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
Or it should be, but those narrow Michelins make a fair bit of noise, as does the whirring driveline. The ride is pretty rigid at low speeds, too, so the first impression is of trundling slowly out into the traffic and just waiting to be T-boned by a gold-encrusted SUV.
It does get better. Out on the dual carriageway, the ride improves, and you leave the transmission noise behind. Mash the throttle, and the engine starts, which thumps through the oily bits but transforms the performance. Suddenly this is a major-league fun car, with the electric torque wafting you along and the seven-speed gearbox managing to extract the last drop of performance. Those skinny tyres transmit a steady stream of feedback, and the unassisted steering is better than anything else in the Volkswagen Group.