What’s the big deal with this Vee-Dub?As well as looking rather splendid, Volkswagen's super-efficient XL1 is now on sale in Britain. Albeit in very limited numbers.
How limited? Of the 200 cars that are being made, just 30 will be sold in the UK. The lucky few will get a car that's packed with cutting-edge technology – all in a bid to make the XL1 one of the most efficient cars in the world.
How efficient are we talking, here? Well, VW calls it an SEV (Super Efficient Vehicle), as it can offer 313.9 mpg; pretty nifty when you consider the price of fuel these days. And it’s nice and green too, squirting out a piffling 21g of CO2 per kilometre.
Blimey. How does it manage that? First and foremost, it’s a hybrid vehicle sporting two engines: an 27hp electric motor takes you up to 22mph, then a diesel engine kicks in and powers it all the way up to its (electronically limited) top speed of 99mph. An aerodynamically optimised teardrop-shape body increases fuel efficiency; VW's even done away with wing mirrors, replacing them with streamlined cameras. The XL1 is also incredibly lightweight at 795kg, thanks to Volkwagen’s use of materials such as aluminium, magnesium and ceramics.
Anything else I should know? Assuming you keep the speed under 22mph, it can travel 35km on a charge (at which point the diesel engine will take over, so you won’t get stranded). It’s not the roomiest motor, being able to carry only two people.
So, how much is it?You may want to sit down; the XL1 will set you back £98,515. That's enough to buy yourself, say, a second-hand Ferrari F430 and all the fuel you could possibly want. Or, if you want to be eco-conscious, a whole fleet of Priuses.