Volkswagen XL1 Driven PistonHeads

22 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Volkswagen XL1 Driven PistonHeads отключены


Volkswagen XL1 Electric Cars

VOLKSWAGEN XL1: DRIVEN

Big enough for two cases of beer, apparently

With the throttle depressed further, the two-cylinder diesel instantaneously fires to boost performance. Producing just 47hp, it doesn’t suddenly sling the XL1 down the tarmac but, confined to the streets of central London, it proved more than sufficient and enjoyable fun. Combined torque is 103lb ft, making the XL1 seem faster than its 12.7-second 0-62mph time.

Whether this will be adequate on larger roads remains to be seen. Crucially though, being sat so low intensifies the sense of speed hugely. Later one of VW’s engineers mentions a production-spec XL1 hit 125mph (!) in testing; the top speed is limited to 100mph so that heavier, stronger components aren’t necessary.

The polycarbonate windows offer a fairly decent view out, augmented by rear-view cameras with displays in the doors. Whilst there’s an ever-present sense of vulnerability from sitting so low, it never feels unduly compromised.

London’s tourists given a new must-see

The low mass predictably dominates the driving experience, every control bristling with responsiveness. The brakes (280mm carbon-ceramic discs all round) are particularly noteworthy; despite working in conjunction with the regenerative facility of the batteries, they feel completely natural and progressive. The fact I was left-foot braking after just a few miles is the biggest indicator to their ease-of-use.

Volkswagen XL1 Electric Cars

The solitary gripe is that both pedals are slightly offset towards the cabin.

The carbon tub emits a few vibrations into the interior, and these are all the more evident with the car running on electricity predominantly. But that’s all part of the experience, a reminder of the lengths VW’s engineers have gone to in the pursuit of efficiency.

Perhaps the biggest compliment that can be paid to the XL1 is that it feels like a typical VW product. It could easily be used everyday like a Polo, such is its level of user-friendliness, whilst also offering a level of engineering intrigue unlike any other car. It asks for no unrealistic compromise in its quest for 313mpg (meaning over 600 miles from a full 10-litre tank!), which is arguably its greatest achievement.

As a finished product the XL1 is utterly beguiling. Like the Bugatti Veyron, it represents the reality of an enduring desire from Ferdinand Piech to create a landmark car, a milestone to be remembered even if it can’t be experienced by the majority. The price (still unconfirmed) of the first XL1s is likely to guarantee it remains exclusive, but the future applications of its technology promise to be very exciting indeed.

Volkswagen XL1 Electric Cars
Volkswagen XL1 Electric Cars
Volkswagen XL1 Electric Cars
Volkswagen XL1 Electric Cars
Volkswagen XL1 Electric Cars
Volkswagen XL1 Electric Cars
Volkswagen XL1 Electric Cars

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