There’s an outside chance that a few copies of Volkswagen’s 261 mpg uber-efficient plug-in diesel hybrid XL1 could find their way to the United States.
According to Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America who spoke to plugincars.com in February, the company plans to “make a decision on that soon,” but he was only talking about maybe 20 cars out of 250 planned for global production.
Volkswagen’s super-aerodynamic 800cc TDI is ultralight at 1,753 pounds, and how it would fare in federal crash tests is very much in question.
If it was able to slip through to U.S. soil legally, it is thought likely that it would do so under some exception to the regulations.
Previously exemptions have been offered to supercars such as a Porsche 959 brought in by Bill Gates under “show and display” rules.
Jim Motivalli, writing for plugincars.com noted such exotics as the McLaren F1 and Jaguar XJ220 had also been given a pass while otherwise not meeting full federal regulations.
As Motivalli pointed out, it would not make a whole lot of sense to import the world’s ultimate fuel sipper, then essentially make it only a showpiece.
But then, maybe it could do some good, possibly raising awareness or – an outside chance – even provoking emulation to one degree or another.
Either way, it could be interesting to see up close whether the cost-is-no-object wundercar is really four to six times more fuel efficient than a Prius.