Volkswagen XL1 video review

3 Dec, 2013 1:03pm

The Volkswagen XL1 is the most fuel-efficient production car ever built, as we find out in this video review

After nearly ten years in the making, the Volkswagen XL1 has arrived, and we were lucky enough to drive one in this video review.

 Volkswagen XL1 drive

Volkswagen had one thing in mind with the XL1 - to create a useable, everyday vehicle that would use just a single litre of fuel for every hundred kilometres it travelled. Three concept cars and thirteen years of development later, the Volkswagen XL1 has now become a production reality.

It boasts a stylish teardrop design, shaped by aerodynamics to create as little drag as possible. It sits just over a metre tall, which is lower than most sports cars, including a Porsche Boxster.

When the XL1 finally arrives in the UK, only around 20-30 cars will be on offer, with early estimates for a price coming in at around £100,000.

Volkswagen claim the car can achieve 313mpg, so to put this to the test, we drove the XL1 around a short loop in full electric mode. Astonishingly, we managed to achieve 403mpg - so it actually beat the figures stated by Volkswagen.

Okay, so, when we did drive the XL1 a little faster, that figure did fall to 196mpg. But it's still efficient, and hardly going to break the bank. Overall, we were pretty impressed with the XL1 - the build quality of the interior was stunning, and it was hard not to be seduced by the cutting-edge technology on board.

Don't worry, though; it's going to be a while before the next Volkswagen Golf looks like an XL1.

Disqus - noscript

Wow it's definitely different, I'm not sure if I like it too much I don't think I like the design of the car. Although I would love to try it out. Does anyone particularly like this car?

Paul Bond claims: "The Volkswagen XL1 is the most fuel-efficient production car ever built."
Did you check your facts or were you just content with copy pasting the VW press statement?

Depends how you're measuring fuel efficiency - Is there another production car that can manage 200 to 400mpg in mixed real world driving like this did?

The reviewer did not state how far the test was, or the proportion of the trip using electric power. Without this data there is no way to measure what the economy is once the 30-mile battery is exhausted.

I take your point. Still there's no doubt the XL1 is capable of real world mpg well in excess of any other production car. The trip computer wouldn't budge from 200mpg in the 15 minute 'drive more like a teenager' run which is impressive. To be fair it should be impressive at the price but its nice to see what the technology is capable of.

This is not a true "Volks Wagen" - no ordinary person can afford to be this efficient it seems. If BMW can produce a CF/Ally car for under 30k why can't VW? The former VW Lupo 3L and Audi A2 1.2 TDI were far more useful to society than the current £100k+ XL1.

All that's missing is a big V8 motor and better brakes!

They had a fantastic opportunity to interview VW especially on what they will do with the tech, like will some aspects transfer to existing models....

The engine and electric powertrain are due in the VW Up! next year.

The acceleration and economy will suffer since an ordinary car is heavier, and cruising economy will not be so good owing to the relative lack of streamlining, but the XL1-powered Up! ought to be always good for over 100mpg.