- This is how the one-liter car from Volkswagen drives
- Much, much narrower a polo
- Half a ton lighter than the Golf
- In the cycle it consumes only 0.83 liters
- Experiences are implemented in mass production
- Drive 500 kilometers and fill up for just under 15 euros
This is how the one-liter car from Volkswagen drives
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So far there have only been photos of the new XL1 wonder car from Volkswagen. Now “Welt” author Thomas Geiger was able to drive the car for the first time and see for himself how economical it is.
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In the previous model, the two passengers were still sitting one behind the other, in the XL1, however, they were sitting (almost) next to each other. The two seats are offset by just under 30 centimeters.
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The XL1 looks very small from the outside, but inside it offers a little more space than expected. You can sit comfortably on the skinny carbon bowls (each weighs only eleven kilos)…uem.
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The car is an eye catcher. No matter where the XL1 shows up, it will grab people’s attention.
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While the XL1 whirred through the city purely electrically and with confidence, the plug-in hybrid has a little more trouble at higher speeds and is no longer too good…overhear. Each additional layer of insulation would have meant more weight.
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The XL1 weighs just 795 kilograms. This was achieved through lightweight construction with carbon fiber, …
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… the drive is done by a combination of diesel and electric motor. The XL1 is a plug-in hybrid that can be charged at the socket.
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The XL1 needs exactly 12.7 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km / h.
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VW attests one liter of consumption to the XL. During our first test drive, this requirement could not be fully achieved.
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After almost 100 kilometers around Lake Lucerne, 1.6 liters were on the on-board computer.
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In order to save Volkswagen‘s honor, however, it has to be said that two handsome men sat in the car during this test drive. And in the end there is still a good 30 percent electricity in the tank.
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During the journey you could see the power flows on the display.
The vision is reality: the VW XL1 drives – and after a few minutes you can almost forget how much high-tech you need to make less than a liter of diesel enough for 100 kilometers.
D.he UFO has landed – at least that’s how you feel when you start your first test drive in the VW XL1. Not only because the Wolfsburg economy miracle with its plug-in hybrid drives from the yard electrically and therefore noiselessly and you experience city traffic like Captain Future in the Time Capsule. Especially because the other drivers stare at you in the silver flounder as if you actually came from another planet.
Suddenly nobody looks at the Ferrari FF in the hotel driveway, the luxury limousine of the chauffeur service becomes a minor matter. And wherever you look you stare into the lens of a cell phone camera: they all want to see the car with which VW patriarch Ferdinand Piëch now keeps his promise after more than ten years and proves that you are with less than one Liter of diesel can travel more than 100 kilometers.
However, just looking is not enough to discover the fascination for the flounder. Because it really only comes when driving: Development engineer Steven Volckaert looks over the shoulder of the driver at the on-board computer with a thieving pleasure: the XL1 is already 20 kilometers on the road and has still not used a drop of fuel.
Nevertheless, it drives quickly through the city, is handy and agile and hums easily in the heavy traffic on the country road. When the diesel spoke up at the kickdown to overtake with a long-forgotten nail in the neck, the car continued to drive on the back burner.
Much, much narrower a polo
On the brisk country trip, where both motors work with combined power again and again like in a normal hybrid, the e-machine occasionally becomes a generator when braking and charges the battery, the current consumption is rarely more than three liters. And the mean value never climbs above two liters, even after more than an hour and more than 60 kilometers.
On the contrary: 1.8, 1.6 and occasionally even 1.4 liters are on the display and elicit a satisfied laugh from the companion from corporate research. "For a drive in practice instead of on the test bench, that’s a respectable result."
The Lower Saxony have pulled out all the stops for this. It starts with air resistance. It is true that you no longer sit one behind the other as with the first prototype from 2002, but are now slightly offset next to each other and therefore surprisingly spacious even in the smallest of spaces. But the XL1 is much, much narrower than a Polo.
Because it is also flatter than any Porsche, it is almost lost on the streets. So that you can get in at all, the Lower Saxony have constructed spectacular double doors that protrude far into the roof and actually enable comfortable boarding.
