The German automaker – are ready to take the automobile world by surprise with their extremely fuel efficient car in the form of the , which will be undergoing production in the next two years.
Ferdinand Piech, the Chairman of VW group stated in an interview to Automotive News Europe on Tuesday at an event in Doha that the company is interested in going into the series production of this model by the end of the year 2013. The news surfaced just before the 2011 edition of the Qatar auto show, where VW revealed the prototype of this model.
Martin Winterkorn, CEO of the German company spoke about the first markets of the XL1 in an interview with ANE at the same event. He further stated about the sales and production details of the car and added that the car will first be sold in the European Continent followed by the United States and China later on.
Winterkorn stated that the company initially had planned to introduce a “small production run” for the XL1 model. But later on Ulrich Hackenberg, the development chief of VW Group stated that only 100 units of XL1 cars can be manufactured initially.
VW are still yet to decide as to where the car will be manufactured and are yet to give any news on this matter. But Hackenburg has stated that the company’s manufacturing units in Wolfsburg and Dresden were the possible options.
The company is also mum on the pricing of the car and in which range the car may be priced in. Piech said that it was too early to state the costing of the car as it is still at a very early stage. He added that the car will surely go on sale thus brushing aside the rumors springing up that the car will only be produced for field tests and might not be made available for the consumers.
The two seated XL1 is the latest concept car as well as the first attempt of the VW Group to produce something called the one liter car which will consume one liter or less amount of fuel for a run of hundred kilometers. The company has also used lightweight carbon fiber body parts in the model to reduce the weight of the car to an amazing 795kg (1,753 pounds). The car will also have a plug-in diesel-electric power train additionally. According to the concept developed by the company the XL1 model will use 0.9 liters of fuel per 100km of usage (261 U.S. mpg, 313 UK mpg) and in turn will emit 24 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Quite amazing isn’t it? Well the thing to notice is what part of the concept will be turned into reality by the VW group.
The power train equipped in the XL1 model consists of a two cylinder, 800cc diesel engine, an electric motor and a lithium ion battery pack. VW has stated that the XL1 model is capable for a drive of about 35km (22 miles) running singly upon electricity generated from the battery. The battery is also quite efficiently chargeable at any household electrical outlet.
Piech has stated that the XL1 model comes second just after the bullish Bugatti Veyron in terms of the amount of carbon fiber parts used in a VW group car model. He also added that this light weight technology is gradually gaining major importance in the field of automobiles and is all set to be adopted by the VW group’s Italian company Lamborghini as well. With the cost of the materials dropping rapidly and dramatically, aircraft manufacturer Boeing has also faced fewer hurdles in making the Dream-liner airplane according to Piech.
The first one liter car from VW with a full carbon body produced in 2002, then cost the company 35,000 euros. But the amazing thing is after all these years down the line the cost for manufacturing the body of the XL1 model is just a mere 5,000 euros compared to the 2002 counterpart. This really justifies the statement from Piech regarding the price of light weight materials going southwards.
Hackenberg told in the interview to ANE that by the year 2013 a lithium battery will be available in the market at a price of about 200 to 250 euros. But a question mark still remains on the fact whether the other sister companies in the VW group Audi, Seat and Skoda, will be benefitted from the development of XL1 or will suffer a loss. Well only time will tell. We hope that the VW group turns most of the concept into reality and turn XL1 into something truly ‘XL’ent.