Volkswagen XL1 at Car Meet Somehow Makes Sense

Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren - these are all brands of cars you expect to see at a car meet. Sure, there might also be a Volkswagen here or there, but only if that car meet takes place somewhere called Worthersee.
Volkswagen XL1 at Car Meet Somehow Makes Sense 4 photos
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Volkswagen XL1 at Car Meet Somehow Makes SenseVolkswagen XL1 at Car Meet Somehow Makes SenseVolkswagen XL1 at Car Meet Somehow Makes Sense
Yet people were interested in the VW XL1 as it arrived at a small event in the Netherlands. The more we think about it, the more it starts to make sense: this is a supercar of sorts.

The door opening of an XL1 is every bit as dramatic as that of a McLaren 720S. Right now, I would like to meet the engineer who said this was the way to go on a super-light fuel sipper!

While the BMW i8 is the only €150,000 "supercar" with a 3-cylinder engine. The XL1 is the only €110,000 "supercar" with a 2-cylinder engine. Yeah, it's kinda slow, but it's not like the i8 set any quarter-mile records.

The primary goal of the XL1 is to show that you can make a car that burns only one liter of fuel every 100 kilometers - hence the name. Paced right behind the two passengers is a 0.8 TDI producing 48 HP, matched to an electric motor that's good for another 27 HP. The onboard 5.5 kWh battery stores enough juice for 50 km of pure EV range.

Lightness is the name of the game. The entire tub is made from carbon fiber, just like a supercar. The total curb weight is roughly 0.8 tons, about 2.7 times less than a Tesla Model S. With skinny rubber and low power, the XL1 will only do 100 km/h in 12.7 seconds when pressed hard. The rest of the time it's happy just cruising along at infuriatingly low speeds.

It won't set your pants on fire, but with only 200 units ever made and sold to a select group of VW-approved people, the XL1 is probably rarer than most of your favorite exotic cars.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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