What Makes the XL1 a Mileage Master? Improve Efficiency, Reduce Weight
Powertrain The XL1's compact hybrid powertrain is mid-mounted. It consists of a 47-hp, two-cylinder TDI engine with a compact 27-hp electric motor sandwiched between it and a bespoke seven-speed DSG automated manual transmission. Total system power output is 68 hp, but torque is limited to the maximum 103 lb-ft developed by the electric motor to preserve the transmission, which features an ultra-light gearset.The all-aluminum diesel twin was developed from VW Group's 1.6-liter TDI four. Bore centers are 3.46 inches apart, with the bore measuring 3.18 inches and the stroke 3.17. The engine's piston and combustion chamber design is similar to that of the 1.6-liter. A crank-driven balance shaft helps smooth the vibration typically found in a parallel twin. VW claims the engine already exceeds forthcoming European emissions standards. Lightweight Materials The XL1's monocoque chassis and exterior panels are of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer using a resin transfer molding process that allows the parts to be made by an automated system, reducing production time, therefore increasing volume and reducing cost. The process involves effectively shaping the carbon pieces in heated and vacuum-sealed tools, then injecting liquid resin under high pressure. The pieces cure in the mold.The body, including the doors and the thin-glass windshield, weighs just 507 pounds. VW developed a special paint process that delivers a Class A exterior finish over the carbon-fiber exterior panels and weighs 50 percent less than a conventional paint job.The powertrain and battery pack weigh just 500 pounds. The entire electrical system weighs 231. The wheels are magnesium and fitted with light, low-rolling-resistance tires (115/80 R15 front and 145/80 R15 rear). Many of the suspension parts are aluminum and bolt directly to the carbon-fiber monocoque. Even the rollbars are carbon fiber. Just 23.2 percent of the XL1's total mass -- 405 pounds -- is made of iron and steel components.
Mark Gillies, a manager at Volkswagen, said that the car won’t come to the U.S. - Not Ever.