Finally, automotive designers have cottoned on to the fact that hybrid cars have got to look every bit as good as their environmental credentials. As much as we admire the ambition of the Toyota Prius, it’s not the most visually striking car ever to grace the world’s roads.
Now, though, electric cars are becoming proper sexy. BMW’s all-electric i3 will no doubt have turned a few heads. Now Volkswagen introduces the XL1, a svelte slab of sleek and shiny hybrid due to enter full production within two years.
Carbon-fibre reinforced polymer chassis. Cameras instead of rear-view mirrors. Turbo-charged diesel engine and electric motor. Travelling 100 kilometres on one litre of fuel. Sounds like the future to us. And you just can’t go wrong with gullwing doors, right?
E&T has covered both sides of the electric car debate recently, from the upside of India’s Mahindra Group, a Mumbai-based manufacturer of compact electric vehicles, announcing an agreement with Formula E Holdings to join the race series starting in China next September, to the downside, whereby electric cars have apparently failed to catch the public’s imagination thus far despite strong UK government support, according to a survey of more than 3,000 motorists.
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