an intellectual experiment for a large corporation. It allows them to keep their options open depending on which direction the wind/economy is blowing. They are getting some passionate consumers to foot their experimentation with some funds while gathering a bunch of critical data. If successful the tech will trickle down into one of their other cars. That's why I pointed out that Aptera and Edison2 did it a lot cheaper. The KISS principle applies.
      Blackie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, this is totally going to save the planet.
      EVnerdGene
      • 6 Months Ago
      I see expensive energy in the future; whether solid, liquid, gaseous, or out of a plug. BRADFORD: I'm curious about how you envision future vehicles ? I certainly hope not 6000 pound boxes, with 40 sq-ft (3.7 sq meters) frontal areas, with aerodynamics of a . . . well a box. IMHO (about the future): I'd bet on bicycles before boxes.
      Jim R
      • 6 Months Ago
      How much fun would this thing be with the base Golf powertrain? Probably something like 1750lbs. 0-60 in 6 seconds and glued-to-the-road handling. Man that'd be a blast.
      knightrider_6
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am going to write to my local congressman to add an Ugliness Tax to this car.
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