volkswagen xl1

Volkswagen has announced the pricing of its XL1 diesel plug-in hybrid for the UK, according to Car magazine. The small, uber-efficient two-seater will start at £98,515, or roughly $168,930 at current exchange rates. Additionally, only 30 units of the XL1 will be sold throughout the UK, giving it a rareness appropriate for its lofty price.

It's nice to finally be able to stop speculating about the XL1's price. Even as recently as the first XL1 delivery in Germany, we were still mostly in the dark concerning the cost of the slippery VW.

But is the price worth it, especially considering that the much sportier BMW i8 can be had for just a bit more (£99,895, or $171,460, in the UK)? Car seems to think so, noting that the XL1 is an eco and technology pioneer, and saying that its cost of ownership is "merely the price of progress." Plus, that includes the bragging rights of owning the world's most fuel-efficient car.

The XL1's two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine displaces just eight-tenths of a liter and produces 47 horsepower. The internal combustion engine operates alongside a 26-horsepower electric motor powered by a 5.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Despite its 2.64-gallon fuel tank, the XL1 has a maximum driving range of over 700 miles thanks to a 261-mpg rating (based on the European cycle). Unfortunately, we won't be able to do any bladder-busting, nonstop Chicago to DC road trips any time soon, as VW has no plans to bring the XL1 to North America - not that one would relish the experience of dicing it up with America's massive trucks and SUVs. If you want to drive one, you'll have to go to Europe, and you'd better have a very large piggy bank you're prepared to break open.