Game Changer

By Guy Bird for Esquire, Nov 2013

VW's remarkable XL1 diesel hybrid...
Esquire Nov 2013

A £50,000 VW without electric windows or wing mirrors, only two seats and one airbag, might seem a bit a of rip-off, but the XL1 isn’t just another motor. 


It’s a carbon fibre, eco-inspired aerodynamic masterpiece that could turn out to be one of the most important cars to launch this decade – let alone this year. The XL1 is the dream of VW’s chairman Ferdinand Piech – also behind the 253mph Bugatti Veyron – to make a car that could travel 100km using only one litre of fuel (or about 285mpg). After 11 years of hard engineering and design graft, the final production car offers 313mpg, 21g/km CO2 and 31 miles on electricity alone. 

“This carbon fibre, eco-inspired aerodynamic masterpiece could turn out to be one of the most important cars to launch this decade”


But the XL1 isn’t just some eco curiosity. The 100mph diesel/electric hybrid two-seater with supercar-style scissor doors and spaceship-like aero bodywork also boasts a hi-tech, low weight carbon fibre chassis, rear-view cameras instead of wing mirrors and a boot that will still swallow 120 litres of weekend bag. And all its technologies will influence the next generation of everyday VWs, but unlike a concept car, you can buy the XL1 – as a limited edition of 250 (or maybe more) – for circa £50k from late 2013. The force is with VW.

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