Sub Model: Thing
Exterior Color: Orange
Interior Color: Black
Drive Type: Rear
Palm City, Florida, United States
World's Most Efficient Car Impresses, Not Without Compromises
Among our many duties at the recent Geneva Motor Show, we were offered a pretty exclusive drive in the new Volkswagen XL1 hyper-efficient plug-in diesel hybrid. There is so much that is interesting about a car like this reaching production from a major automaker that it's tough to know where to begin.
First off, you should know that - at least for this generation - there is absolutely no chance in Albuquerque that this "1-liter vehicle" (i.e. a vehicle that can burn just one liter of fuel to travel 100 kilometers, or 62.1 miles) will ever make it into the hands of North American customers. We, too, were having trouble imagining an XL1 in typical American traffic, surrounded by comparatively massive pickups and SUVs. The driving experience had us recalling a couple of weeks in 1999 when we drove the then-revolutionary Honda Insight hybrid on US roads. We keenly remember the feeling of being very small and vulnerable, even as we felt proudly green in our 61-mpg Tochigi pod. Thing is, the Volkswagen is smaller still, and nearly as light despite its more complex drivetrain and safety features.
A Brazilian politician tried to save it, unsuccessfully, so the final Last Edition Volkswagen Type 2 Kombi was produced on December 20, 2013 and now resides in a vintage museum at Volkswagen's Commercial Vehicles HQ in Hanover, Germany.
The Volkswagen Microbus was built for 56 years, starting in September 1957. Brazil was the last country still assembling it, but new safety regulations in the country requiring airbags and ABS on all cars spelled the end. When that politician introduced a bill that would pardon only the 'Bus from a death sentence, it couldn't garner the required number of votes for passage. The South American country takes the Kombi production title, though, with 1.5 million of the 3.5 million total made in the home of Copacabana beach and the girl from Ipanema.
The VW Bus is dead. Now perhaps we can turn our attentions to the still-not-totally-settled matter of the Bulli...
If you thought there was nothing wrong with the Volkswagen Up! that a little body cladding wouldn't fix, you're in luck. VW has officially pulled the wraps off the production version of the Cross Up!, and its wheel arches and rocker panels are full of the black plastic cladding you've been yearning for.
In addition to the "particularly rugged design and tough, lifestyle qualities" that the cladding exudes, VeeDub has also seen fit to put its Cross Up! on a new set of 16-inch alloy wheels clad in 185/50-series tires. Inside, there are new kick plates to go along with a dash pad that can be had in red, black or silver.
All that cladding must equal additional off-road readiness, right? Well, sure... just so long as you're fine with the same 75-horsepower three-cylinder engine that all other Up! models also feature, along with a five-speed manual transmission sending power to the front wheels, again, just like all other Up! models. The Cross Up! appears to have a taller ride height than other models, but we haven't been able to find out what - if any - changes have been made.