Unlike most concept cars, Volkswagen's XL1 will be making that difficult jump from fantasy to reality. It's going to get produced, and when it does, it'll be the most efficient production car on the planet.
Volkswagen's Formula XL1 Concept is a plug-in hybrid, meaning that it's capable of running on battery power alone for awhile, and then if you need the extra range, it's got a seriously tiny two cylinder diesel engine that can extend its range. Reportedly, it gets a whopping 260 miles per gallon, which would make it the most efficient vehicle to to be available to the public.
This public availability was just announced yesterday, and Volkswagen says that they'll be producing about a hundred XL1s, to be made available first in Germany and later in the U.S., if there are any left. This is obviously not very many vehicles, but in order to sell any at all, Volkswagen has to put them through crash tests and emissions tests and make sure that they're not going to fall to pieces within the first few miles, which is a big investment of time and money when you're talking about a car that's currently just a concept. This could imply that if everything goes well, Volkswagen might consider kicking production of the XL1 up a notch sometime down the line.
All this reminds me a little bit of what happened with the Chevy Volt, although Volkswagen certainly isn't promising the same level of production. What I'm worried about is that the XL1 is going to get its designed nerfed in the same way that the Volt did (going from this pile of awesome to meh), in order to make it more palletable for consumers, among other things. The XL1 is a futuristic car, and keeping it looking that way would definitely be a good thing.
Lots more futuristic pics in the gallery below.