Volkswagen's XL1 said to be world's most economical car

Jan 28, 2011 by Lin Edwards report
The new Volkswagen XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle

(PhysOrg.com) -- Volkswagen has unveiled its new, prototype super-efficient hybrid vehicle, the XL1, at this week's Qatar motor show. The car has been under development for a decade and Volkswagen claims it is the most economical car in the world.

The XL1 has an 800 cc two-cylinder diesel engine and an electric motor. The lithium-ion battery can be charged by plugging it into a normal household electric outlet, but it is also charged during braking. The vehicle can travel up to 35 km (22 miles) in pure electric mode before the diesel engine kicks in.

The body is made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer parts (CFRP) to lower the weight and reduce drag. The body is manufactured by a Volkswagen patented method known as advanced Resin Transfer Moulding (aRTM).

The XL1 total weight is 795 kg, of which 227 kg is the drivetrain, 153 kg is running gear, 105 kg for the electrical system, and only 80 kg for the interior, including the two bucket seats. Only 23.2 percent of the is manufactured from steel or iron. Other materials used include CFRP, aluminum (steering system), magnesium (wheels), and ceramics (brake discs).

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The two-seater super-efficient vehicle (SEV) has been designed to be highly efficient, and all aspects of the design aim to reduce emissions and maximize economy. The company says the new design is much more practical than the earlier hybrids, the 1-liter car unveiled in 2002 and the L1 version of 2009, both of which had tandem seating, whereas the XL1 has traditional side-by-side seating. The new car also has wing doors for easy entry and exit.

Volkswagen says the XL1 hybrid consumes 0.9 liters per 100 km (313 mpg) and its are 24 g/km. It can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 11.9 seconds, and its top speed is electronically limited to 160 km/h (99 mph).

Volkswagen expects the car will be available in the UK and Germany at an "affordable price" in 2013.

Explore further: Novel capability enables first test of real turbine engine conditions

More information: www.volkswagen.co.uk/volkswage… ent-vehicle-in-qatar

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User comments : 22

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tarheelchief
5 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2011
VW has long led efforts toward efficient automobiles. Using the same New Beetle platform they already have the TDI which makes over 50 mpg cleanly and quietly.With time and effort they can get even more effective ethanol based diesel fuel to run the automobiles in Brazil and ultimately provide incentives to African and Asian nations which will need this product.Hopefully the same work done on land will be transferred to engines for the seas and rivers where much transport is needed.
Eikka
3.5 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2011
Right. How much more will it consume when put on actual roads in real road conditions?
soulman
3.3 / 5 (8) Jan 28, 2011
Nice figures, but it must be a bitch to change the rear tires!
Eikka
3.9 / 5 (8) Jan 28, 2011
Nice figures, but it must be a bitch to change the rear tires!


Or clear the snow and ice out of the wheel well when it eventually gets clogged with it.
baudrunner
3.3 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2011
313 mpg?!?! Probably, if you commute 23 miles a day and recharge it at night. This I gotta see!
MikeySays
1 / 5 (6) Jan 28, 2011
What is the obsession with covering the rear wheels? It looks ridiculous.
Glyndwr
5 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2011
Nice figures, but it must be a bitch to change the rear tires!


Or clear the snow and ice out of the wheel well when it eventually gets clogged with it.


Well the rear wheels are accessed by a lift up flap if you look at the car
that_guy
3.5 / 5 (4) Jan 28, 2011
313 mpg?!?! Probably, if you commute 23 miles a day and recharge it at night. This I gotta see!

Umm...try about 260 miles per gallon...Assuming you plug it in at night. I would like to know how much it gets after the charge is gone. 100 MPG? 80MPG?

Also, I'd like to point out that economical is not the right term. It needs to be more specific. The volt gets decent gas mileage, but at its price, it is far from economical. Judging by the fact that volvo isn't even suggesting a price range or target, that this car will not be economical either.
that_guy
3 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2011
not a bad looking car though for something that looks like it was inspired by the original prius. Honda should take note.
that_guy
4.1 / 5 (9) Jan 28, 2011
What is the obsession with covering the rear wheels? It looks ridiculous.


