Well, Qatar may only be three hours ahead of London time, but I’ve just had a driving experience that was at least a decade into the future.
I’ve just been scurrying around Doha in the sole Volkswagen XL1. And although it’s a very early prototype, the concept is clearly right on the money.
It’s very slightly tricky to get in, but the driving position is superb and the forward view exceptional. And there’s nothing quite like pulling down a gull-wing door for a sense of drama.
What was so surprising was that the XL1 felt so safe and secure, despite me having to mix it with wayward Toyota Landcruisers.
The two-cylinder diesel engine has the most bizarre, lightly rattling note, but VW engineers haven’t even started work on getting the XL1 ready for its rumoured short production run, so there’s plenty of time to fix that. The lack of a brake booster was also a bit nerve-racking.
Otherwise, it felt very sorted, from the impressive cabin to the beautifully finished exterior.
One other thing struck me. With a bigger motor, the XL1 would probably make the most amazing eco-supercar.