Volkswagen XL1 in America

30 May 2011

The Volkswagen XL1 prototype has its US premiere on May 23rd on the occasion of the announcement of a partnership with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Future mobility is one of the most stimulating topics of our time. The key question here: Just how much could the energy consumption of cars be reduced if all the stops were pulled out for efficiency? Since January 2011, there is an answer to this question, and Volkswagen is delivering it in the form of the new XL1. Combined fuel consumption: 0.9 l/100 km (261 mpg).

Conceptually, the XL1 represents the third evolutionary stage of Volkswagen’s 1-liter car strategy. When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, who is today Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, formulated the visionary goal of bringing to the market a production car that was practical for everyday use with a fuel consumption of 1.0 liter per 100 km. In the new XL1, Volkswagen is demonstrating that this goal is now within reach.

The new Volkswagen XL1 attains a CO2 emissions value of 24 g/km, thanks to a combination of lightweight construction (monocoque and add-on parts made of carbon fiber), very low aerodynamic drag (Cd 0.19) and a plug-in hybrid system – consisting of a two cylinder TDI engine (47 hp / 89 lb-ft torque), electric motor (27 hp / 74 lb-ft torque), 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DSG) and lithium-ion battery.

The results: with fuel consumption of 0.9 l/100 km (261 mpg), the new Volkswagen XL1 only emits 24 g/km CO2. Since it is designed as a plug-in hybrid, the XL1 prototype can also be driven for up to 35 kilometers (22 miles) in pure electric mode, i.e. with zero emissions at point of use. The battery can be charged from a conventional household electric outlet. Naturally, battery regeneration is also employed to recover energy while slowing down and storing as much power as possible for re-use. In this case, the electric motor acts as an electric generator.

Despite the very high levels of efficiency, developers were able to design a body layout that offers greater everyday practicality, incorporating side-by-side seating rather than the tandem arrangement seen in both the first 1-liter car presented in 2002 and the L1 presented in 2009. In the new XL1, wing doors make it easier to enter and exit the car. Further progress has been made by manufacturing body parts from carbon fiber reinforced polymer parts (CFRP), a technique used in Formula 1 car construction. Once again, Volkswagen has successfully achieved significant reductions in production costs– an important step forward to make a limited production run of the XL1 viable. Background: together with suppliers, Volkswagen has developed and patented a new system for CFRP production in what is known as the aRTM process (advanced Resin Transfer Molding).

XL1 Technical Data

CFR monocoque and add-on parts

Length / width / height: 3,888 mm (153 in.) / 1,665 mm (65.6 in.) / 1,156 mm (45.5 in.)

Wheelbase: 2,224 mm (87.6 in.)

Drive System Type: Plug-in hybrid, rear wheel drive

Internal combustion engine: TDI, two cylinder, 800 ccm3, 35 kW / 48 PS, 120 Nm (47 hp, 89 lb-ft torque)

Electric motor: 20 kW / 27 PS, 100 Nm (27 hp, 74 lb-ft torque)

Gearbox: 7-speed DSG

Battery: Lithium-ion

Emissions class: Euro 6

Weight data, Curb Weight: 795 kg (1,753 lb)

Performance / Fuel Economy, V/max 160 km/h (99 mph) (electronically limited)

0-100 km/h 11.9 s

Fuel consump. (Ø NEDC) 0.9 l/100 km (261 mpg)

CO2 emissions ((Ø NEDC) 24 g/km

Range: E-drive 35 km (22 miles)

Range: TDI + E-drive approx. 550 km / 10 liter fuel tank (341 miles / 2.6 gallons)

Claudia Tallone