Last April I went to a Cars and Coffee meet in Knoxville. Got there early, which you have to do to stake out parking spots with your club, then I watched the usual Porsches, hot rods, big finned 1950s cars, muscle cars, etc. roll in. Then a very strange white streamined small car showed up, looking a little like a Honda Insight, but it was a bit more bizarre looking. You'd think a UFO had shown up with all the gawking and pointing. Once it parked and all the curious onlookers had spread out a bit, I was able to get a few pics. The Volkswagen emblem was obvious and XL1 script was on the sides. The gullwing doors and staggered seats really set it apart.
Once home, I was able to do alittle research and found this Wikipedia page:
The XL1 is a 1-liter diesel plug-in hybrid built for maximum effifiency, rated at 240 mpg US. Only it wasn't sold in the US - only 250 were built between 2013 and 2016 and were sold only in Europe, starting at 111,000 euros. How one made it to these shores I do not know.
Then of course I wondered if there were models. I found one on ebay, listed as a Spark product. I watched it for a while and when I was offered a discount I decided to get one. It was shipped to me from Germany in a VW group package and the box for the model has only VW markings - no number or indication that Spark made it, so I have to trust the seller on that, but clearly it's a dealer model. The usual Spark quality is evident, but there is a minor error. From a review of online pics of the 1:1, I noticed that the registration of the model car, WOB XL100, is on a silver car (probably the prototype or first production car). I did see a white one registered as WOB XL106 - perhaps a little decal work will remove this little inaccuracy?
What an interesting and unusual VW Harv. I am surprised that one showed up in Knoxville, given the European price and the import costs. Great collector model piece!
Very interesting car and model. I've never heard of it.
South Lyon, Michigan - USA
Nice model and a great post, Harv.
Wiki says they made 250 of them! WoW, so maybe the license plates got switched around in Germany...
Interesting story and pictures.