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Posts Tagged ‘Volkswagen XL1’

Citroen Show Car to Deliver 141 MPG

Nothing prickly about the Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L.

by on Sep.19, 2014

The Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L is as large as a Ford Focus but lighter than a Mazda Miata.

It’s as big as a Ford Focus, lighter than a Mazda Miata, and can cut through the air nearly as efficiently as a jet. But what’s likely to stand out most about the new Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow concept is its fuel economy, an estimated 141 miles per gallon.

While that’s not quite up there with the 261 mpg Volkswagen XL1, or even the new 235 mpg Renault Eolab prototype, the new Citroen appears to be perhaps the most practical of the three models – though it remains to be seen if the French maker can actually bring the Cactus Airflow to production.

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Set to debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, the full name of the new concept vehicle is the Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L – the little fillip at the end is arguably the most significant detail, as it positions the latest Cactus concept as a so-called two-liter car. In other words, it burns that much fuel to go 100 kilometers. For metrically challenged Americans, think of going more than 70 miles on barely a half gallon of gas.

To get there isn’t easy, of course – at least not for Citroen designers and engineers.


Renault Eolab Concept Delivers 235 mpg in Style

Prototype opts for lightweight materials, advanced aero and new hybrid technologies.

by on Sep.18, 2014

The Renault Eolab sips barely 1 liter of fuel every 100 km, and gets 37 miles per charge.

When Volkswagen announced plans to go into production with its 261 mile per gallon XL1 it seemed unlikely any manufacturer would be able to top it. Perhaps, but Renault is ready to come close with the new three-door Eolab concept vehicle it plans to unveil at the Paris Motor Show next month.

The French hatchback will only be able to manage a mere 235 mpg, according to Renault – but it also should deliver nearly twice the power of the anemic German mileage champ.

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For now, the real difference is that Volkswagen is rolling out 250 copies of the XL1 where Renault plans to use the Eolab as a test bed for technologies it says it might bring to market in the near future.


New Technologies Allow Motorists to “See” In New Ways

Land Rover unveils “Transparent Hood,” Nissan demonstrates a “smart rearview mirror.”

by on Apr.14, 2014

A diagram of the new Nissan smart mirror system.

It’s always a challenge for a motorist to be sure they can see everything going on around their vehicle, whether backing out of a parking spot or changing lanes.  But new technologies have begun to make that challenge a little easier and safer, with two intriguing new features making their debut at the New York Auto Show later that week.

That includes a new “smart rearview mirror” developed by Nissan, as well as a feature Land Rover is dubbing the “Transparent Hood.”


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“Smart Rearview Mirror will give our customers the best possible view no matter how tall the passengers in the back seat or how bad the road conditions,” said Andy Palmer, Chief Planning Officer and Executive Vice President of Nissan.


Makers Press NHTSA to Replace Side Mirrors with Cameras

High-tech alternatives could soon enter production.

by on Apr.02, 2014

The VW XL1 uses cameras instead of mirrors to allow drivers to see what's behind the vehicle.

When Volkswagen begins delivering the first of its ultra-efficient XL1 coupes by mid-year, motorists will have to get used to the idea of looking at a set of three video screens, rather than rear and side-view mirrors, to see what’s happening around them.

By replacing the traditional mirrors with micro-compact cameras built into the subcompact car’s body, VW designers were able to significantly improve the XL1’s aerodynamics, a critical factor in helping it achieve a record fuel economy of 235 miles per gallon.

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VW plans to build only 250 of the little cars – and none will be shipped to the U.S., in part, because federal rules require all vehicles be equipped with left and right-side exterior mirrors. But that could soon change. At least, the auto industry is hoping so. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a consortium that includes VW, Toyota and General Motors – as well as start-up Tesla Motors – has petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin permitting manufacturers to replace mirrors with digital cameras. (more…)

First Drive: 261 MPG Volkswagen XL1

Pushing the limits of fuel-efficiency with VW's exotic two-seater.

by on Jul.18, 2013

At a rated 261 mpg, the VW XL1 could go from NYC to Boston on a gallon - not a tank - of fuel.

