2014 Volkswagen XL1 (Euro spec) - First Drive, Wolfsburg, June 2013
Pricing around the $150,000 mark, based on the German price of 111,000 Euros, puts it in the same league as high-end sports cars. But as we've come to expect with the rare and the bespoke, there'll always be someone out there who doesn't mind paying for something exclusive.
It comes as no surprise that demand is outstripping supply for the sleek 261 mpg XL1. According to Inautonews, VW has more customers for the car than its 200-unit production run can accommodate.
In an unofficial statement, Volkswagen told the site, "Since we have many more interested customers than vehicles, we will have a selection process. At the moment we cannot give any more information on this process." That's going to leave a lot of disappointed customers in the XL1's aerodynamic wake...
A two-seat, low-slung diesel plug-in hybrid, the XL1 marks the culmination of years of ultra-efficient concept vehicles from VW, beginning with 2002's "1-liter car". The 1L was a pet project of then-chairman Dr. Ferdinand Piech, and over the years the car transformed into the VW L1 concept and the VW Up! Lite.
The XL1 was finally confirmed for production in February this year and was launched at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
The production car uses an 0.8-liter, twin-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, paired with an electric motor.
They feed a modest 68 horsepower to the rear wheels through a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission, but thanks to narrow tires, a 1,750 pound curb weight and a drag coefficient of 0.189, initial performance is reasonably swift. You can read our first drive of the XL1 here.
It may be a disappointment for potential XL1 owners, but that the XL1 is in production at all is a good sign--could VW eventually develop a more affordable, accessible car inspired by the XL1?