Volkswagen ponders bringing a few 261mpg XL1s to the U.S., uncertain of legality


It’s an interesting proposition: bringing the 261mpg Volkswagen XL1 to the U.S.

The compact two-seater stands as the most aerodynamic and fuel-efficient production car in the world. While the futuristic car has only been slated for European markets, Volkswagen is considering hauling a small number of the hyper-milers Stateside.

“We could bring in a few to the U.S., probably less than 20. We will make a decision on that soon,” Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America said to PlugInCars at the New York Auto Show last week.

Surprisingly – for several reasons – Browning isn’t sure if the XL1s would be legal in the U.S. What the legal hurdles are is not exactly clear, but bringing any car to market in the U.S. requires hurdling numerous bureaucratic and compliance hurdles.

“Show and display” rules do allow for non-certified European cars to make their way across the pond but those typically end up as trailer queens.

We hope Volkswagen does bring at least a few of the XL1s to the U.S., even if we don’t ever get to drive one. We’re firm believers that the kind of technology squeezed compactly beneath the thin-skinned XL1 will power most new cars in the future.

Short of bringing the XL1, perhaps VW could ship a few of the XL1 drivetrain-powered “Up” models over. We can only hope.