When Volkswagen begins delivering the first of its ultra-efficient XL1 coupes by midyear, motorists will need to get used to the idea of looking at a set of three video screens, rather than rear and sideview mirrors, to see what's happening around them.
By replacing the traditional mirrors with micro-compact cameras built into the car's body, VW designers were able to significantly improve the vehicle's aerodynamics—a critical factor in helping it achieve a record fuel economy.
But while VW plans to build only 250 of the cars, none will be shipped to the United States. That's due, in part, to federal U.S. rules that require all vehicles be equipped with left- and right-side exterior mirrors.
But that could soon change—at least, the auto industry hopes it will.