VW Bulli EV Van Dead, 313 MPG XL1 Arrives Next Year

Many a Volkswagen fan fondly remembers the Type 2 bus, AKA the Westfalia, AKA the Volkswagen Van. It is, in many ways, the ultimate hippie mobile, and aging hippies the world over have been waiting for a 21st century version to hit dealerships. Alas, it does not seem to be, as VW has ended development of the Bulli, a modern EV version of the Type 2.

But all is not lost, as VW has confirmed that the 313 mpg XL1 will debut sometime next year.

The VW Bulli concept debuted in March of 2011 and was widely praised by many media outlets as the return of the hippie van. With an iPad dock for the center console and plugs ready to power your campsite, the Bulli had a theoretical range of up to 186 miles. Alas, due to a shortage of demand, VW execs told What Car? that production of the Bulli had been halted. How quickly things can change.

Yet Volkswagen is moving forward with a production version of the XL1 concept, a diesel-electric hybrid that can get between 261 and 313 mpg. That is an insane level of efficiency, although don’t expect much in the way of acceleration; the 27 horsepower electric motor and 48 horsepower two-cylinder diesel engine are all about fuel economy, not fun.

Volkswagen execs say that a production version of the XL1 will go on sale (and with limited availability) sometime next year. It probably won’t be cheap, and it probably won’t be popular. But the XL1 could usher in a new wave of uber-efficient vehicles if it proves to be effective at efficiency. And if these spy shots are to be believed, it won’t look half bad either.

So sad news about the Bulli, but good news about the XL1. Which one are you more excited about?

Source: What Car?

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.