First Drive: Volkswagen XL1 Concept

The diesel engine makes just 47 hp and the electric motor only 27 hp, so Volkswagen invested a significant amount of time reducing weight and minimizing aerodynamic drag. To cut down on frontal area, the passenger seat is staggered to sit slightly behind the driver's seat. This allows the car to be just 65.2 inches wide -- a bit smaller than a Volkswagen Polo -- yet not feel too cramped. The length is also similar to that of a subcompact car, but the 45.5-inch height is typically reserved for supercars. Thanks to the teardrop-like shape, Volkswagen is claiming the world's most aerodynamic shape with the slippery 0.186 drag coefficient. A Toyota Prius, for comparison, has a coefficient of drag of 0.25. The XL1's combination of a small frontal area and minimal drag means it takes just 8.3 hp to cruise at 62 mph. That's less than half the power required to move a Volkswagen Golf with a 1.6-liter diesel.

The weight watching was so methodical that some of the wiring is aluminum rather than copper to save a few ounces here and there and the wheels are magnesium to lower the rotational mass. Those little details are neat, but Volkswagen's real breakthrough is a carbon-fiber tub that will theoretically be cost effective for a production car. We doubt the production run will be huge, but even bringing a few thousand XL1s to market with this technology and construction would be an impressive feat. We were assured the car meets all safety regulations (at least in Europe) as it sits now. Though the passenger doesn't need an airbag because the seat sits too far away from the dash, we imagine potential customers would demand another airbag. Expect a slight increase from the 1753-pound curb weight when the car comes to production, but rest assured the engineers are sweating every ounce.

Mirac
This car looks great i cant wait to see him in live! but i must admit although oil supply is running dry we must be oriented to some others inexhaustible source of energy. we have knowledge and we have power to create something even more better here is one good example www.horsepower-auto-news.com/indians-working-on-the-car-powered-by-air
RKBell
261mpg? $60000? 12 sec 0-60?How about a car that gets 130mpg, that costs $30,000, and has sub 6 second 0-60? Just take this car and divide everything by half, let's work towards that.
timhood
Wow, the back end is seriously funky, but for 260+ MPG, I think I could get over that. The front is reasonably decent. It would have to have a small gas tank, though, or it may take forever to use it. It could actually go bad sitting in the tank!) :)
racerpgt
Looks like the 2nd Gen Ford Probe. In other words, I love it.

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price

subscribe

new cars

Read Related Articles

TO TOP