Powering the XL1 is a compact 800 cc TDI two-cylinder common rail diesel engine developing 48 PS. However it’s a plug-in hybrid, so it’s linked to an electric motor producing 27 PS, resulting in a total of 75 PS – which Volkswagen says is more than enough when the low kerb weight (795 kg) of the vehicle is taken into account.
There’s also a seven-speed DSG gearbox with an automatic clutch, and it’s rear-wheel drive. The electric motor can either work independently of the TDI engine or in tandem when accelerating. In pure electric mode the XL1 can travel up to 35 km before the diesel engine cuts in. Accelerating from rest to 62 mph can be achieved in 11.9 seconds; the electronically limited top speed is 99 mph. In both its styling and packaging the XL1 draws on lessons learned from the 1-Litre car (2002) and the L1 concept (2009).
The XL1 has evolved to feature staggered seating with the driver and passenger placed next to each other in a body structure made from advanced new materials providing immense strength yet weighing just 230 kg. To make such weight savings possible, and yet viable for series production, Volkswagen developed and patented a new system for the manufacture of the Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) parts on the car called the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process.
In total the XL1 weighs 795 kg. In addition to the body structure, the weight is accounted for by the drivetrain (227 kg), the running gear (153 kg), the interior including a pair of bucket seats (80 kg) and the electrical system (105 kg). In total just 23.2 per cent of the car (184 kg) is made out of either steel or iron.Further savings are made through the extensive use of lightweight materials including magnesium (wheels), ceramics (brake discs) and aluminium (dampers, steering system, brake calipers).The styling of the XL1 is borne out of functional requirements – easy access to the interior is granted via a pair of scissor doors that hinge on the A-pillar, while the profile of the car has been honed in the wind tunnel, the result being a very low coefficient of drag figure of 0.186. The XL1’s overall length (3,970 mm) and width (1,682 mm) are similar to those of a Volkswagen Polo yet its height (1,184 mm) is similar to that of a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.
Although the XL1 is still very much a concept, Volkswagen says its unveiling marks the next step towards the birth of a new class of Super Efficient Vehicles.
The new Volkswagen XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle has been unveiled at the Qatar Motor Show.
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