Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn confirmed the two-seater plug-in hybrid would hit the streets in low numbers in less than two years’ time.
“We will start small series production by 2013, in Germany,” Mr Winterkorn told Automotive News.
The Volkswagen XL1 Concept made its global debut at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show in January.
Space-age looks aside, the most eye-catching feature of the XL1 Concept is its outstanding fuel economy. Rated at 0.9 litres/100km on the combined cycle, the XL1 is one of the most fuel efficient vehicles this side of a full-blown EV.
The XL1 Concept is powered by a 35kW 800cc two-cylinder TDI diesel engine and a 19kW electric motor. It may not sound like much, but teamed with a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission the XL1 can accelerate from 0-100km/h in around 12 seconds, putting it on par with a number of small- and light-sized diesel-powered cars.
Helping performance is the car’s unprecedented 0.186 drag coefficient and its total weight of just 795kg. The body is constructed from carbon fibre reinforced polymer and resin transfer moulding and weighs just 230kg.
The XL1 Concept is about as long and wide as a Volkswagen Polo, but has a height closer to that of a Lamborghini Gallardo.
There is no word yet on exactly how much of the body work or technology from the concept will carry over to the production model. The initial run has been rumoured at around 100 cars, mostly likely to be used in some form of pilot trial program.