Half a ton lighter than the Golf
Wide at the front, narrow at the back and unusually flat, that’s the aerodynamically optimal shape. Because the body is also as smooth as a baby’s bottom, the rear wheels are covered in addition to the underbody and even the exterior mirrors have been replaced by cameras, the XL1 has a drag coefficient of 0.189, making it the world champion in the wind tunnel.
For the sleek design between the teardrop shape and the shark silhouette, there is a lightweight construction in which every gram was fought for: the body is completely baked from carbon, the windows are made of polycarbonate for the first time, the bucket seats only weigh and are half as much nevertheless more comfortable than in any racing car.
The interior paneling is made of feather-light wood fibers and VW has even produced many chassis parts from carbon fiber instead of aluminum or magnesium. It’s worth the effort: At 795 kilograms, the XL1 ultimately weighs half a ton less than a VW Golf.
In the end, however, all of this is of little use if the engine is too thirsty. That is why the team around Development Director Ulrich Hackenberg has developed the Group’s most efficient drive to date for the XL1: a diesel plug-in hybrid that charges from the socket and, with its 27 hp electric motor, is surprisingly quick electric for the first 50 kilometers can drive – if need be, even at speeds of up to 120 km / h.
In the cycle it consumes only 0.83 liters
Only when the battery is running low – or when the driver is in a bit of a hurry – does the two-cylinder switch on, which generates 48 hp from a meager 0.8 liter displacement. The diesel nails loud and audible and literally sits on the driver’s neck.
But as a team, both engines achieve 69 hp and 140 Nm, which enable driving performance that is absolutely suitable for everyday use: The XL1 accelerates to 100 km / h in 12.7 seconds and reaches a solid 160 km / h. In a VW Up you are hardly on the go faster, but you need more than twice as much fuel.
Hackenberg is demonstrating how economical the drive alone is with another eco-project: As early as next year, he plans to install the plug-in hybrid from the XL1 in an Up that has only been optimized using conventional means, analogous to the Blue Motion models, and is counting on this a "low one-point" for the standard consumption.
The 0.9 liters that VW shows in the approval of the XL1 are not even the whole truth, says Hackenberg: "In fact, the XL1 consumes only 0.83 liters in the cycle." But because the authorities only post one point provide for the comma, VW must round up a value.
"But maybe the bureaucracy should slowly follow the technicians when we suddenly move in such small dimensions," Hackenberg appeals to the officials. 0.83 instead of 0.9 – that’s almost ten percent less.
Experiences are implemented in mass production
There is still no definitive statement as to how many XL1s should be built beyond the first small series of 50 vehicles. And the Lower Saxony persistently remain silent about the purchase price or the leasing rate. But at least with the technology of the XL1, they still have big plans.
"That is the blueprint for the plug-in hybrid in the modular transverse toolkit," says Hackenberg. Even if the electric motor there has more power and is first coupled with a four-cylinder petrol engine instead of a two-cylinder diesel, the experience of the XL1 makes the economy models for the Golf class possible: "Here we learned what we are doing there be able to implement large-scale production. "
The test drive with the XL1 has now lasted over two hours and the unusual shape has almost been forgotten. You have got used to the idiosyncratic engine noise as well as to the steering without power assistance and the view from the Porsche perspective and slowly the car hardly feels any more than a Jetta Hybrid.
Drive 500 kilometers and fill up for just under 15 euros
So that you don’t forget what kind of special vehicle you are driving, you have to keep looking at the on-board computer, which at the end of the test drive leveled off at 1.6 liters. Without running the battery completely empty. "With a remaining range of more than 30 kilometers, that would have been enough for a total of 1.2 or 1.3 liters," says developer Volckaert. He seems satisfied.
At the end of the test drive, however, the engineer is even more looking forward to a visit to the petrol station than looking at the on-board computer. What makes normal drivers blush with anger at times elicits little more than a smile: "Drive 500 kilometers and then fill up for less than 15 euros – the work on the XL1 was worth it for that alone."
The trip to the test drive with the XL1 was supported by Volkswagen. You can find our standards of transparency and journalistic independence at www.axelspringer.de/unabhaengigkeit
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