It may seem strange to call a car manufactured in 2015 a classic, but VW’s XL1 is just such a car. And that puts the hyper-aerodynamic, super-efficient car in the strange position of somehow both being a classic and futuristic at the same time. And it could be yours (if you’re reading this in the UK and have lots of money).
Unless you have a Torchinskyesque obsession with doing more with less, the driveline numbers on this car won’t impress you. 800 cc engine, 48 diesel horsepower, 27 electric horsepower, 31 miles electric range. But the curb weight is also very small at just 795 kg (1,750 lbs).
VW achieved this with some of the loftiest supercar tech. The body is made of carbon fiber (naturally), while the wheels are made of magnesium, and the brakes are ceramic. In fact, less than a quarter of this car is made of steel or iron.
The coefficient of drag, too, is impressively small. Volkswagen makes a big deal of how aerodynamic the new Jetta is because its 0.27 cd does set it apart from most modern cars. The XL1, though, has a coefficient of drag of just 0.186. That makes it the most aerodynamic production car to date.
The weight, along with the slipperiness of the car, means that it only needs 8 hp to maintain 62 mph. And that means that it can return 313 mpg.
And since this car has traveled less than 100 miles in its life, it’s conceivable that in thee years of existence, it has consumed less than a third of a gallon of gas. And that’s if those were highway miles. If, as is conceivable, it only did a few short trips around town, it could have consumed considerably less than that.
Which is kind of sad, since this is such an interesting car. I can’t help but feel that it should be driven.
Regardless, the low miles, and the fact that fewer than 200 XL1s ever left the factory means that Silverstone Auctions expects it to bring home a tidy £95,000-£115,000 ($120,000-$150,000 USD).
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