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When Volkswagen unveiled its one-liter vehicle, the Formula XL1, at the Qatar Motor Show, we wondered whether a production car based on the wedged-shaped concept would actually surface. As it turns out, launching a limited-series XL1 is part of VW's plan. But there's more.

According to a report from Autocar, VW is putting the finishing touches on an economical version of the Up! city car that borrows its powertrain from the XL1 concept. Expected to be badged as the Up! Blue-e-motion, this fuel-sipping city car utilizes a twin-cylinder, 800cc turbodiesel engine that's claimed to crank out 47 horsepower. The diesel mill will be attached to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and coupled to 26 hp electric motor that assists in motivating the Blue-e-motion during standing starts and under hard acceleration.

Unfortunately, the city car's battery pack is not capable of spitting out sufficient juice to allow the Up! to travel under electric power alone. However, the Up! Blue-e-motion's diesel-electric powertrain, which integrates a seamless stop-start system, is expected to return an astonishing 95 miles per gallon (79.1 mpg U.S.). That's not quite 260 mpg, but we'll take it. Hat tip to David!

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 31 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      WAIT...
      This should have been electric.

      Ohh germans can't make ze electric car. It is ze evil.

      THEY ARE NOT DEVELOPING they had it ready.
      Audi planned the A1 as EV... killed
      Now its planned as plug-in with an rotary engine as range extender.

      The VW boss does not like it. they must not use a rotary engine. - killed
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is autocar. It is the National Enquirer of car mags, this likely isn't even coming out in Europe, let alone the USA.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Up is certainly coming, and VW like several European car makers do eco-variants of their cars, and have already brought out versions for the Polo and Golf.
        I think we can be pretty sure that it is coming, at least for Europe where the tightening fuel regulations and carbon emission regulations virtually guarantee it.
        Still at the level of scuttlebutt is that Skoda, a lower cost badge in the VW group, is to bring out a version of the Up, and they are rumoured even to be planning an electric version.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I meant the Diesel hybrid version, which tends to be universally avoided because of cost.

        Dang what happened to my profile suddenly I don't have one...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm going to just go ahead and be optimistic it comes to the US - no matter what I am really thinking.
      I mean - VW has been at the front of bringing diesels here lately and everyone agrees we loves us the hybrids.

      So - come on VW.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Plus, I seem to remember them promising us an UP! of some kind a while back... not sure what ABG post that was, though.

        I know they're totally different cars, but I'd be happy with the Bluesport Roadster. They need to bring one or the other to the US, and I don't think they're so blind that they can't see that at least. VW will either come to their senses or their US market will die with their cost cutting. I'm almost to the point that I don't care, but secretly hope they'll wake up... my Jetta is getting old.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Welcome to 1998 :

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Lupo#Lupo_3L

      78 US MPG and the US car journalist drove it like it was a go-kart and made 74mpg (while trying to make the car look bad)

      no battery, only 1998 diesel technology and lightweight aluminum
        • 4 Years Ago
        That was a special edition, with cost no object, it looks like.
        This is a production model, and will have a full modern safety rating and so on.
        • 4 Years Ago
        they made the car up to 2005 so it should be very close to the current standards (as my 2000 Jetta TDI is)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Apologies on the production run - cost would have been important, contrary to that which I said - I did not read carefully enough.
        I don't know about in the US, but in Europe there have been significant changes to safety standards since 1998, which I believe are likely, all other things being equal, to increase weigh quite a bit.
        • 4 Years Ago
        at least it was not vaporware; they sold thousands of it. And 1998 safety requirements were not a lot different from now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Again, I don't know about the US.
        However my 2001 Polo is way behind current safety standards.
        On another note, the inclusion of a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox is pretty significant to the way it is likely to drive, hopefully better than the blue e-motion Polo.
        That on it's own weighs quite a bit though, and demands presumably weight savings elsewhere.
        I am a little surprised they included it, instead of relying on the electric motor to cover any momentary hesitations in drive, as Peugeot are to do with their 3008 hybrid.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Even the late 2010 VW New Beetle no longer meets current safety standards.

