A carbonfiber chassis, wingdoors, ceramic breaks and RWD suggests that this car means serious buisness. It does, but not it the way you would expect. This car is meant to be as fuel-efficient as possible and all the lightweight techniques we associate with speed also help cars with this goal. But why would you make an insane car like this? Well we have to take a look at Volkswagens history for that, meaning the Lupo 3l. This car can be named the predeccesor of the XL1, if your a number anylist or have some autism in your genes you already spotted the numbers in both names. The 3L was a car showcasing the fuel effiency Volkswagen could achieve in the year 2000, capable of achieving an efficiency of a mere 3 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. In the year 2013 Volkswagen presented the specifications of the XL1, claiming an amazing fuel effiecy of only 1 liter diesel per 100km.
Where the Lupo 3L only had a diesel engine to work with, the XL1 is a hybrid car. The car is equipped with a 2 cylinder diesel engine that puts out a maximum of 48 horsepower and a electric engine that produces 27 horsepower fed trough a lithium-ion pack. The combined output is 69 horsepower and 140 nm. I won’t even start about the 0 to a 100 time in this car, let me just say that it is fast enough in normal traffic. Traffic does howerver have difficulties with this car, people can barely maintain a straight line when you drive by. The car stands out because of it looks as well as its size, measuring in at only 1.15 meters high it is one of the lowest production cars out there. This small size results in a extremly low CW (air resistance)
Driving it / field-test.
Opening the doors adds to the special feeling this cars offers, pressing in the handle the hydraulic cylinders push up the doors without your help. Being so low makes it tricky to get in but again this adds to the special feeling, the seats are comfortable enough. The cabin is wrapped in a carbon fiber wrap, but it does feel exclusive enough to fit the car. Driving it is so different than anything else I have driven before, where other cars make you ‘hunt’, this car makes you a calm observer of traffic flow. You find yourself searching for ideal lines and minima of air resistance, like sticking behind a truck for increasing economy. The lack of power steering and the low weight of the car make it real fun and communicative car to drive. You can really get this car around the corner at very high speeds but that isn’t wat it’s made for, which leads me to the conclusion.