Volkswagen is moving towards limited production of the radical Volkswagen XL1
23 March 2012

Volkswagen is moving towards limited production of the radical Volkswagen XL1, with undisguised prototypes of the futuristically styled plug-in diesel-electric hybrid caught undergoing cold weather durability tests in Sweden.

Although no time frame has been officially announced for the introduction of the new car, Wolfsburg insiders hint it will be produced in numbers not exceeding 1000 units with pricing that is set to reflect its hi-tech construction and mechanical package. Right-hand drive is unlikely given the low volume.

Revealed in concept car form at the 2011 Qatar motor show, the teardrop shaped XL1 has been conceived to offer world beating fuel economy in a package suitable for both short hop city driving and longer highway jaunts.

Official figures put the 795kg two seat coupe’s combined consumption at 313mpg and CO2 emissions at 24g/km on the European test cycle – achieved primarily in pure electric mode alone, at which Volkswagen claims a 22 mile range.

These pictures, the first of the XL1 in prototype guise, reveal the upcoming production version will differ little from the earlier concept in the looks department. The only obvious changes are the adoption of conventional exterior mirrors and a lack of the concept’s car’s rear wheel spats used to smooth the flow of air around the rear of the flanks, although the latter can’t be ruled out for the production version.

The exterior, credited to Thomas Ingelath who now heads up design at Volvo, was conceived to offer the lowest possible drag co-efficient in combination with a staggered side-by-side two seat interior layout – as opposed to Volkswagen’s earlier L1 concept, which featured a wind cheating tandem two seat set-up.

At 0.186, the XL1’s Cd is significantly lower than any existing road car, thanks in part to its specially produced, ultra narrow profile tyres - 115/80 profile on 15 inch wheels up front and and 145/55 profile on the 16 inch wheels at the rear.

Power for the concept car comes from a compact rear-mid mounted 800cc two-cylinder common rail diesel engine producing 47bhp and electric motor delivering 26bhp – all of which is channeled through seven-speed DSG gearbox to the rear wheels. Official figures put the XL1’s 0-62mph time at 11.9sec and top speed at 99mph.

Whether this particular drivetrain will be retained for the production version of the XL1 remains unclear.

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Comments
21

23 March 2012

There is no sign of price so it can be assumed it won't be cheap hence the limited edition to match limited appeal.

23 March 2012

Shades of a Tatra! I'd sack the engineer who calculated the width of the rear track.

23 March 2012

[quote Autocar]coupe’s combined consumption at 313mpg and CO2 emissions at 24g/km on the European test cycle – achieved primarily in pure electric mode alone, at which Volkswagen claims a 22 mile range.[/quote] Am I missing something here?
22 mile range but consumption is 313mpg...

23 March 2012

[quote Autocar]achieved primarily in pure electric mode alone, at which Volkswagen claims a 22 mile range. [/quote] This alone is misleading, and another reason why the official testing needs an overhaul to reflect the true averages a car can produce. [quote newdevonian]Shades of a Tatra! I'd sack the engineer who calculated the width of the rear track.[/quote] I assume that it is narrower because there will be the covers over them, to reduce drag, when it hits production.

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

23 March 2012

[quote WooDz]Am I missing something here?
22 mile range but consumption is 313mpg...[/quote]A magazine claiming some independence needs badly to find a new way to express this kind of thing, one which readers will understand and find meaningful, rather than just parroting the official handouts which in this regard are grossly - if not grotesquely - misleading.

23 March 2012

[quote newdevonian]I'd sack the engineer who calculated the width of the rear track[/quote]

I know what you mean but it is only a prototype, and it's probably on winter tyres..


23 March 2012

[quote bomb]it's probably on winter tyres..[/quote] I am not a fan of big rims for big rims sake, but the castors on my sofa are bigger than that, and better positioned!

23 March 2012

Its amazing a company as conservative and boring as VW can do this. It looks good, and will look better still with its rear spats on.

Its a shame it will have the daft Euro fuel consumption and CO2 figures because it will be genuinely economical even if it cant get close to the official figures.

This is the first diesel automatic i have ever seen i want to have a go in.

23 March 2012

[quote artill]Its a shame it will have the daft Euro fuel consumption and CO2 figures[/quote]It's not a shame, it's worse than that; and the figures aren't daft so much as misleading to the point where they are fraudulent.

23 March 2012

[quote thebaldgit]

There is no sign of price so it can be assumed it won't be cheap hence the limited edition to match limited appeal.

[/quote] Looks like a mini Audi R8.

Peter Cavellini.

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