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New VW plug-in hybrid maximised for efficiency

Volkswagen has been teasing the media this week with some early details of its super-efficient two-seat XL1 plug-in hybrid (pictured).

The Volkswagen XL1 benefits from being optimised through every aspect of its design and technology. It includes a carbon-fibre reinforced polymer monocoque; a powertrain with a 0.8litre, two-cylinder diesel and a 20kW electric motor; lightweighting of the engine and chassis; and strong emphasis on aerodynamics.

All of these innovations have helped the vehicle to fuel economy of 261mpg with CO2 emissions at 21g/km. It has an all-electric range of 31miles and can achieve a total of 310miles. Its top speed is limited at 99mph; and in all-electric mode it needs just 0.1kWh to cover 0.6miles.

Its use of materials is particularly notable. The monocoque features extremely strong carbon fibre reinforced polymer construction and its parts are said to be just as strong as aluminium or steel.

Overall, the Volkswagen XL1 weighs just 1,753lbs. This is made up of: 501lbs for its drive unit with a battery; 337lbs for its running gear; 176lbs for its interior; 232lbs for its electrical system; and 507lbs for its body, including the windscreen. Of this, 21.3 per cent is carbon fibre reinforced plastic.


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