While VW only made 250 of these ultra-efficient cars, and they’re illegal to own as a regular car in the United States, there’s one sipping fuel around the Golden State.
If you live in and or are visiting Southern California, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for one seriously cool looking and fuel efficient car.
It’s called the Volkswagen XL1, an ultra-efficient diesel plug-in hybrid that easily gets 260 MPG, and it was spotted as of late in the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara area.
Check out social media posts from car spotters who spotted the one-of-a-kind Volkswagen.
Just drove through the Petersen parking lot to see if there were any prototype Cybertrucks attending the gala, didn’t find any. I did however find some pretty cool cars in attendance. pic.twitter.com/RB9B1WMVnM— Zack (@BLKMDL3) October 8, 2023
This one sports Arizona Plates, S6A 6VK.
Made between 2013-2016, Volkswagen never sold the XL1 in the United States, and is probably why you’ve never heard of one before.
As the shape hints at, the XL1 was an exercise in making the most fuel efficient production car imaginable.
The goal was to make a car that uses 1 liter of fuel for every 100 kilometers driven (hence the name) which roughly translates to around 260 MPG.
Made of lightweight materials and sculpted by the wind, the XL-1 only weigh upwards of 1,700 pounds and has a .159 drag coefficient (for comparison, a Civic has a .26 drag coefficient.)
Behind the two tandem seats is a .8L two-cylinder diesel engine paired to an electric motor powered by a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery (hence, the plug-in hybrid designation.)
The combined output of that setup is good for 68 HP and 100 lb-ft, not a lot, but then again, this car is about efficiency and not power.
While 260 MPG sounds impossible, it literally might be, as real world testing showed an XL1 is realistically capable of 120 MPG.
Regardless, it’s still a bona fide fuel (err, diesel) sipper
An XL1 cost a whopping $150,000 in equivalent Euros and is a big reason why Volkswagen never sold one here, no one would seriously own one.
This is not the first time an XL1’s been spotted on United States roads, as UK resident and noted car enthusiast Jim Magill famously drove one owned by The Lane Motor Museum (based in Tennessee) across America just last year.
As to how this one with ‘Zona plates is here to stay, your guess is as good as mine.
My guess is an Arizonian has acquired one for another car museum or a private collection this side of the Mississippi and is enjoying the warm, California sun making the rounds in it.
Have you seen this XL1 driving around?
Would you buy one even if it costs that much?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.