Rare VW XL1 hypercar heading to auction over at SBX Cars

A hypercar that's also efficient – it's almost unheard of.
  • The VW XL1 is a groundbreaking hybrid hypercar designed to maximize efficiency
  • As well as sci-fi looks, the diesel-electric hybrid offers 50 km (31 mi) all-electric range
  • A Dutch-delivered example, one of only 250 examples ever made, is heading to auction over at SBX Cars – and it’s in rare Sunset Red

Published on Apr 5, 2024 at 5:18PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 10, 2024 at 5:30PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray
Rare VW XL1 hypercar heading to auction over at SBX Cars

Hypercar and efficiency aren’t two things you’d expect to hear in the same sentence, but that’s exactly what you get with the VW XL1.

Volkswagen’s groundbreaking hybrid hypercar was designed with one sole purpose: to maximize efficiency.

With only 250 units ever made, they’re incredibly hard to come by, but one particular example heading to auction over at SBX Cars is even more special.

READ MORE! SBX Cars have a Tesla Cybertruck to get your hands on – this is not a drill

Only a few XL1s were painted in Sunset Red, including this one: an original Dutch-delivered copy, with barely 20,000 km (roughly 12,427 mi) of asphalt experience and just two previous owners.

Looking like it’s straight out of a sci-fi movie, the XL1 is the VW of the future offered in the present.

Technically speaking, it’s a special phenomenon.

The range of plug-in hybrid models equipped with a diesel engine nowadays can be counted on a few fingers.

They’re still not at the level of this VW, though, as in this specification, the number ‘1’ in ‘XL1’ refers to 1 liter of fuel per 100 km (62 mi).

Before you try to match that with all your enthusiasm, the assignment is based on the old NEDC test cycle.

In practice, a liter of fuel every 40 km (25 mi) is a lot more realistic but even so, this still means the VW XL1 isn’t a big drinker.

The basis of this beautiful piece of advanced technology is a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery with 27 hp, linked to a 48-hp 800 cc turbo-diesel engine.

The two-cylinder TDI emits an average of 21 grams of CO2 per km, which is still unprecedented in 2024.

Completely emission-free (fully electric), the XL1 can travel 50 km (31 mi).

Add to that a lightweight carbon-fiber reinforced polymer monocoque chassis and exterior components, giving the car an overall weight of only 795 kg (1,753 pounds), and it’s clear to see why the XL1 was marketed as the most fuel-efficient car in the world.

The example heading to auction over at SBX Cars is a 2015 VW XL1 presented in rare Sunset Red, with an interior featuring visible carbon fiber plus grey and white natural fiber, with a carbon weave dashboard.

The factory specification includes cruise control, gullwing doors, digital rear-view cameras with door-mounted screens, a flat-bottom steering wheel, rear parking sensors, air conditioning, and built-in Garmin satellite navigation.

Extras with the sale include the original car cover, hubcaps, and charger.

It also benefits from a strong service history, with all maintenance performed by Volkswagen in Germany and the Netherlands.

One of only 250 examples ever made, this VW XL1 would make an intriguing addition to any eclectic assembly of cars.

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