The Volkswagen XL1 concept actually made it’s debut at the 2011 Qatar Auto Show. But don’t think this is old news just yet. First let me explain what this car is.
The goal for the concept was, through low weight, low coefficient of drag, and an efficient engine, to deliver the equivalent of 235mpg (1-liter/100-km). What they managed to achieve is nothing less than monumental, 261 miles per gallon. Yes, you read that correctly.
So how did they do it? Weight savings came by way of carbon fiber use throughout the chassis, and some exterior body parts. They even saved weight by using aluminum in the wiring instead of copper. They used real magnesium wheels, the type used in racing. The result is a vehicle that weighs in at 1735lbs. Then there’s the coefficient of drag, reduced to an astounding 0.186!
So how about the drivetrain you ask? Well they didn’t stop at weight savings and CD, I answer. They take their 1.6 liter diesel (the TDI) and chopped it in half. Yes, 0.8 liter two cylinder diesel making 48hp. They mate that to a 20kW motor, lithium-ion battery pack and a 7 speed dual clutch automatic. The result is a hybrid with a claimed 0-62 of 11.9 seconds (not bad, all things considered).
So that’s the concept from 2011, now for the news. They are building it, and testing it right now in fact. There have been some minor changes, to accommodate a production ready/road worthy vehicle. It will deliver 235mpg, but performance will drop from the concept. Top speed is rumored to be limited to less than 75mph, which on it’s own may not be a deal killer for the average commuter. But the bigger news is the rumor that the production ready vehicle would deliver a 0-50 time of around 32 seconds. That is not a misprint. Again, we are in rumor mode, and they are still testing the car, so anything could happen.
The good news from the rumor bin, the cool gull wing doors will make it to production.
Spy photos: Credit – Brenda Priddy and Company