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Volkswagen XL1

22 February 2013

Just ten ago a car like this being to the public was a mere dream. Now has announced production of the XL1 1-liter (per 100km or 261mpg) We won’t see it on our shores (at least generation) but Volkswagen has learned from this project and see some of the technologies trickle into other products, as costs continue to drop. The technical version of the Volkswagen AG release follows below all the details…


XL1 – the most fuel-efficient car in the 
New XL1 from Volkswagen just 0.9 l/100 km (261 

World’s first 1-liter economy car to be produced now 
Two-seat XL1 vision of 1-liter car to production

Future mobility is one of the most topics of our time. The key question By how much could the energy of cars be reduced if all the stops pulled out for efficiency? There is now an to this question from It is the new XL1, with combined consumption of 0.9 l/100 km. No other car with a diesel plug-in is more fuel-efficient.

Lightweight (monocoque and add-on parts of carbon fibre), very low drag (Cd 0.189) and a plug-in system — consisting of a two-cylinder TDI (35 kW / 48 PS), E-motor (20 kW / 27 PS), dual-clutch transmission (DSG) and battery — enable a fuel of 0.9 l/100 km, the new Volkswagen XL1 only 21 g/km CO2. Since it is as a plug-in hybrid, the XL1 can also be for up to 50 kilometers in pure electric i.e. with zero at point of use. The battery can be from a conventional household outlet. Naturally, battery is also employed to recover while slowing down and as much of it as possible in the battery for In this case, the electric acts as an electric generator.

the very high levels of developers were able to a body layout that greater everyday practicality in the two previous prototypes: the XL1 now incorporates the of slightly offset side-by-side nearly as in conventional vehicles, than the tandem arrangement in both the first 1-liter car in 2002 and the L1 presented in 2009 for aerodynamics. In the new XL1, wing make it easier to enter and the car.

Most efficient car in the

The new XL1 shows the way forward for extreme vehicles and clean technologies. It demonstrates that such can also be fun. The feeling driving the XL1 is truly dynamic — not on pure power, rather on its efficiency, as illustrated by two examples. to travel at a constant speed of 100 the XL1 only needs 6.2 kW / 8.4 PS – a fraction of the necessary from today’s Second, in electric mode, the XL1 less than 0.1 kWh to complete a one driving course. These are values that have not attained by any other production in the world.

When the full of the hybrid system is engaged, the accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 12,7 seconds, and its top speed is 160 (electronically limited). Yet these alone do not tell the whole Since the XL1 weighs just 795 kg, the system has an easy job of propelling the When full power is the electric motor, which can 140 Newton meters of torque a standstill, works as a booster to the TDI engine (120 Newton of torque). Together, the TDI and E-motor a maximum torque of 140 Newton and 51 kW in boosting mode.

Plug-in hybrid concept

the XL1, Volkswagen is implementing a hybrid concept, which the fuel-efficient technology of the common turbodiesel (TDI) and the dual transmission (DSG). The TDI generates its maximum power of 35 kW / 48 PS from 0.8 liter displacement. The entire unit is housed above the driven rear axle. The hybrid module with motor and clutch is positioned the TDI and the 7-speed DSG; this was integrated in the DSG transmission case in of the usual flywheel. The lithium-ion (capacity: 5.5 kWh) which is in the front section supplies the with energy. Operating at 220 the power electronics manages the of high voltage energy and to the battery or E-motor and converts current to alternating current. The electrical system of the XL1 is supplied the necessary 12 Volts via a DC/DC and a small auxiliary battery.

The supports the TDI in acceleration (boosting), but as it can also power the XL1 on its own for a distance of up to 50 km. In mode, the TDI is decoupled from the by disengaging a clutch, and it is shut Meanwhile, the clutch on the gearbox remains closed, so the DSG is fully with the electric motor. The driver can choose to drive the XL1 in electric mode (provided the battery is sufficiently charged). As as the electric mode button on the panel is pressed, the car is propelled by electrical power. Restarting of the TDI is a smooth and comfortable process: In is known as “pulse starting” of the TDI while driving, the electric rotor is sped up and is very coupled to the engine clutch. accelerates the TDI to the required speed and it. The entire process takes without any jolts, so the driver notices the TDI engine restarting.

the XL1 is braked, the E-motor operates as a that utilizes the braking to charge the battery (battery In certain operating conditions, the of the TDI engine can be shifted so that it at its most favorable efficiency The gears of the automatically shifting DSG are also always selected the aim of minimizing energy usage. The controller regulates all energy and drive management tasks, into account the power at any given moment by the driver. of the parameters used to realize the propulsion mode for the given are: accelerator pedal and demanded engine load, as as the energy supply and mix of kinetic and energy at any given time.

