Jim Stone [note 1]. This is the epitome of a conspiracy theorist's article: full of crap, bereft of fact-checking or anything much in the way of facts of any kind. Everything you need to know about the conspiracy theory proposed is pretty much contained in or implied in the headline, but here's "Cliff's Notes" summary:
This car represents the current state of what's practical in automotive technology. It's an affordable, spacious, roomy, heavy vehicle that gets 300 miles per gallon without any real need for exotic lightweight materials. It could be on the roads of America practically "as is" were it not for the intervention of the Big Oil Companies.
What a big, lovely car!
Barely a real production model, it's made in a factory, but largely by hand. It couldn't meet U.S. safety rules and needed changes in German rules to be on the road there.This car isn't for sale in America because it's about the SIZE OF A GO-KART + engine compartment, and because it violates innumerable basic safety regulations to get this mileage. This is deftly hidden in the cherry-picked and sometimes-distorted photos, but easily seen in the video and the few candid shots that include people for scale and don't carefully choose the perspective. The XL1 is about waist-high to an average height male, and not much broader. It has no side mirrors. It has no rear window at all: the engine is where the rear window would be. It's not been crash-tested because the result is a foregone conclusion: it has no crumple zones. It's so narrow the seats are staggered. It cannot clear a speed bump.
|Not a scale model.|
VW know their market. This is a great technology showcase and conversation starter, and a limited run of 250 (NOT 2,000) at a price of $150,000 each (NOT $60,000) is just enough so they can lay claim to it being a "production vehicle" for PR purposes. But when the technologies are scaled up to road-worthy, practical-sized cars with safety features like firewalls and airbags and crumple zones, a lot of that mileage disappears. Nevertheless, something's better than nothing, and some of this tech will be applied to cars like the VW Golf. There's certainly no conspiracy going on.
As reported by Autoevolution.com, here's an example of VW using the "production car" label in an actual Volkswagen press release, demonstrating that the value of this exceedingly limited run is for promotional purposes.
In the end, I can't give Jim Stone the Junk Science label because he's a not a scientist. He's just another blogger: one who's really bad at math and science and who chooses not to check his facts. I probably should have a label for that, but in the meantime I'll award him this really bitchin' magnet he can use to deactivate the government microchip in his head.
- Yes, I had to wrestle with myself over giving a link and a paltry few views to Jim Stone, Freelance Journalist, but in the end I did because you should know where this crap comes from. Besides, I had to laugh out loud at the page header. The "Jim Stone, Freelance Journalist" title of his blog should really be pronounced like a comic-book logo, with hands on hips.