Mike Stevens | Sep 3, 2012

Volkswagen's XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle (SEV) concept is on its way to a market future, if these new spy photos are anything to go.

Captured in Europe this week, these images offer the first look at what could be a production XL1 - if it isn't merely a mule for a similar new model.

Whether the final car will carry the XL1's styling is unclear, but reports in the past year suggest that Volkswagen has a plan for the ultra-efficient concept.

In an interview with industry paper Automotive News Europe in November, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn reportedly confirmed that the diesel-electric hybrid is on the fast track to production.

Playing the company cards close to his chest, Winterkorn said only that Volkswagen will "start small series production by 2013, in Germany."

In concept form, the XL1 is powered by a small 35kW 0.8 litre, two-cylinder turbodiesel engine, mated to a 20kW electric motor.

That's not a lot of power, but with a kerb weight of just 795kg, the XL1 doesn't need a great deal of go. That low weight contributes to an exceptional fuel consumption figure of just 0.9 l/100km.

It will reportedly run a version of Volkswagen's seven-speed DSG automatic transmission, using electric power up to 35km/h, when the diesel engine takes over.

As 2013 draws nearer, new details on Volkswagen's XL1 plans should surface in the coming months.

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