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
"We wanted it to be recognisably a VW, but also to show how different it was," says British designer Andrew Hart-Barron. He's achieved it, with a clever mix of VW Group instruments, a feature-length piano-black ventilation duct and matt, carbon-fibre black background that looks and feels like velvet.
Like a Lamborghini's scissor doors, the VW's take a good tug to get shut, and there's an eerie silence as 22 gimlet-eyed mechanics and engineers look at you in their one-and-only £2 million prototype. Start-up involves a couple of prods of a button, but no engine noise. In hybrid mode, the car runs on battery power down to 22 per cent charge level, so around town it's silent.