I've spotted this one yesterday in an underground car park in Basel, Switzerland. The first thing that struck me about it was the size; it's incredibly tiny! The XL1's length and width are similar to the Volkswagen Polo, with a length of 3,970 mm (156.3 in) and width of 1,682 mm (66.2 in). However, the car is much lower with a height of only 1,184 mm (46.6 in), and has a coupe-like roofline, reducing interior volume. The design incorporates butterfly doors. The car features an aircraft-style canopy, flat wheel covers and an underbelly cover to smooth the airflow.
The XL1 was a supercar, but instead of focusing on speed, the emphasis was on efficiency. According to Volkswagen, it can achieve a combined fuel consumption of 0.99 litres per 100 kilometres (310 mpg‑imp; 260 mpg‑US). The car has a curb weight of 795 kg (1,753 lb), and a drag coefficient of 0.186, compared to 0.30 - 0.40 for normal cars.
There are no rear view mirrors and it instead uses cameras and electronic displays. The drag coefficient is 0.189, compared to 0.30 - 0.40 for typical cars. According to Volkswagen, the vehicle consumes 0.99 l/100 km (238 mpg‑US; 285 mpg‑imp).
The concept car was introduced first in 2009 as the L1 and again in 2011 as the XL1. A limited production of 250 units began by mid 2013 and pricing starts at €111,000 (~ US$ 146,000). VW built each XL1 by hand.