- Picture by Dimitri Astashka - Basel, Switzerland

Rare VW XL1 Caught On The Road

14w ago


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 2011 XL1 concept

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.