Volkswagen XL1 Concept gets green light for production

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 26, 2011

As you may know already, Volkswagen unveiled the XL1 Concept yesterday and it appears that the German manufacturer is getting very serious with it as it is planning to produce the car within two tears. According to VW CEO Martin Winterkorn, the car will be produced in very limited edition of just 100 units. Although the CEO declined to day a possible price for the XL1, he did confirm that the car will certainly be for sale.

For those who don’t know, the XL1 is powered by a plug-in hybrid system - consisting of a two cylinder TDI engine (35 kW / 48 PS), E-motor (20 kW / 27 PS), 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DSG) and lithium-ion battery.

Moreover, the XL1 has a coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0.186, and it can deliver a fuel consumption of 0.9 l/100 km and emits 24 g/km CO2.

"We want to go into series production with this car starting in 2013," said VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech. "We will bring out the XL1 in Europe first, initially Germany. The U.S. and China will follow at a later date," he said. The car can also be driven for up to 35 kilometres in pure electric mode, and the battery can be charged from any conventional household electric outlet or when the vehicle is driven.

As it is, the new VW XL1 concept is as long and wide as a VW Polo, and is as low as a Lamborghini. In fact the dimensions of the VW XL1 -- 3,888 mm x 1,665 mm x 1,156 mm (length x width x height) – make it barely as long and wide but much lower than a VW Polo (3,970 mm in length, 1,682 mm in width and 1,462 mm in height).

However, its height is similar to that of the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder at 1,184 mm. While the new XL1 features the styling lines of the L1 unveiled in 2009, the newer concept comes with more dynamic looks because of its wider stance.

At the front, the new VW XL1 Concept is at its widest, narrowing towards the rear. This provides the XL1 with a dolphin-like form, which is pretty obvious when viewed from above. Its lines at the rear conform to the air flow over the body, thereby reducing its aerodynamic drag.

Its roofline also reflects styling lines tracing an arc from the A-pillar to the rear. To prevent air turbulence, VW fully covered the rear wheels of the XL1, with small spoilers in front of and behind the wheels optimizing air flows.

Moreover, VW has replaced the concept’s door mirrors with small cameras mounted on its wing doors. These cameras transmit images of the surroundings behind the car to two displays inside the cabin.

Meanwhile, the front end of the new XL1 Concept does not feature the typical radiator grille anymore but dons the styling of the current Volkswagen "design DNA," particularly with a prevalence of horizontal lines.

The area where the radiator grille used to be before is now dominated by a black cross-stripe that combines with the LED headlights to form a continuous band. Actual air intake is now placed in the lower front end section and now comes with electrically controlled louvres.

Furthermore, the new XL1 features narrow LED turn indicators forming an "L" shape -- vertically following the wheel housing and horizontally below the headlights. All of these result to a front end that can be instantly recognized as a Volkswagen.

Another design highlight of the new XL1 are its wing doors, just like that of high-end sports cars. These wing doors are hinged low on the A-pillars and above the windscreen in the roof frame. This setup allows the wing doors to swivel both upwards and slightly forwards. Moreover, the doors extend into the roof. Once opened, these doors allow for a considerably bigger entry and exit space.

Topics: vw, production

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