In a recent interview with Autoblog Green, Volkswagen announced that its most fuel-efficient car, the XL1 will be available only as a lease. The German manufacturer plans to produce 50 cars and if there is demand it will build additional units. For those who don’t know, the Volkswagen XL1 is powered by a 800cc TDI engine delivering 48 hp (35 kW), but also carries an electric motor with 27 hp (20 kW).
The diesel engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG), while the energy developed by the electric motor is stored in the lithium-ion battery. According to the official data, the XL1 hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 12.7 seconds and has a top speed of 160 km/h or 100 mph.
Thanks to the hybrid system the XL1 has a fuel consumption of just 0.9 liters of fuel per 100 km and is able to cruise on the road at a constant speed of just 100 km/h using just 6.2 kW of 8.4 hp. In the all-electric mode, the XL1 needs less than 0.1 kW to cover a driving distance of 1 km.
Volkswagen says that the XL1 has a weight of 795 kg, perfect aerodynamics (Cd 0.189) and a low centre of gravity as it is only 1.153 mm high. In the electric mode, the XL1 has a maximum range of 50 km, which means it can be used also as an electric car only for short distances.
When looking at the new Volkswagen XL1 Concept in terms of visuals, it becomes apparent that the styling lines it uses are the same ones first seen on the L1, which was revealed back in 2009. The main difference however is that since this prototype shows greater width, the appearance is now more dynamic. Indeed, the front does reveal that the width has been enlarged though it shows as well that it eventually narrows once it reaches the rear section.
In fact, the way the while body was designed was to make sure that everything was aerodynamic. Looking at the top, one can get the impression that the shape is much like that of a dolphin, especially if one focuses on the rear section. This is where the lines are able to match optimally with how the air flows above the body and thus lowering the aerodynamic drag.
On the front section, one is likely to notice that the usual radiator grille one would expect from a VW model is no longer present. Given how this end is dominated with horizontal lines though, there is no doubt that the style is in line with the present design language of the brand. Further, in the area where the grille should be, there is now black cross-stripe, which when combined with the dual LED energy efficient headlights, results in a continuous band. Still in the front section, it is here that the air intake can be found, specifically on the lower section of the front end.
This is the air intake that is tasked of ensuring that the battery, TDI engine, and even the interior, are cooled and for the XL1 Concept to come with louvres that are controlled electronically. Further, the narrow turn indicators were developed with LED technology in mind. These indicators form an “L-shape” and are able to follow horizontally the line under the headlights and vertically for the wheel housing. All of these combined reveal that the front section has dimensions that are clearly extreme and redesigned.
Still, by including the clean lines, it remains to be easily recognizable as a Volkswagen design. Going to the side profile, the roofline of the XL1 Concept has styling lines which begin from the A-pillar going all the way to the rear. Volkswagen made sure that the wheels in the rear are fully covered so that any air turbulence is prevented. Further, the air that flows on the sides is optimized through the use of small spoilers positioned in front of and at the back of the wheels.
One significant change is that there are no more door mirrors. Instead there are small cameras placed on the wing doors. These same cameras function as outside mirrors, albeit in a digital manner as it gets the images of the surroundings at the back of the vehicle and then transmits it to a pair of displays on the inside.