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VW XL1: Promise of a nifty future


Interesting quick drive report here of the VW XL1.

Lift the gullwing door, step over the wide inside rocker panel, and you settle into a comfortable seat with a wide, curved windshield and decent-size door windows with tollbooth access. Hit the starter button once without a foot on the brake pedal (real as the car feels, it isn’t federalized, here or there). Blip the throttle and then put a foot on the brake and hit the start button again. From here on, any auto journalist who has driven any number of cobbled-together concept cars will realize the XL1 is remarkably complete. With switchgear you’d recognize from any late-model Golf or Polo, it feels like a factory-fresh car.

Slip the gearshift into “D.” You can’t sequentially shift the seven gears, because VW is pushing maximum efficiency. Let off the non-assisted brakes, tip in carefully, and the VW quietly, gracefully eases out from the hotel driveway into a nearly empty street. It’s 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday in Doha, Qatar, and the stunt car drivers who make up the local populace are on busier streets a few blocks ahead.