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Spy Shots—Volkswagen's Pre-Production XL1: New Diesel/Electric on the Ice

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No concept here—These photos delivered by the team at Brenda Priddy & Co. show a pre-production Volkswagen XL1 ripping through ice conducting cold weather testing.

In January, Volkswagen confirmed that it would build a limited number of the long-awaited 1L car—likely to be named the XL1—and here are some first spy shots that prove VW is serious about the timeline. The XL1 was the third iteration of the Volkswagen 1L car, first shown in concept guise at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show. The two older concept cars had been shown to the public in 2002 and 2009 (then called L1).

Priddy says that these pictures clearly show the production version and the concept that had been previously shown. According to VW, when the XL1 hits the road in 2013 it will be capable of achieving a combined fuel consumption of approximately 1 liter (.26 gallons) per 62 miles—or 235 mpg!

Like the L1, the XL1 uses a two-cylinder turbo-diesel. Displacing 800 cc, it is rated at 47 hp and 121 Nm of torque, and transmits power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed DSG transmission. The electric motor pitches in with 27 hp and 100 Nm of torque, and can work in parallel with the diesel or drive the car independent of it.

The concept-car XL1 had a curb weight of 795 kg and a drag coefficient of 0.186. Just 23.2% of the car (184 kg) is made out of either steel or iron; the drivetrain weighs 227 kg.

The XL1's length and width are similar to the Volkswagen Polo, with a length of 3,970 mm and width of 1,682 mm. However, the car is much lower with a height of only 1,184 mm, and has a coupe-like roofline, reducing interior volume. The design incorporates gullwing doors, with the interior seating layout using a staggered side-by-side arrangement similar to a Smart Fortwo, rather than the previous versions' tandem seating. Performance credentials include a governed top speed of 74.6 mph, with 0 to 50 mph in 32 seconds.

future vehicles, spy photos, car spy shots, Volkswagen XL1

Photo: Brenda Priddy & Co.