Volkswagen recently tore the veil off of its 261 MPG concept vehicle, the Formula XL-1, in Qatar. It’s the third in a line of high-mileage concepts, and apparently is product ready as VW plans to sell 100 of these vehicles.
When I first posted about the XL-1, many of you were skeptical that such a vehicle could ever come to market, or even be roadworthy. But it is coming to market, and it is roadworthy. It is also probably going to be very, very expensive. Big automakers like VW don’t have a habit of producing small quantities of cars like this unless they cost big bucks. Seeing as how the XL-1 is build using high-strength, low weight materials and features and an advanced engine and hybrid transmission system, most of us probably won’t be able to afford the few VW will build.
That doesn’t mean the XL-1 won’t one day come down in price or be made en masse. Perhaps a cheaper version, made with aluminum rather than carbon fiber, could be made and sold for cheaper (cheaper being relative, of course). There’s a lot of interest in these high-mileage cars from a lot of people, so if VW can’t figure out a way to bring this concept to life and make it affordable for the masses, then they can’t be serious about becoming the world’s largest automaker either.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.