Published on September 5th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


250 XL1s To Be Produced By Volkswagen (Price: $144,000)

September 5th, 2013 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

Volkswagen (VW) has officially announced that it is going to produce 250 units of its Volkswagen XL1 for sale, reportedly at a price of €111,000 (or $143,000).

The XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid is claimed to be “the world’s most efficient car.” So far, 50 XL1s have been produced in Osnabrück, Germany. All 250 should be produced by spring 2014, which is when delivery is planned. No further production is planned beyond these 250.

Here are some more details on the XL1 from VW:


The world’s most fuel-efficient car, the Volkswagen XL1, which was first unveiled at the Qatar Motor Show in 2011, has now been confirmed for an initial production run of 250 examples.

Pioneering construction techniques, an advanced plug-in hybrid drivetrain and innovative packaging all play a part in allowing the XL1 to return 313 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 24 g/km of CO2 to set a new benchmark for vehicle efficiency.

Powering the XL1 is a compact 800 cc TDI two-cylinder common rail diesel engine developing 48 PS. It’s linked to an electric motor producing 27 PS, resulting in a total of 75 PS – a modest output yet more than enough when the low kerb weight (795 kg) of the vehicle is taken into account.

The TDI engine is linked to an electric motor and a seven-speed DSG gearbox with an automatic clutch mounted between each unit. The electric motor can either work independently of the TDI engine or in tandem when accelerating. Accelerating from rest to 62 mph can be achieved in 11.9 seconds; the electronically limited top speed is 99 mph. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid system, the two-seater can cover a distance of up to 50 km in all-electric mode and therefore with zero local emissions.


In both its styling and packaging the XL1 draws on lessons learned from the 1-Litre car (2002) and the L1 concept (2009). The XL1 has evolved to feature staggered seating with the driver and passenger placed next to each other in a body structure made from advanced new materials providing immense strength yet weighing just 230 kg.

To make such weight savings possible, and yet viable for series production, Volkswagen developed and patented a new system for the manufacture of the Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) parts on the car called the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process.

In total the XL1 weighs 795 kg. In addition to the body structure, the weight is accounted for by the drivetrain (227 kg), the running gear (153 kg), the interior including a pair of bucket seats (80 kg) and the electrical system (105 kg). In total just 23.2 per cent of the car (184 kg) is made out of either steel or iron.

Further savings are made through the extensive use of lightweight materials including magnesium (wheels), ceramics (brake discs) and aluminium (dampers, steering system, brake calipers).


The styling of the XL1 is borne out of functional requirements – easy access to the interior is granted via a pair of elegant scissor doors that hinge on the A-pillar while the profile of the car has been honed in the wind tunnel, the result being a remarkable coefficient of drag figure of 0.186. The XL1’s overall length (3,970 mm) and width (1,682 mm) are similar to those of a Volkswagen Polo yet its height (1,184 mm) is more akin to that of a sports car.

The XL1 will be produced at Volkswagen’s Osnabrück factory in Germany.


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Jouni Valkonen

    Who on Earth would by such an ugly car with that price?

    • Wayne Williamson

      my guess is 250 people…limited will always sell…
      I would have to agree with the ugly part….reminds me of the chevy ev.

  • Marion Meads

    The $144K VW XL1 can be easily outrun by a $18K (after rebates) Spark EV. Also, the Spark EV is the safer car to be in compared to this lightweight VW XL1.

    • J_JamesM

      I agree. There is absolutely no justification for this bafflingly huge price, especially once the competition is considered.

      Tesla model S: seats 7, 0-60 in 5.4 seconds, $70,000 after rebates. MPG: N/A.

      Chevy Spark: seats 4, 0-60 in 7.5 seconds, $18,000 after rebates. MPG: N/A.

      Tesla Roadster: seats 2, 0-60 in 3.7 seconds, $115,000 after rebates. MPG: N/A

      This daffy little thing: seats 2, 0-60 in 11.9 seconds, $144,000. MPG: +/- 250.

      Honestly, who in their right mind would buy this?

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