First Look: Volkswagen XL1 Concept

Volkswagen XL1 Concept

According to Volkswagen, the XL1 looks like a dolphin because it is widest in the front and tapers in the rear for aerodynamic reasons. Volkswagen applied as much of its current corporate design language as possible, but in the end aerodynamics were always favored over aesthetics. Tricks like active louvers for the front air intake and gull-winged doors have been seen on several production cars recently, but they serve more legitimate purposes on the XL1.

Dimensionally, the XL1 is about the same length (153 inches) and width (65.2 inches) as a Volkswagen Polo, but it is more like a Lamborghini in height, at 45.5 inches. Seating is no longer 1+1, and the driver and passenger now have a traditional side-by-side seating position, which is a clear nod to the eventual production of this concept. It should be noted that Volkswagen committed to building the L1 concept in 2009 at the Frankfurt show, perhaps as early as 2013. Another sign that production is nigh is the inevitable creep of the concept's curb weight from 640 pounds as the 1-Litre, to 838 pounds as the L1, to a more realistic 1753 pounds in the XL1.

Will it be built? Remember, Volkswagen AG is the same company that decided to put the Bugatti Veyron into limited production mostly to prove an egotistical point. With an XL1 heading into production, Volkswagen could become the car company that offers both extremes of the automotive spectrum to consumers -- a wild supercar that tops 260 mph in the Veyron and an ultraefficient subcompact that tops 260 mpg with the XL1.

2 of 2
JoeDeMatio
Build it, Ferdinand!

buyer's guide

Find vehicle reviews, photos, & pricing

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

subscribe

new cars

Read Related Articles

TO TOP