Russian President Putin Checks Out VW’s XL1 Together with German Chancellor Merkel

Whether he’s criticizing the Russian auto industry for not being able to provide him with a decent limousine or test driving Russia’s latest models before they go on sale, Russian President Vladimir Putin is always in the news when it comes to cars.

This time though, Putin scrutinized one of Germany’s most innovative cars, the VW XL1 1-liter car. Along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Putin visited the Hannover Messe Industrie 2013, as Russia is the partner country of the world’s biggest industrial fair this year.

After being briefed by VW CEO Martin Winterkorn about VW’s vocational training program and innovative products manufactured in Russia, Putin took a closer look at the XL1. Although his facial expression looks as impenetrable as always, we suspect the Russian President liked what he saw. Although for a man whose country is the world’s current leading oil producer, the XL1’s average fuel economy of 0.9 l/100 km (261 mpg US/313mpg UK) is not very good news. But hey, at least it has Lambo-styled doors…

So there you have it, two of the world’s most powerful leaders posing in the world’s most economical production car. Putin and Merkel’s visit to the VW stand in Hannover shows how important the Russian market is to Germany and how important German technology is to Russia.

Putin also took a look at the more mundane VW Polo Sedan, a vehicle especially developed for the Russian market, VW Group’s number one growth market in Europe.

By Dan Mihalascu



Most Expensive Mustang Ever? The $2.2 Million 1967 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

This makes the first production 2020 Super Snake, which sold for $1.1 million, look like a bargain.

Will Toyota Ever Launch A Convertible Supra To Combat The Z4?

According to chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, an open top Supra is something Toyota would consider .

One Brave Soul Decided To Acquire This Wrecked Corvette ZR1

This ZR1 is definitely beyond repair, yet someone stepped up to the challenge and became its new owner.

Could Genesis Be Working On A High-Performance G70 After All?

Will the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63 get a challenger from Korea? Well, stranger things have happened.

One-Of-One 2020 Toyota GR Supra Sells For Colossal $2.1 Million!

This 2020 Supra’s standout feature is the one-off, factory Phantom Grey matte paint.

New Kia Ceed Seems Like A Smart Choice In A Crowded Segment

Kia’s new compact hatch offers great value, good comfort and smart looks, but are they enough?.

2019 Skoda Superb Practically Undisguised As It Inches Closer To Debut

Steady but effective improvements are in the pipeline for Skoda’s range-topping model.

2019 Toyota Yaris Arrives In The UK With New Y20 And GR Sport Models

Toyota’s prolific supermini receives a boost in style and attitude, plus a limited version, for the new model year.

Cupra Ateca Is Very Fast And Well-Rounded, But It Lacks Character

As the first product of the newly founded performance brand it’s very good, yet not that exciting.

Here’s What It Costs To Maintain An Impressive 30-Vehicle Collection

Harry Metcalfe reveals just how expensive it was to own 16 cars and 14 motorcycles last year.