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Volkswagen XL1

9/10
Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Volkswagen XL1

£98,515

Driving

What is it like on the road?

Despite the supercar-esque construction and layout, the XL-1 isn’t fast. And it doesn’t matter one bit. It has a nicely judged 7-spd DSG ‘box and a drag factor (0.186Cd, aero fans) so low it slices through the air like a blade. Lift off and it disengages the drivetrain and ‘coasts’, barely slowing down on the flat, and when you hit the throttle the little motor fires up like a tiny outboard and pushes you forward with surprising ease and grace. Of course, you can just use it as an EV in town with up to 30 miles of range from a single charge, and it feels massless and neat just pottering. Yes, it is an extreme example of the hypermiling breed, but it feels like the future. And when you get out of town, it’s actually… brilliant. Tiny, skinny tyres, rear-wheel drive balance and unassisted steering. Again, not fast. But fun. And utterly unique.

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