VW's ultra-efficient hybrid is now on sale, with up to 30 examples set to come to the UK and hotter variants planned for the future
1 July 2014

Volkswagen's XL1 has gone on sale in the UK, priced at £98,515, with up to 30 examples of the 200-strong production run coming to this country.

VW says a number of UK customers are already in line to buy the model, while the first delivery was made to a German buyer in May.

The car is touted as the world’s most efficient production vehicle, achieving a claimed 313mpg on the combined cycle.

The XL1 achieves its efficiency through a combination of a low, lightweight, aerodynamically-optimised composite body and a bespoke diesel-electric powertrain. The engine is a two-cylinder 800cc diesel unit coupled to an electric motor to produce a total of 67bhp while emitting no more than 21g/km of CO2. Power is driven through a seven-speed DSG.

The car weighs in at 795kg, and has a 0-62mph sprint time of 12.7 seconds with a limited top speed of 100mph. We were impressed with its performance when we first drove an XL1 last year.

Volkswagen believes that the XL1 serves as a preview of things to come, stating that the technology employed in the company’s latest model is set to make its way into its future production models. 

Future variants of the XL1 could include a hotted Ducati-engined version. A concept version of the performance model, which features the two-cylinder petrol engine taken from a Ducati 1199 Panigale superbike, was shown last year. Volkswagen since confirmed that development and testing on the 187bhp model was underway.

UK buyers are being invited to register their interest in the XL1 on Volkswagen's website.

James Howe

Our Verdict

Volkswagen XL1

New 313mpg hybrid points the way to making cars cheaper to use

Join the debate


1 July 2014
This a classic example of over-engineering!
Who would buy such a hideous car for 98k? It would take a lifetime of motoring to realise any savings in fuel.

Tesla has got it right, electric and fuel efficient cars don't have to eccentric, its about time manufacturers step up to the plate and design beautiful low emission cars.

And the Tesla is not that expensive too.

1 July 2014
Who ever buys this ridiculous, over priced monstrosity needs their heads testing. BMW I3, I8 and Tesla Model S make such a compelling case for their asking price, are much better looking and have far less drawbacks. The only reason you would buy this VW is for exclusivity, but the drawback of this is that you exclusively become one of 200 knobs driving this car.

1 July 2014
While Volkswagen PR machine tirelessly touts this contraption - that has been allowed to pose as a car - as the world’s most efficient production vehicle, yet outside of the Wolfsburg it is not. Sorry. It never was. Not even for a brief moment in time.

1 July 2014
Autocar wrote:

on sale in the UK, priced at £98,515, but only 200 examples are coming to this country

No, they're only building 200 in total. A portion of those are coming to this country, this was in the press release.

1 July 2014
I've been following this car ever since the earlier concept models were previewed years ago. I'm really glad they've kept that futuristic (actually, very modern) exterior design for the production model. It looks brilliant, but I seriously don't understand the steep asking price. A BMW i3 is made from carbon fibre, but it's still massively cheaper than this.


1 July 2014
Proof that Germans have a sense of humour

2 July 2014
Very amusing, Ferdinand.

1 July 2014
BMW and Tesla are building cars that look like regular cars in order to entice people with no imagination to buy them. At least this looks like absolutely nothing else on the road. As there are only 200 and VW has to recoup the development costs it is naturally going to be very expensive. If had a major lottery win, and already checked off the Ferrari from my wanted list, I would consider this. It is different and will be worth something 20 years down the road.

1 July 2014
A Mercedes E300 BluTec Hybrid is only £40k, and thats just done 1223 miles on a single tank, giving you a normal car to be green in, £60k to spend on being a hooligan in a C63 AMG.

1 July 2014
Citytiger wrote:

A Mercedes E300 BluTec Hybrid is only £40k, and thats just done 1223 miles on a single tank, giving you a normal car to be green in, £60k to spend on being a hooligan in a C63 AMG.

I'll just take the C63 AMG. The £38K saved, compared to the XL1, would buy a lot of fuel!


I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.


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