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The Green Apple Awards 2011 GreenFleet Award



Volkswagen confirms production of XL1 plug-in hybrid

When it was first revealed as a concept, the Volkswagen XL1 (pictured) looked like the stuff of fantasy: a super vehicle that was unlikely to ever see the light of day. However, now plans have been revealed for the car to enter limited production.

The remarkable XL1, which achieves 261mpg in US figures, will enter production at the Osnabruck factory in Germany and will be showcased at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Volkswagen XL1

It achieves its remarkable fuel economy by being capable of travelling up to 31miles in electric mode only; and also offering an incredible combination of low weight (795kg) with aerodynamics (0.189Cd). It is able to achieve a constant cruising speed of 61mph using just 6.2kW/8.3hp.

At its heart is a powertrain made up from a 0.8litre, two-cylinder diesel TDI engine, an e-motor, a lithium-ion battery and a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. The electric motor offers 140Nm of torque and works to boost the TDI engine. Together they deliver 140Nm and 51kW in boosting mode, helping the Volkswagen XL1 achieve a top speed of 99mph and race from 0-62mph in just 12.7seconds.

In addition, large parts of the vehicle are being produced from carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP): with the monocoque slightly offset for the driver and front passenger; and elements such as the anti-roll bars being made from CFRP.

This has helped to dramatically slash the vehicle’s weight: of its 795kg overall, 227kg comes from the drive unit including battery; 153kg for the running gear; 80kg for the equipment; and 150kg for the electrical system. This means just 230kg makes the entire weight of the XL1’s body. Indeed only 23.2 per cent of the Volkswagen XL1 makes use of steel and iron with the rest of the weight coming from a variety of polymers.

The latest version is actually the third stage of the one litre car strategy as Volkswagen looks to produce a car capable of achieving 100km with just one litre.

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Paul Lucas

Filed under: Latest News, Green Cars, Electric cars, Hybrid cars, Volkswagen

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