VW XL1: first drive
Wondering what the future of motoring looks like? Just take a gander at the 313mpg VW XL1
Posted: 08 Apr 2011
The battery is a Sanyo lithium-ion unit rated at 5kWh, with enough punch to drive on volts alone for 22 miles at moderate throttle openings and speeds under 62mph. Weight and energy-saving ideas predominate. There's electrical aircon, lightweight wiring with electrical fuses, low-friction plasma-sprayed surfaces on the engine bores and pistons and LED lamps including the headlights. When it comes to saving fuel, this is the guvnor.
While the designers didn’t get much of a chance to stylise the exterior, in the cabin, they were dealt a freer hand. It’s lovely, clean and easy to use, but also innovative. Unlike this car’s tandem-seat antecedents, the seats are mounted side by side, but staggered so you don’t clash shoulders. The passenger’s seat is fixed, but the driver’s adjusts along with the steering wheel to give a pretty good driving position for up to six-footers.