Volkswagen XL1 Makes US Debut; VW Still Says XL1 Won’t be Sold Here

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 8

VW XL1

VW XL1

Why tease us Volkswagen?

VW's Plug-In Plans for the US Don't Include the XL1

VW’s Plug-In Plans for the US Don’t Include the XL1

Last week, the VW XL1 made its US debut at the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Though this author admittedly lusts for a VW XL1, it’s becoming more and more obvious that Volkswagen doesn’t seem to care what I—or anyone else in the US for that matter—wants.

The VW XL1 may have made a US debut, but it’s apparent now that the XL1 won’t launch here.

The limited edition XL1 will forever be a Europe-only offering and that’s a shame considering that it’s the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicle.

The 1,753-pound XL1, with its drag coefficient of 0.19, sips fuel so slowly that it can cover roughly 200 miles on a gallon of gas.  Its top speed of 99 mph is fine by us and even its slow 12.7 second 0 to 60 mph time is acceptable, given its frugal use of fuel.

Volkswagen officially announced it will only build 250 XL1s by Spring of 2014.  That’s the entire production run for the vehicle and none are expected to be sold in the US.  At $143,000, the XL1 is rather expensive, but given its low-volume production and amazing qualities, it’s sure to quickly become a collector’s item.  A European collector’s item, that is.

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8 responses to "Volkswagen XL1 Makes US Debut; VW Still Says XL1 Won’t be Sold Here"

  1. Justin W. says:

    I’m sure I’ll see one in the Monterey/Carmel area eventually. The insanely affluent love to import rare vehicles that are not available in the U.S…. Assuming it can be registered here.

  2. Dan Frederiksen says:

    It wont be sold in Europe either..

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Lease-only seems to be the way VW will go

      1. vdiv says:

        What would add an insult to the injury is if VW makes the XL1 in their Chattanooga plant 🙂

        1. MDEV says:

          Nice boat

  3. Dan Frederiksen says:

    VW fight against reason and electrification as always. And they compound their evil by lying about it.
    And they get away with it because all the other car makers are similarly clueless/evil.

  4. Bloggin says:

    The XL1 won’t be sold in the US for obvious reasons.

    Not sure what VW was thinking.

    It’s tiny 47hp engine, or combined 74 hp would be unsafe to drive on public roads, let alone freeways, but works on the slower, narrow European roadways. The smaller Prius is a marginal proposition with it’s 98hp engine or total 134 combined hp on the freeway.

    Then at $143k, you could buy his and hers Tesla Model S sedans with max 300 EV range each.

    The XL1 offers too many sacrifices to be viable. If it had a more powerful 200 mile battery along with the tiny 47hp 1L engine as a generator like the RX, it would be a better option at around $60k. But then again, it’s styling still makes it undesirable at any price.

    1. vdiv says:

      The reasons are probably a bit less than obvious and quite a bit more ridiculous. VW will have to certify the diesel engine, which for such a small volume car will be too expensive. VW will also have to add side mirrors making the car less efficient. Last but not least there may be some US safety regulations that the XL1 may not meet.

      It’s too bad really.