How much would you pay to drive the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicle? For over a decade now, consumers put a premium on fuel efficiency, and the Volkswagen XL1 takes “premium” and “efficiency” to the next level with its 261 MPG rating and $169,000 price tag.
Last month Volkswagen delivered the first XL1 to a German doctor, and the $169,9000 price was finally revealed in the U.K., where the XL1 soon goes on sale. A production run of just 200 is planned, and most of the cars are supposedly spoken for, though not because of its lack of suspension.
Instead, buyers will likely be drawn to the XL1 for the host of futuristic driving features and aids, like two exterior cameras replacing the sideview mirrors to help the XL1 achieve a drag coefficient of just 0.189. A carbon fiber reinforced-polymer monocoque and body panels are the one of the reasons why the turbodiesel plug-in hybrid weighs less than 1,800 pounds, and also contributes to the excessive cost.
Volkswagen deserves credit for building the XL1 though, and this could kickstart a race to build super-efficient premium vehicles. While the market for such vehicles may be small, the technological advances they offer could be a huge boon for “lesser” cars. Still, for that kind of money you could get a fully-loaded Tesla Model S, a pair of Cadillac ELRs, or a half-dozen well-equipped Nissan LEAFs.
At what cost efficiency?