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Buy this Volkswagen XL1 at auction, become a hypermiler

Hands up those who love fuel economy

Published: 22 Oct 2019

Still want a diesel-engined car but don’t want to be lynched by pitch fork-waving mobs wherever you go? Silverstone Auctions has exactly what you need.

You’ll no doubt remember the Volkswagen XL1 – not least because it’s one of the coolest green cars in recent history. And now is your chance to own one, because this very car is going up for auction at the NEC Classic Motor Show sale in early November. 

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Now, Silverstone Auctions actually sold an almost identical XL1 at last year’s NEC Show. The hammer fell on that one at £103,000, though, whereas in 2019 this super rare eco-study is estimated to fetch between £50,000 - £60,000. Not only is that half the price of last year, but it’s half the price of the XL1’s original £100,000 list price. Interesting.

The XL1 was initially unveiled at the Qatar Motor show in 2011. It was fitted with a teeny, mid-mounted 800cc two-cylinder diesel engine producing just 48bhp, which was then linked to a 5.5kWh lithium-ion battery and a 27bhp electric motor, meaning a lofty total output of 75bhp. That power (or lack of it) was sent to the faired-in rear wheels by a seven-speed DSG gearbox.

It was light, though. The body was made from carbon fibre reinforced polymer, the wheels from magnesium and the dampers, steering column and brake callipers from aluminium. That all meant a 795kg kerb weight, and the super slippery body gave the XL1 a drag coefficient of just 0.186, so it remains the most aerodynamic road-going production car ever. 

We say production car – only 200 were ever built, so the buyer of this one will join a pretty exclusive hypermiling club. Members of that club will be getting around 313mpg too. Plus, this car has only ever covered 79 miles from new, so it should have almost three quarters of a tank left…

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Images: Silverstone Auctions

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