We’ve been pretty jazzed about the Volkswagen XL1 ever since it was unveiled earlier this year. The reported 261mpg hypermiler seemed to embody everything we at Digital Trends want in a car, save supercar performance. The XL1 is distinctively beautiful, features tons of cool tech – including video cameras and color screens in place of side view mirrors – and unbeatable eco-friendliness thanks to its two-cylinder diesel engine and electric motor hybrid drivetrain.
Word has come, though, that the XL1 might not be as wonderfully economical as VW lead us to believe. In a recent Automobile first drive report; author Georg Kacher claims he achieved some 160mpg during his six-hour test drive from Lucerne to Geneva.
While Kacher understandably emphasized that he “only” achieved 160mpg, we’re a bit disappointed.
Yes, those figures are great but a 101mpg drop from the sticker estimates is not good. It’s not good at all. Sure, compared to the Accord Plug-in, which is rated at 115mpge, it’s still good. Compared to the goods we had been originally sold, though, it’s not good.
Intriguingly, Automobile mentions in a separate story that Volkswagen is considering turning the XL1 into a sports car of sorts. The body has a drag co-efficient of only 0.19, which is the lowest of any “production” car ever. With a bit more power, the slippery XL1 could easily make a relatively inexpensive performance model – perhaps powered by the all-new GTI turbocharged drivetrain.
We’re not going to hold our breath for a XL1 sports variant. We will, however, be eager to see how VW responds to the real-world driving economy claims from the first few drive reports. Stay tuned to see what the German automaker – and the XL1 – does next.