Volkswagen XL1 to be Priced at $146,000

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 21

XL1 for $145,000?

XL1 for $145,000?

A Steep Price Tag Comes Standard

A Steep Price Tag Comes Standard

Volkswagen has reportedly settled on a price for its radically styled, uber-efficient XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid: € 111,000.

That converts to $146,243 in US dollars, though it matters not since the XL1 will not be sold in the States.

At that price, the XL1 is beyond the means of most individuals, which is likely why VW will limit total production to only 250 units (of which 50 have already been built).  The remaining 200 XL1s will be built in Spring 2014 and delivered to paying customers shortly thereafter.

According to VW, the XL1 is the world’s most fuel-efficient series production vehicles.  It achieves this top-level efficiency mainly due to aerodynamics (it is the most slippery production vehicle ever with a coefficient of drag of 0.189) and low weight.  The XL1 barely even tips the scales at 1,753 pounds.

We’ve listed below some additional specs:

XL1 Lightweight Bodywork

XL1 Lightweight Bodywork

  • slightly askew 2 person seating
  • top speed of 98 mph
  • 0-62 mph in 12.7 seconds
  • NEDC rating of 261 mpg
  • 0.8 liter two-cylinder TDI diesel engine that puts out 47 hp
  • 31 miles of electric range
  • 20kW electric motor
  • 7-speed dual-clutch transmission

Fancy an XL1?  We sure do, but not at that $146,000-plus price that Wirtschafts Woche reports it’ll be sold at.

Make one for the masses Volkswagen.  Price it right and it’ll sell in volume.

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21 responses to "Volkswagen XL1 to be Priced at $146,000"

  1. zilm says:

    250 really? guys, stop on 50!

    1. Spec says:

      Seriously. Do they really think they’ll find 200 more people to shell out $146K for a car that does 0 to 60 in 12.7 seconds!

      You don’t even get the full $7500 tax-credit because it has a puny battery.

      1. mrsaladd says:

        I read an article some time ago, then VW CEO said that the carbon fiber body panels for this car were produced for less than $5,000 given that the rest of the car is fairly common component/material wise the 146k seems unjustified. It is however built in a custom shop by hand with significant number of low volume major parts. Hopefully they will move beyond that and start mass producing something close to this cars performance for the masses.
        It would however upset very powerful global dominating interests. For that reason I believe the people at Volkswagen won’t produce this for the masses until there is no more cheap fuel, or air to breath.

  2. Spec says:

    What a pointless joke. Pay $146,000 to save a few bucks on gas!

  3. Dan Frederiksen says:

    Wow. that is all kinds of stupid.

    One might ask what the purpose of the program was when they so thoroughly sabotage it.
    It will be interesting if anyone will decide to buy it at that price. I hope not.

    1. Jeff says:

      In fairness, if you were following the development of this vehicle, it was never intended as an affordable mass market vehicle. It’s more of a science experiment / proof-of-concept — or if you look at it more cynically, a PR stunt.

      Any benefit that might come from the R&D spent on this program would only be if they use the experience and lessons learned to apply to a more practical and affordable vehicle in the future.

  4. Dan Frederiksen says:

    It’s quite frustrating to have the insight to see all the wonderful things that are possible when these clowns so thoroughly eff it up again and again.

  5. David Murray says:

    So I guess they might sell 2 or 3 of these, then.

  6. Huffster says:

    So, one of these or two Model S’s for the same price? I do believe I’ll choose the later thank you very much. Heck, I could even choose one performance Model S, max out every possible option and accesory, and still have tens of thousands of dollars left over. But, it’s a moot dream purchase for me anyway since I’m regular folk and my budget is more like $30k. Don’t call me XL1, I’ll call you.

  7. offib says:

    Holy Hell’s Bells!!! This is probably VW’s biggest investment in alternatively fuelled vehicles…
    This is an arguably large win for BMW, especially the i8. They both cost upwards of $100,000, they both vigorously use carbon fiber and aluminium in construction. They both have Plug-in-Hybrid drivetrains and that’s where the XL1’s comparisons or advantages end. The i3 even looks like its leaps and bounds ahead the XL1. Hell, at that price the i3 will never compete, and with that performance the i8 will never compete.

    I thought the e-Up! was one of VW’s most half-baked attempt in the EV market or overall, it still might hold on to that place but the XL1 has become a gimmick I could tell it’s main purpose was to be in a field project or to be a symbolic achievement for VW, an example of what VW can do, but became the universal standard of a “Rich man’s toy”.
    I always applaud the idea of car manufacturers building wacky and different cars for the masses, such as the Renault Twizy, Avantime, BMW i3 and so on. VW over judges that and brings poor reputation for alternatively fueled vehicles buy highlighting its stereotypes with its e-Golf and e-Up!. One of which being price.

    For a maker that wants to claim itself king of the alternative energy market, especially for electric vehicles, they really do have another thing coming.

    1. zilm says:

      alternatively failed vehicles

    2. Spec says:

      “The i3 even looks like its leaps and bounds ahead the XL1.”

      I’m gonna go with the XL1 on looks.

      1. Rick Danger says:


  8. Rick says:

    Nah, it’s just a VW experiment, with a side effort to extract a few dollars from weathy “look at me” tree huggers. Or celebrities.

  9. Warren says:

    Meanwhile, this fellow has built at least three super mileage vehicles for less than the media budget for the XL1.

    He is only getting 144 mpg on a 250 cc Kawasaki Ninja drivetrain. But then, he doesn’t use any “unobtanium.”

    If consumers were serious about efficiency, and reducing CO2, we could have done it decades ago.

  10. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Man, would even Jay Leno buy one of these neo-Messerschmitts? You could get a 2-door Golf and have $125k left over to buy gasoline.. It’d take more than a million miles to ‘earn back’ the price difference with a 25mpg Golf, assuming infinity MPG :p

  11. Just_chris says:

    This is the VW group people, they do this stuff, look at the Vayron. A pointless low volume car made for one reason and one reason only to say “we have made the most powerful production car in the world” or the fastest I can’t remember which. Now they have made the “most efficient production car in the world” and fair play to them. This is not about filling the driveways of the dim witted masses with a highly efficient car it is about filling their TV’s with images of a car that makes them think about running cost.

    A likely scenario is 2 guys down the pub one says to the other “god the ugly new VW is going to sell for nearly $150k! who the hell wants a car that can do 260mpg anyway? I mean I get nearly 80mpg out of my Golf blue motion” guy number two pipes up “you talk rubbish I get 40 max out of my petrol focus” and VW win.

  12. Rick Danger says:

    Won’t it feel great to pay $146,000 for one of these and get beaten by a Smart ED in 0-60?

    1. David Stone says:

      yeah, because we all are permanently drag racing other cars on public roads to see who is the most manly 😉

      1. Rick Danger says:

        Let me rephrase it:
        Won’t it feel great to pay $146,000 for one of these and not be able to out-accelerate a Smart ED? 🙂

  13. Steven says:

    “Proof of concept” my eye. At this price, it’s still a “Research Mule”.