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Volkswagen is moving towards limited production of the radical Volkswagen XL1
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2 mins read
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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newdevonian 30 March 2012

Re: Volkswagen XL1 spied testing

curious_insider wrote:
owners' manual could instruct that the spats should be removed when running winter tyres or in snow conditions.
What is the point of designing a streamlined car if you have to remove portions of the bodywork when it snows. It doesn't take much for snow to build up in the typical wheel arch. Let us consider the potential marketplace where it snows, starting with Norway, Sweden, Finland , Russia, China, The Baltic States, Ukraine and the rest of the old Russian states, Canada, Northern US, and lets not forget Poland, Germany, France, Northern Italy, Holland, Belgium and the UK. have I missed any out? Of course for the rest of the world market it is fine.

I repeat, snow never upset the Citroen DS.

curious_insider 30 March 2012

Re: Volkswagen XL1 spied testing

Maxycat wrote:
theonlydt wrote:
However the fairings on the first SAAB were also on the front wheels - these packed with snow driving in Swedish conditions, and essentially made it impossible to steer the front wheels.

Yes but the spats here are on the rear wheels which do not steer so no problems with spats and snow, just like the Citroen DS or Jaguar Mk2.

I'm guessing that sales to markets which have such extreme weather conditions are not at all on the priotity list, and it's entirely feasible that the owners' manual could instruct that the spats should be removed when running winter tyres or in snow conditions.

Maxycat 25 March 2012

Re: Volkswagen XL1 spied testing

petrolheadinrussia wrote:
Bottom line is : "Volkswagen claims a 22 mile range" which is pathetic and worse than the Volt/Ampera.

And the about to go on sale plug in Prius has a battery range of 10 to 15 miles.

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