Save the planet by purchasing this future classic

This super rare uber-efficient German car may be fueled by diesel, but it's a future classic

Diesel may be a dirty word, especially when attached to a Volkswagen, but you have to leave any prejudice at the door where the 1 of 200 XL1 is concerned.

This 2015 model, which Silverstone Auctions will be selling at the NEC Classic Motor Show, has an 800cc twin-cylinder, common-rail turbo-diesel engine and is capable of an incredible 100 kilometres per litre of fuel (313mpg) and 62mph. Only 200 were built, all with a skewed two seat setup.

It’s UK registered but left hand drive, although in the streamlined XL1 that makes minimal difference, and is estimated to fetch between £95,000 - £115,000. It’s finished in Oryx White Pearl and has recently been serviced by VW UK. In addition to its uber-efficient engine, it has an electric drivetrain to boost mileage and bring power output to 75bhp, and a carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) exterior. All in it weighs just 795kg.

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Since rolling off the production line it has been driven just 79 miles, having been transported to most places, and with it being able to run on electric power alone, it may not have even used its seven-speed DSG gearbox. The electric mode is emissions free you’ll be glad to here, and can easily cover a trip to town and back. If you need to use the diesel engine, don’t worry, it outputs just 21g/km of CO2.

The story of the XL1 starts at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show, where the technology and look of the XL1 caught the attention of the crowds. The sleek CFRP exterior was of exceptional interest, and was constructed using a process called resin transfer moulding. Other weight saving elements included magnesium wheels, ceramic brake discs and the use of aluminium for the dampers, steering and brake callipers. Friction optimised wheel bearings and driveshafts made the car more efficient, but it was of course the body’s 0.186 drag coefficient that made the biggest impression. Well, technically the smallest impression in the air. As a result, it’s the world’s most aerodynamic road-going production car.

But why should you buy this marvel of a car? Well, its rarity and ingenuity means it’s undoubtedly a future classic, possibly the last car powered by diesel that could ever be considered a classic. It should be cheap to run thanks to its efficiency, and as a driving experience it’s also a mixture of German efficiency and futuristic charm.

Dihedral doors are not only cool but help the car’s aerodynamic shape, and there are small cameras (e-mirrors) instead of traditional wing mirrors that work to the same effect. This one-owner car will be on the blocks on November 10-11, and has been registered with VW UK since its initial purchase. It would be hard to find a better example of this rare future classic on the market.

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