It takes a bit of effort to slip in under the gullwing doors and then wedge oneself into the low-slung seat of the Volkswagen XL1. And it’s even more difficult for my co-pilot as the passenger seat is set slightly rearward, almost tandem-style.

The simple reality is that the windswept two-seater isn’t built for comfort. The Volkswagen XL1 was designed for maximum mileage. And we’re not talking something like the mere 50 to 60 miles per gallon of today’s best hybrids, nor the 100 mpg “equivalent” ratings of some of the latest battery-electric vehicles. No, this diesel plug-in hybrid recently received a mind-boggling rating from European authorities of 261 miles per gallon, far and away an all-time record.

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Describing the XL1 as “my baby,” program manager Steven Volckaert notes the project has been underway for more than a decade, with the original goal of squeezing out 100 kilometers from a single liter of fuel. For the metrically challenged, that works out to about 235 mpg.


VW Launching 261 mpg XL1 Hybrid

2-Seater billed as world’s most fuel-efficient production car.

by on Feb.21, 2013

VW claims the XL1 will be the world's most fuel-efficient car when it goes into production.

Volkswagen plans to launch what it is billing as the world’s most fuel-efficient production car, the plug-in XL1 expected to yield a combined fuel economy rating of 261 miles per gallon.

The gas-electric 2-seater also will get an estimated 32 miles per charge in all-electric mode, according to VW. It will nonetheless be able to hit a top speed of 99 mph.

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The XL1 is the latest design to emerge from an ongoing project designed to see just how far VW can stretch a gallon of gas. The original goal was to use just one liter of fuel to travel 100 kilometers. That would have worked out to 235 mpg in American terms. The XL1 beats that by more than 10 percent.


Audi Signs Carbon Fiber Development Deal

After years of focusing on aluminum, automaker turns its attention to composites.

by on Feb.18, 2011

Audi is the latest company to step up its efforts to improve its technical competence in production of carbon fiber.

Add Audi to the growing list of automakers that are exploring carbon fiber to help improve fuel economy and emissions.

But interestingly, two other marquees within the extensive Volkswagen empire are already working on their own separate carbon fiber projects.

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“Fiber-reinforced polymers offer weight and strength advantages, which we have already put to use in the Audi R8 and the Audi RS 3, for instance,” said Rupert Stadler, chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “We want to use these advantages for high-volume production as well, and therefore the focus of our partnership with Voith is on specific car projects.”

VW Tops 250 MPG With XL1 Concept

Who cares about fuel prices.

by on Jan.27, 2011

Using lightweight materials, slick aerodynamics and a diesel-hybrid, VW's XL1 achieves 250 mpg.

You could dole fuel out with an eyedropper and ignore the latest pump prices were the Volkswagen XL1 sitting in your driveway.  The newest VW concept vehicle claims a fuel economy of a seemingly impossible 250 miles per gallon.

Unveiled at this week’s Qatar Motor Show, the prototype uses a variety of techniques to reduce weight and minimize wind resistance, while turning to a plug-in diesel-hybrid powertrain to squeeze out every last bit of energy.

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Among the various steps taken to improve aerodynamics are a closed front end, extensive underbody covers, closed wheels and pin-sized cameras that replace conventional sideview mirrors.  The VW XL1 yields a drag coefficient of just 0.19, compared to 0.25 for the relatively slick Toyota Prius.

There’s less than 400 pounds of steel or iron on the XL1.  The chassis is a monocoque made of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic, or CFRP, a material normally found on extremely low-volume supercars, such as the Lamborghini Sesto.  That and other lightweight materials, such as aluminum and magnesium, and the ceramics of the prototypes brakes, and VW has been able to hold the mass of the XL1 down to just 1,749 pounds.