Volkswagen XL1 Test Drive MPGs in the One Liter Car Popular Mechanics

6 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Volkswagen XL1 Test Drive MPGs in the One Liter Car Popular Mechanics отключены
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Volkswagen XL1 Test Drive: 1 235 Miles

Volkswagen builds a super-eco-car that’s slower a Jetta diesel but more five times more What’s more, VW says it put it on sale in two years’ time.

31, 2011 6:30 AM Text A. A. A

Doha, Qatar For over a VW’s been working on an holy grail the 1-liter It’s a vehicle that can 100 kilometers (62 miles) using 1 liter of fuel (0.26 This comes out to an astonishing 235 A prototype first saw the light of day in a 640-pound tandem two-seater with a spectacularly noisy 8.4-hp single-cylinder diesel gave a top speed of 74.6 a 0-to-50 mph time of 32 seconds and consumption in the 220-mpg range. yes, but too impractical for daily

Even VW’s then Dr. Ferdinand Pi ch, who drove the prototype his office in Wolfsburg, Germany to the VW meeting in Hamburg, recording mpg (U.S.) at an average speed of mph, said, We will build a 1-liter car.

But continued, because, as Piech We could gain the knowledge to a 2-liter car. Before the prototype was retired to the company’s in Wolfsburg, I had a chance to drive it. The was enthralling and offered a glimpse of a where supercars are no longer heavy V8 leviathans, but instead are gossamer creations capable of coaxed for miles on a thimbleful of

There was even an ethereal of operation called sailing, the motor stopped and the exceptional and high-pressure tires allowed the car to silently for miles.

Then, at the Frankfurt Show, we saw the second the L1. This car retained the tandem but used an electric-hybrid powertrain a two-cylinder diesel engine. It was with a 100-mph top speed and of 157 mpg.

Dr. Pi ch’s dream was to become a reality. And this week, at the Qatar auto VW revealed its third version, the

The Specs

The XL1’s most departure from the L1 is its side-by-side The switch came about VW didn’t think customers accept the tandem arrangement. side-by-side seats increase the and drag of the car, front-to-rear to that effect. With a area of 16.15 square and a drag coefficient of 0.186, the XL1 is one of the cars in the world.

It’s a that the tandem seats gone, though, as they make the XL1’s antecedents so and slightly bonkers, harking to Buckminster Fuller’s 1933 car or Fritz Fend’s 1958 Tiger.

The plug-in hybrid however, is as modern as the hour. The is a 507-pound carbon-fiber monocoque dramatic front-hinged scissor that’s nearly 13 feet 4 feet tall and roughly 5 1/2 wide. It’s a streamlined that appears to have carefully sculpted by artists. But de’Silva, head of VW’s Group, says, The car came out of the tunnel like that.

Even so, the felt-tip fairies over two years nibbling at the XL1’s details to improve the it was incredibly intensive, says

In the last decade, the VW Group has working on ways to make bodies reliably and economically. method, known as advanced transfer molding, allows the fibers to be aligned in the direction of the before they are shaped and with resin and formed in the With Austrian specialists Tech Composites, VW is using a construction method for the forthcoming Aventador supercar, but the carbon-fiber is still some 80 to 100 times expensive than one made conventional stamped-steel panels. Dr.

Ludanek, VW’s head of engineering, says, To do this car in would have resulted in a 20 increase in weight, but it would been 40 times less

Driving the rear wheels is half a 1.6-liter TDI turbodiesel It’s an all-aluminium unit, plasma-sprayed bores instead of liners. Displacing 0.8 liter, it 47 hp and 88.5 lb-ft of torque. A 74 lb-ft electric motor is between the engine and a seven-speed transmission. A 5-kwh lithium-ion pack lives in the rear the powertrain.

In normal hybrid operation, XL1 in electric mode and stays the driver floors the throttle, exceed 62 mph, or the battery is below 20 percent of maximum There’s an EV-only mode, in the car remains on electric power the battery has just 10 percent of its (typically about 22 miles), the motor starts to charge it and the wheels. Recharge time 240 volts is just over an The XL1’s top speed is limited to 99 and it can accelerate to 62 mph in 11.9 seconds.

economy is tricky to determine fuel use is supplemented by electrons, but on the (Europe’s version of the EPA) cycle, the XL1 returned 261.4, should provide a 340-mile from the paltry 1.8-gallon tank.

The Drive

Climb the carbon-trimmed sills and the cabin is roomy. With the staggered but seats, there’s a pleasing but not intimacy. That interior is the designers had the most influence, and it

We wanted it to be recognizable as a VW, but also to how it’s unique, says designer Andrew Hart-Barron. The is a pleasing mixture of VW Group with a splendid piano-black duct that runs the dash. It’s classy, and no other car.

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The passenger is fixed, but the driver’s moves and aft, and the backrest tilts. The wheel also adjusts for The very tallest might the roof encroaching on their but I’m six feet tall and had to spare. The only criticism be the lack of space to rest my and redundant clutch foot.

As with all scissor doors, it a firm pull to get this one up and and without conventional door the XL1 displays television images of going on behind you on door-mounted They’re strange, but you quickly get to them.

All around are weight- and innovations: Light-emitting diode are used for even the headlights, and wiring with tiny fuses runs through the Movable louvers in front of the and a flat underbelly reduce

One push of the starter gets the fired up, and after a five-second another push prepares for which is signified by a green RDY appearing on the dash. A well-sprung pedal inhibits speedy so the driveline remains in electrical at first, but you immediately notice the and superbly weighted steering, allows you to place the car accurately the turns. Unassisted calipers ceramic brake rotors a firm push from the pedal to activate, but are linear in

The argument still rages at as to whether the brakes should an electrical booster, which add weight and complication but lighten the pressures.

On electrical power, the 1795-pound VW zesty but hardly quick. the throttle harder and the parallel-twin fires up with a thump the driveline and a mechanical whir the back. Refinement is only and that needs work production. The ride is reasonably on the special narrow Michelin but over potholes or low expansion you feel the unbending stiffness of the shell.

With all guns and both propulsion units the urge, the XL1 is pleasingly brisk, and the fat of electrical torque wafts it between 40 and 60 mph. Road is quite audible, though, and combined with the whirring and engine, the interior cacophony is unacceptable. You can also hear the fans mounted in the dorsal fin the engine bay.

On my short around Doha, it was difficult to get a gauge of the handling, but the center of is low, so it’s reasonably If there’s one thing the XL1 has lost to its predecessor, it’s that easy-gliding nature. Blame the powertrain, which adds a amount of heft.

The Bottom

The XL1 is a genuine Volkswagen, which come into small production in 2013, says Martin Winterkorn, VW chairman. His Dr. Pi ch, says it should be built in numbers and affordable. Let’s between the lines here. its advanced resin transfer system, VW can make an absolute of 24 carbon-fiber bodies a day and would to take a financial loss on one to make the car affordable.

Most likely, the German will build a couple XL1s and use the car’s powertrain for fuel-economy specials. How much the XL1 cost? No one from VW would but I’d guess a ceiling of in the U.K. where a fully Golf GTI costs about

Do you want one? You bet you do. The XL1 is a new breed of one that is every bit as extravagant, beautiful and exotic as a Lamborghini or a but that points to a new kind of where we understand that resources are finite and precious, and a new style of driving where we try to them.

Volkswagen e-Golf Electric Cars
Volkswagen e-Golf Electric Cars
Volkswagen e-Golf Electric Cars
Volkswagen e-Golf Electric Cars

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