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2012-09-10 13:36

FUTURE OF VOLKSWAGEN: Despite looking like a retro spaceship, the XL1 represents VW's future and its performance figures deserve a second glance.

Volkswagen announced, back in March 2012, that it would assemble a limited series of one-litre cars to be branded XL1 when they hit the road in 2013.

Looking like a modern take on a 1950's UFO, it seems VW is serious about launching the car as spy images of the XL1 have been captured.

The XL1 is the third iteration of VW’s one-litre car first shown in concept guise at the 2011 Qatar auto show.

0.9 LITRES/100km

The two previous consepts, called the L1, were shown to the public in 2002 and 2009 but our spy images show slight modifications, such as new mirrors, which will appear on the production version.

According to VW, the XL1 can achieve a combined fuel consumption of 0.9 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 24g/km courtesy of its diesel engine and electric motor. Like the L1, the XL1 uses a two-cylinder 800cc turbo-diesel capable of 35kW and 121Nm. The rear wheel drive feeds from a seven-speed DSG transmission.

The electric motor pitches in with 20kW and 100Nm of torque and can work in parallel or independently, so offering a battery power option. Fully charged, the XL1 can travel 35km on battery power alone.

The concept-car XL1 had a kerb weight of 795kg and a drag coefficient of 0.186.


Only 23.2% of the car (184kg) is made steel or iron and the drivetrain weighs 227kg. The XL1's length and width are similar to those of the VW Polo, with a length of 3.9m and a width of 1.6m. However, the car is much lower at only 1.1m and has a coupe-like roof line, reducing interior volume.

The design incorporates gullwing doors, the seating is similar to that of a Smart ForTwo.

The XL1 is capable of 158 km/h, with 0-100 km/h in 11.9sec.

What do you think of VW's new XL1? Share your thoughts in our Readers comments below. Or email us and you could have your story published on Wheels24.


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