While the limited edition and pricey Volkswagen XL1 is beyond the means of most of us, there is good news from the Tokyo Motor Show today, as its maker reveals the Twin-Up! concept, using the same drivetrain technology.
The new plug-in hybrid uses a version of the 0.8 litre turbodiesel engine, 27kW electric motor and seven-speed DSG gearbox found in the XL1 to deliver outstanding fuel economy of up to 256.8mpg.
Using a slightly beefier battery pack at 8.6KWh compared to 5.5kWh in the XL1, Volkswagen has managed to cram both the 12v battery pack and 33 litre fuel tank between the rear seats and the boot.
Able to drive on electric power alone for up to 31 miles, at speeds of up to 77mph, the electric motors on their own can deliver acceleration from zero to 37mph in 8.8 seconds. For a more punchy response, using the diesel and electric motors together, the car can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 15.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 87 mph. Combined torque peaks at 215 Nm.
To convert the newly-launched up! city car to accommodate a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, Volkswagen needed to make only a minor modification, lengthening the front overhang by 3cm.
The electric motor recoups braking energy to boost the efficiency of the car even further, allowing the model to emit just 27g/km CO2.
While the XL1 enters limited production, Volkswagen is exploring ways to make use of the lightweight and extremely efficient technology which powers the two-seat sports car. With carbon fibre reinforced body panels, this car weighs just 795kg and delivers fuel economy of more than 100km per litre of fuel.
The Twin-Up! might be made from old fashioned steel but it too achieves amazing fuel economy for a four-seat city car, just slightly thirstier the XL1, using 1.1 litre per 100km of driving.
It’s not known yet, if the Twin-Up! will make it into production but Volkswagen already has plans for other plug-in hybrids including Golf plug-in hybrid and Audi A3 e-tron which will launch next year.
A fully electric version of the Up! –called the E-Up!-is due to launch next year alongside the e-Golf, a fully electric version of the popular Golf hatchback.
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