We don't usually think of the Qatar Motor Show as a place where
major automotive product announcements/advances are made, but Volkswagen used
the show to unveil the latest in its line of vehicles aimed at extracting the
ultimate mileage out of a single gallon of gasoline.
The German company today
announced its Formula XL1 concept car that makes use of a two-cylinder
turbodiesel engine, hybrid electric motor (with a lithium-ion battery pack),
and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Formula XL1 has enough juice
from its lithium-ion pack to travel for 22 miles on battery power alone, and
gets a total combined fuel efficiency rating of 260 mpg.
When the subject of gasoline
electric hybrids is brought up on DailyTech,
there quite often is chatter from our European readers stating that they have
been getting similar -- if not better -- mileage from turbodiesel engines for
years in similar vehicle types. So it's nice to see that VW is taking the best
of both worlds with this new vehicle concept.
And it's not just the turbodiesel-electric
hybrid powertrain that gives the Formula XL1 its impressive fuel economy;
the vehicle also makes use of lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymers for
the body panels to further reduce weight. The driver and passenger also sit in
a tandem arrangement -- the passenger sits slightly aft of the driver and behind the driver's seat (think McLaren F1) -- which allows the Formula XL1's body to cut through the wind
more efficiently, which also improves overall fuel efficieny.
There is no word if or when such a vehicle will be put into
production, but we're sure that there are more than a few hypermilers here in
the United States that wouldn't mind getting their hands on one.
quote: total combined fuel efficiency rating of 260 mpg.
quote: Anyone who uses a MPG rating based on driving 40 miles is an idiot.
quote: VW unveiled the slick two-seater concept six years ago at a stockholder’s meeting in Hamburg. To prove it was a real car, Chairman Ferdinand Piech personally drove it from Wolfsburg to Hamburg. At the time, he said the car could see production when the cost of its carbon monocoque dropped from 35,000 Euros (about $55,000) to 5,000 Euros (about $8,000) — something he figured would happen in 2012. With carbon fiber being used in everything from airliners to laptops these days, VW’s apparently decided the cost is competitive enough to build at least a few hundred One-Liters.
quote: This is mainly due to the fact that the engine will always run at the same rpm which is optimized for efficiency. Locomotives have used this principal for decades.
quote: IMO, cars like that should have 2 ratings, one in miles/Kwh, for when its only using the battery and one in MPG, measured after the engine starts.
quote: The E-motor supports the TDI in acceleration (boosting), but as described it can also power the XL1 prototype on its own for a distance of up to 35 km. In this mode, the TDI is decoupled from the drivetrain by disengaging a clutch, and it is shut down. Meanwhile, the clutch on the gearbox side remains closed, so the DSG is fully engaged with the electric motor. Important: The driver can choose to drive the XL1 in pure electric mode (provided that the battery is sufficiently charged). As soon as the electric mode button on the instrument panel is pressed, the car is propelled exclusively by electrical power.
quote: Covered rear wheel arches were not unknown in the past
quote: Volkswagen used the show to unveil the latest in its line of vehicles aimed at extracting the ultimate mileage out of a single gallon of gasoline.