Imagine a different sort of supercar, says Andrew English in The Daily Telegraph: "small, lightweight, with the titchiest, most parsimonious engine". That's VW's "21st-century streamliner, the XL1, honed not for speed but to achieve an astonishing 313mpg".
The electric motor "provides only modest performance", although more than enough to keep up with commuting traffic, and the diesel engine "thumps into life" when you need more power, which provides "a pleasing turn of speed, surging strongly between 40mph and 60mph".
The car is also relatively practical, with a "delightful" cabin and space for two six-footers plus weekend luggage, says English. "It's the most exciting car I've driven in an age." The performance may not exactly be in the Ferrari or Bugatti league, but it will certainly attract more "attention parked outside the Hotel de Paris in Monaco".
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Indeed, a "combination of virtually silent running, futuristic supercar styling and unprecedented on-road presence stops bewildered pedestrians and fellow drivers in their tracks," says Mike Rutherford in AutoExpress.
It may not be all that fast right now the top speed is just 99mph and the 0-62mph time 11.9 seconds but after "experiencing the sense of drama involved in piloting this extraordinary little car", all VW would have to do is fit the punchy VW 1.4 TSI engine in XL1's rear end and it would have created "the world's first truly green supercar", says Hilton Holloway in Autocar.
VW has committed to producing a limited run in 2013, probably for about £30,000.
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