Volkswagen was clearly out of their minds when they developed and produced the 261 mile-per-gallon XL1, a spaceship-like diesel hybrid that looks like a Roswell file photo featured on Ancient Aliens, but without all of the crazy eyes. It’s the greatest modern Volkswagen that didn’t wear an Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley or Bugatti badge.
When the Jalopnik staff got to test drive the wild-ass Volkswagen XL1 that would find Mr. Jetson signing finance papers in heartbeat, they described it as every bit as amazing as the magical engineering projects at the hypercar level, albeit for much different reasons.
From our glorious leader at Jalopnik, Patrick George, and his impressions back in 2013:
Forget all the eco stuff for a second. Volkswagen built a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive car with manual steering. That alone makes the XL1 fantastic.
And then VW went and gave it design cues from the Citroen DS and windows from the Subaru SVX, with a healthy dash of whatever else they saw in their rumored and unsubstantiated, ethically questionable time-hack tele-portal vision into our best possible future.
You may think the modern Golf is a good car. A great car. But it’s not the sort of car you can step out of wearing visor sunglasses and pull it off. The XL1 is that car. And you wont have to get gas for like, weeks, yo.
So check out this video of VW stress-testing the future, and try not to laugh at the wheels that are thinner than a Papa John’s stuffed crust pizza.
Volkswagen only produced 250 examples, all going for around $150,000 at the time. But hey, that’s pretty cheap for a car that lets you get away with visor sunglasses.