It reduces drag.
trekgeek1
2.7 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2011
What is the obsession with covering the rear wheels? It looks ridiculous.


It reduces drag.


They should have the option of removing the covers if you decide you want to sacrifice some efficiency for style.
jaggspb
3 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2011
What is the obsession with covering the rear wheels? It looks ridiculous.


It reduces drag.


They should have the option of removing the covers if you decide you want to sacrifice some efficiency for style.


not just for style - unless they think pot-holes don't exist.
El_Nose
4.5 / 5 (4) Jan 28, 2011
if you rear tire flaps actually hit the ground in a pothole - you got bigger issues -- cause you weren't gonna make it out of that pothole anyway....

And this is nothing new -- it's not a true production car - they will unviel the model that is based on this one for production in like two years and I would almost promise the numbers will be closer to normal as the tilt will be toward effecient proccesses of production that already exist -- the car will get heavier and the fuel consumption will increase and the overall milage will decrease --- all the big auto makers have a similiar vehicle that they know they can make - but could never sell because unless they got 20 million orders on day one it would just cost too much... this will end up being about economies of scale and consumer price point + government initiatives --

I checked around the web -- slashdot has a nice link on this article -- i'm not paying 29.5k USD for a two door hatchback car with 49 HP ... would you???
dinkster
not rated yet Jan 28, 2011
People have already tinkered with their Prius' and gotten them above 200+ mpg with less then 3k invested. I don't know why this is still just a concept car.
Daein
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2011
Looks cool but I bet this thing would be horrible in the snow.
robbor
not rated yet Jan 28, 2011
nice sound
Solarone
5 / 5 (1) Jan 29, 2011
For El Nose: I would spend that for a car with that performance (mileage AND acceleration). True, it looks different, but everything I see here seems functional. Like the original EV1 and Honda Insight, the value of this car is really to show what's possible. Awsome, VW!
Burnerjack
not rated yet Jan 29, 2011
Just to put things in perspective, without voiding the laws of physics, can anyone provide a realistic maximum mpg for a 1000kg vehicle running a hybrid gas or diesel powerplant?
Lord_jag
not rated yet Jan 29, 2011
Just to put things in perspective, without voiding the laws of physics, can anyone provide a realistic maximum mpg for a 1000kg vehicle running a hybrid gas or diesel powerplant?


That depends on how fast you accelerate, wind speed, top speed, humidity, air pressure, hills, road conditions, temperature etc.

It can't really be calculated easily. If you let me pick the parameters I could get a car going with pedal power. (really slow acceleration and very slow top speed on a perfectly level ground, using a lot of gears.)
unknownorgin
5 / 5 (1) Jan 29, 2011
Do not look for this car in the USA anytime soon because the EPA is antidiesel. The key to better feul economy is the diesel engine and this is why commercial trucks stopped using gasoiline engines decades ago. Other countries not crippled with overregulation will advance this technology while in america we will be stuck with yesterdays technology.
sculptor
1 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2011
I have a bad back... Sorry those seats look horrid and climbing in and out of such a low vechile is painfull.
tarheelchief
not rated yet Feb 01, 2011
It is important to notice how VW begins this experiment and who will use it most often. First,many parts of the world do not have snow.
Secondly, affordable means UK affordable,it does not apply to African affordable,Chinese affordable,Korean affordable,or Indian affordable.I doubt if you can maintain a price position when the present technology is available to every car company on the planet.To get is safely down the road you might sacrifice speed for a wider track and more clearance.It's application for the trucking industry may be the most important aspect of this research.The EPA is not hostile to diesel,the oil companies want to control the refining process and local North American communities refuse to consider any new refineries despite many fine locations in the Canadian maritime provinces,and numerous paper plants in the Southeast US.