The TDI (0.8 liter displacement) was from a four-cylinder TDI (1.6 displacement), and so the 0.8 TDI exhibits a cylinder of 88 mm, its cylinder bore is 81.0 mm, and its is 80.5 mm. The 0.8 TDI of the XL1 also shares key modifications for reducing emissions the 1.6 TDI. They include formed piston recesses for injection and individual orientation of the injection jets. The excellent, running properties of the common engines were transferred to the engine. In addition, a balancer that is driven by the crankshaft at the same speed optimizes engine running.

Meanwhile, the aluminum crankcase was constructed to high dimensional precision, in turn leads to very low losses. With the goal of emissions, exhaust gas recirculation and an catalytic converter as well as a particulate filter are used. in this way, the 0.8 TDI already the limits of the Euro-6 emissions

Also designed for efficiency is the cooling system. Engine only cools the TDI by activating the mechanical water pump engine operating conditions it. This cooling system an automatically controlled air intake at the front of the vehicle to reduce system drag. This management strategy also towards reduced fuel A second electric water which is also used as needed, circulates a separate temperature coolant loop to the starter generator and power

Design for a new era

The XL1 is 3,888 mm long, mm wide and just 1,153 mm These are extreme dimensions. The has a similar length (3,970 mm) and (1,682 mm), but it is significantly (1,462 mm). The wing of the XL1 are reminiscent of those of a high-end car. They are hinged at two low on the A-pillars and just above the in the roof frame, so they do not swivel upwards, but slightly as well. The doors also far into the roof. When are opened, they create an large amount of entry and space.

Visually, the XL1 also the styling lines of the L1 presented in However, the XL1 has a more dynamic thanks to its greater width. The design was uncompromisingly subjected to the of aerodynamics. In front, the XL1 exhibits the width; the car then narrows the rear. Viewed from the form of the XL1 resembles that of a especially at the rear, where the optimally conform to the air flow the car body to reduce the Volkswagen’s drag.

In side profile, the traces an arc from the A-pillar to the rear. The rear wheels are covered to prevent air turbulence; the air here are also optimized by spoilers in front of and behind the Observers will look for mirrors in vain; replacing are small cameras integrated in the doors known as e-Mirrors outside mirrors) that images of the surroundings behind the car to two inside the vehicle.

The front of the XL1 no exhibits the typical radiator however, it still reflects the of the current Volkswagen “design with a predominance of horizontal Specifically, there is a black that combines with the dual LED headlights to form a band. The actual air intake for the TDI engine, battery and interior is in the lower front end section and has controlled louvres. The narrow indicators are also designed in LED these form an “L” shape vertically follows the wheel and horizontally a line beneath the This creates a front which – although it is completely and extreme in its dimensions – can immediately be as a Volkswagen design by its clean

At the rear, however, the design an entirely new path, but the brand of precision and quality are clearly The XL1 represents a new dimension of Volkswagen Four characteristics are discernible: there is the characteristic dolphin form, once again, narrows towards the rear very precise trailing for perfect aerodynamics. Second, is the coupé-shaped roofline without windscreen. Merging into the is the large rear boot lid covers the drive unit and luggage space. Third, is a strip of red LEDs that the rear section at the top and on the sides. in this LED strip are the reversing rear lights, rear fog and brake lights. Fourth, is a diffuser, which exhibits seamless transitions to the completely underbody.

Running gear with materials

The running gear is by lightweight construction with safety. In front, a double suspension is used, while a link system is employed at the The front and rear suspension are very compact in construction and a high level of driving The running gear components directly to the CFRP monocoque in key

Running gear weight is by the use of aluminum parts (including components, brake callipers, steering gear housing), (anti-roll bars), ceramics discs) magnesium (wheels) and (steering wheel body). wheel bearings and drive as well as optimized low rolling tires from Michelin 115/80 R 15; rear: 145/55 R contribute to the low energy consumption of the new Safety gains are realized by an braking system (ABS) and an stabilization program. That is sustainability without maximum would not really be a step The new XL1 shows how these two parameters can be into harmony.


Body of new XL1 weighs 230 kg / 507 lbs. 

