Automotive innovation never ceases to amaze its audience. Always some new design, some new technological breakthrough that just revolutionizes the entire auto industry and leaves the auto aficionado wondering when can they just give them all their money for the mobile marvel of their dreams. Some people just want a change from what they have because of newly achieved enlightenment and want to trade in the Hummer for something a little more economical at the pump.
Volkswagen, the people who brought us the ever so popular ‘Beetle’ have promised to deliver such a vehicle to possible consumers. They will begin producing their new XL1 plug-in model at their plant in Osnabrück, Germany, which also builds the Porsche Boxster and VW Golf. It is set to debut at the Geneva Auto show in March, one of the most anticipated auto shows to date. Though a price has not yet been disclosed, the number of cars set to be built per year is 1000. The car’s body will consist of an aluminum based aerodynamic frame and the panels will be mainly carbon-fiber reinforced plastic and should weigh in at about 1,753 pounds according to VW. The powertrain consists of an 800cc two cylinder engine which runs on diesel fuel and puts out 47 hp, while the li-ion battery powered electric motor has an output of 27 hp which transmits power through a seven speed dual clutch transmission. VW states between the two the car has a total of 270 mpg. Cruising speed is 62 mph and apparently only 8.3 hp is needed out of the car to do that, however it takes a good 12 seconds to get the car up to that speed.
The car has a very interesting shape, somewhat reminiscent of a fastback. The mirrors are built into the panels to improve aerodynamics. The XL1 measures 153 inches long, 65.6 inches wide and stands 45.4 inches tall. This makes a great way to slice through the wind with minimal resistance. The car will first be on sale in Europe; however there is no indication as yet to tell if the car will be available in the US.