An article from MF Fuels
What is set to be the world’s most economical and aerodynamically efficient car, the Volkswagen XL1, will enter limited number production later this year, but for those who don’t get their hands on one, the vehicle’s automotive technology will be filtered down to other models in the VW family.
The XL1 is to utilise a two-cylinder diesel engine, that when coupled with an electric motor, will return an impressive 313mpg, whilst also releasing a mere 21g/km of CO2. It is this engine technology that is set to seep through to future cars.
Such vehicles will include hybrid versions of the Golf and Audi A3; the latter of which is due this year. The new A3 variant is expected to offer 30 miles on the 9kWh battery alone, and according to VW’s research and development chief Ulrich Hackenberg, it will be able to return between 177mpg and 188mpg.
The Golf hybrid, meanwhile, will be known as the Twin Drive and will come along just a month after the Audi. Due predominantly to the additional motor and batteries for the hybrid system, the Twin Drive will weigh considerably more by a projected 200kg. Substantial crash structure to protect the new tech in the chassis will also contribute to the hike in mass.
The XL1’s engine will be scaled up for the A3 and Golf hybrids, adding two-cylinders and be powered through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; the latter will help deal with the 300lb ft of torque that the battery’s electronic element will add. This makes the potential mileage all the more impressive when considering the almost orthodox nature of the larger power plant that will be used.
It is possible that the XL1’s scrapping of conventional wing mirrors could also become a staple of future car design; helping to make the body even more slippery to punch through air more effectively and efficiently. The mirrors are replaced with exterior cameras hooked up to screens within the interior and VW have the allowance to use such technology on production cars, despite the fact that such systems are generally not allowed due to German car laws.