Monocoque and exterior are produced from lightweight 
Volkswagen has set up handcrafting-like manufacturing for the XL1 in

The XL1 is a car of the future that is being today. Not only are its technologies but also the fact that is producing large parts of the XL1 in and strong carbon fibre polymer (CFRP). The monocoque its slightly offset seats for and front passenger, all exterior parts as well as functional such as the anti-roll bars are all of CFRP. The preferred process for CFRP components at Volkswagen is the RTM (Resin Transfer Moulding). The of this material or its specific is only around 20 per cent of a comparable steel exterior The CFRP parts exhibit a of stiffness and strength that is by no inferior to that of comparable or aluminium parts, yet the exterior of the XL1 is just 1.2 mm thick.

Innovative RTM

Compared to other methods as manufacturing CFRP in a prepreg CFRP production via RTM is more – with lower costs at part volumes – because it can be The RTM parts are produced in multi-shell, and vacuum-sealed tools. This injecting liquid resin at pressure into the tool the semi-finished carbon material interior has the shape of the part to be The part cures afterwards in the

CFRP paves the way to the future

A at the scales shows why CFRP is the material for the body of the XL1. The weighs just 795 kg. Of this 227 kg represents the entire drive including the battery, 153 kg the running 80 kg the equipment and 105 kg the electrical system. leaves 230 kg, which is precisely the of the body – produced largely of – including wing doors, windscreen with thin-glass and the highly safe monocoque. A of 21.3 percent of the new XL1, or 169 kg, of CFRP. In addition, Volkswagen lightweight metals for 22.5 of all parts (179 kg). 23.2 percent (184 kg) of the new XL1 is from steel and iron. The of its weight is distributed among other polymers (e.g. side windows), metals, fibres, process materials and

Thanks to CFRP, the XL1 is not only in weight, but very safe as This is due in part to the high-strength monocoque that is also In a crash, it provides the necessary space for the driver and passenger. is achieved by intelligent design of paths, including the use of sandwich in the monocoque. In addition, the front and aluminium car structures absorb a share of the crash energy. principles were also in the design of the CFRP doors, an aluminium impact beam is to absorb crash energy; a CFRP door frame minimises intrusions into the safety cell. Much was given to the rescue of occupants as If the XL1 is resting upside down on its after a rollover accident, separating screws simplify of the doors (swing doors).

XL1 embodies what is feasible

The new XL1 is currently the most fuel and eco-friendly automobile in the world. The reason that this could be built is because it the limits of what is feasible in terms of the technologies it utilises and its method. Consider XL1 technologies: is implementing highly innovative and materials that offer the efficiency possible today. XL1 manufacturing: In Northern Germany, largest carmaker has set up a completely new manufacturing for the XL1, which largely of CFRP.

Manufacturing in

The XL1 is manufactured by Volkswagen Osnabrück In the former Karmann plants around 1,800 employees such cars as the Golf and the new Porsche Boxster. As is usual in the of mass produced vehicles the Golf Cabriolet, many – such as the monocoque, engine, suspensions and battery – are supplied by plants and external suppliers. in the small production series for the the specialists from Osnabrück are not the classic path of large-scale rather they are practicing handcrafting. Nonetheless, the XL1 production implemented in Osnabrück are highly and unique. There were no examples of the individual production anywhere in the world, because no car has been produced so thoroughly in a composite material. Over the term, other Group will also benefit the numerous innovations implemented in the The production process for the new XL1 in detail:
Production I – bodyshell frame

Production of the XL1 with delivery of the CFRP which is produced by a supplier in using the RTM process. The manufacturing itself was developed over years in close cooperation Volkswagen. In Osnabrück, the monocoque is to an assembly support plate; is where the body is built – but doors or lids. This body production stage is to as the “bodyshell frame”. At this all parts are moved to their design positions by special This approach is necessary to the tight manufacturing tolerances.

The interior and exterior surfaces of the itself are pretreated in advance. pretreatment is necessary to attain gaps and smooth surfaces. In the interior of the XL1, many of CFRP surfaces were left uncovered by trim and so the high-tech material remains The individual CFRP components are to one another in the bodyshell frame by – a highly complex and unique in manufacturing technology. The operation of the roof section to the monocoque just how complex this is:

Volkswagen XL1

Unlike welded metal the roof of the XL1 cannot simply be on the monocoque. Rather the strength of the material must compensate for all fit of the monocoque-roof side member and the different material thicknesses of the roof. Therefore, this is made to hover over the before gluing. The gluing itself is performed according to a defined sequence with defined curing times.

the further course of production I, the boot pan is brought into with the water channel, and it is and screw fastened. In addition, all and exterior skin parts crossmembers, rear termination side panels front and are positioned and screwed via a sled Last but not least, employees and document the dimensional tolerances of the assembly as the final step of production stage. Each part of the XL1 is also documented a serial number and its production

Production stage II – door

In parallel to production stage I, the two doors are produced in a separate stage, including their reinforcements. Volkswagen developed its own for this, which is used to fit the to adjoining body parts millimetre precision to satisfy the tight production tolerances – before it is placed in the monocoque. is the only way to assure that all are fulfilled in the installed state, as the defined joint seam and uniform transitions between the Unlike sheet metal carbon elements cannot be afterwards.

Production stage III – assembly

At the third production the bodyshell frame is placed on a new Here, all body parts are to achieve the specified gap dimensions and mounting precisions. These include the wing doors, boot lid, front and various small parts. of the wing doors is a special because a precise fit must be to the roof and side body

Production stage IV – painting

A of 32 exterior skin parts are on the XL1; six of them are visible parts.

The CFRP parts are prepared for painting in the framework of XL1 Background: To fulfil the quality of a Class A paint job despite a thin and therefore lightweight layer, in the RTM process a special layer or resin film is to the parts as a cover coat. to conventional CFRP paints in the industry, this yields a reduction of over 50 per cent. innovative CFRP painting owes its implementation to intensive work by the Volkswagen Technical Centre in Wolfsburg and an associated of tests by paint experts at the plant.

The paint itself of three layers. The primer a filler material is followed by the paint – the coloured layer. the final layer or clearcoat is which provides a high of scratch resistance and UV resistance. In the on the other hand, a decorative pearl grey” paint is or – on visible carbon parts as the sills – a matt clearcoat. The applies to the roof structure on Volkswagen omitted trim in the interest of attaining optimal and maximising open space for the

Production stage V – front car

Following painting, all components are to final assembly. The first here is to join the front section to the prefabricated floor The module of this floor consists of components such as the wishbone front suspension swivel bearing (produced die-cast aluminium), anti-roll bar from CFRP), a small battery for the vehicle electrical and the front ceramic brake Also integrated in front is the battery for the plug-in hybrid Another special aspect is the position of the air conditioner: the unit is mounted in the vehicle interior. For reasons, however, this is not in the XL1. Therefore, the air conditioner is in a special insulated capsule in the front section. Automatic of the vehicle’s electrical system and startup of all electronic components are performed at the ITC (Startup and Test in this production stage.

Production stage VI – rear and interior

The classic merging of the unit with the body after assembly of the front The entire drive unit TDI engine, E-motor and 7-speed is installed in the rear section of the The rear axle produced die-cast aluminium together final drive shafts and brake discs, as well as the anti-roll bar, complete the integrated at the rear.
In parallel, the is installed at this station via its supports. Unlike in mass no provisions were made for the XL1 cockpit due to the small production Instead, all individual cockpit are mounted inside the vehicle The dashboard itself consists of a wood fibre material, is just 1.4 mm thick and is produced in a pressing process.

Production VII – windscreen, doors and wheels

The XL1 now on more of its final shape. assembly of the drive unit, the glass windscreen is installed, is only 3.2 mm thick. The wing (including outside door are reinstalled; their exact and alignments were already set in stage II. The bonnet is also on the monocoque with centering Last but least, the XL1 gets its wheels. They are fitted low rolling resistance tyres 115/80 R15 (front) and 145/55 R16

Production stage VIII – assembly of the doors

The wing are the most complex add-on of the XL1 body. After installing the door and integrating the window special assembly fixtures are to glue the polymer side into place. The larger of the windows is permanently joined to the door skin for packaging while a segment of the lower of the side windows can be opened. the reversing cameras are placed in housings, and the e-mirrors that as digital door mirrors are to the exterior CFRP of the door.

stage IX – startup

In the context of assurance, all electronic control and their individual software and harness are checked. At the same the control modules are interconnected the vehicle’s specific wire Now, final startup of the XL1 is First, the entire high-voltage is checked. For this purpose, isolation faults are introduced to the system’s emergency shutoff The next step is to start up the combustion engine; all actuators and of the TDI engine are checked, and parameter at its first startup are compared to values. In parallel, employees the camera-based door mirror the correct visual field of the is optimally tuned using a computer program.

After all have been started up, a is made of all electrical equipment; too is done according to a precisely checklist. Only then is the of the XL1 completed with a test to check dynamic vehicle Now the world’s most efficient car can be

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