        "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that the certain examples of the aging Volkswagen Bug (both the coupe and convertible) manufactured in September 2010 failed to meet new Federal crash test requirements that went into effect that month."

        http://www.autoblog.com/2011/01/31/bizarre-recall-mandates-2010-vw-new-beetle-models-be-replaced-wi/
      • 4 Years Ago
      And it wont come to the US because americans are horsepower queens
        • 4 Years Ago
        "...and it [the Leaf] gets a million billion miles to the gallon without burning any fuel! :D"

        You're obviously ignoring the energy input from electricity.
        • 4 Years Ago
        A5-14
        Wow! You even beat my post to it with a demand that everyone else uses American fuel ratings, American crash regulations, and export it to America for less than a basis pick-up truck or whatever! Who do these people think they are, Europeans or something! :-)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Evan

        It is a hybrid.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It won't come to the US because Americans want fat cars.

        Americans are more likely to adopt hybrids, because hybrids let them keep driving larger cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry, I was still thinking in context of the Infiniti hybrid, one post down, when I posted this comment.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Make a car that 1. gets that claimed mileage on an EPA test 2. passes US crashworthiness ratings 3. passes US emissions requirements 4. is priced competitively.

        Still waiting for that.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe they want a real car, as opposed to a go-cart.

        I'm all for better mileage, but I think I want something equivalent to your typical sub-compact. I think Nissan got the size right with the Leaf, and it gets a million billion miles to the gallon without burning any fuel! :D
        harlanx6
        • 4 Years Ago
        (in addition to what you said) It won't come to the US because our government (who is owned by the oil companies and their lobbyists) doesn't really want us to be more fuel efficient. If they did, they would be encouraging clean diesel technology because it's superior. Somehow, the Germans have gotten in the back door, and I hear they are having no trouble taking market share. You would think Ford, GM, and Chrysler would field at least one clean, highly efficient diesel car (they sell lots of them in Europe and everywhere but here), but nooooo! The only way it makes sense is government interference in the market. It reminds me of the early fifties when the VW bug showed up, and Detroit laughed at it until it really started kicking their ass. Even then, when gas was 25 cents/gal, a sizable segment of the market were interested in fuel economy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm just waiting for the whinge that it will 'only' get 65 or 70mpg on the US fuel cycle, as you accelerate furiously up the on-ramp of a highway, or cruise with the air conditioning on fully laden in the Arizona desert at 90mph or whatever! :-)
      harlanx6
      • 4 Years Ago
      If it comes, they will sell. These would still be my choice over EVs. This should scare the hell out of detroit!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Absolutely brilliant!

      Small, efficient packaging. Small 2-cylinder turbodiesel, modest horsepower.
      7-speed tranny. Hybrid tech capturing energy that would otherwise be wasted.

      What's not to like?
        • 4 Years Ago
        that it's an unaerodynamic steel car running on fossil fuels.

        it's a tiny bit interesting because of the use of the 2 cylinder engine but it should be the range extender, not the primary propulsion, and it should be aerodynamic instead of this toddler toy telephone car shaping. it's soul crushingly unimpressive.
        I don't like the 7 speed gearbox, it should be direct drive electric, series hybrid. simple and clean.
        even if you only give it very short battery range to begin with. could be as little as 15km. or just have a couple of cost options. like 15. 40. 70. would be great. big commercial success
        • 4 Years Ago
        The guessed specifications here sound reasonable enough:
        http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2012-volkswagen-up4.htm

        At 1830 lbs this is a couple of hundred pounds more than the Up! Lite, which used advanced and expensive materials to reduce weight, but still a stonking 500lbs lighter than the Polo:
        http://www.carfolio.com/specifications/models/car/?car=116765

        I'm a wee bit doubtful that using a relatively heavy dual clutch gearbox, which is essentially two gearboxes, and a relatively heavy diesel engine they will be quite that good, but there is no doubt they have made significant progress.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, a steel car running on fossil fuels. Sounds like my kind of car.

        The fact that the aerodynamics will no doubt be unimpressive is a factor of its short length, apropos of a city car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, unless they keep the weight down, performance will be anemic. The price is likely to be on the high side, as both diesel and hybrid tend to increase the price.

        Other than that, it sounds great!
      • 4 Years Ago
      VW has it with names: Rabbit - Golf - Rabbit - Golf, Jetta - Vento - Jetta …

      What is it now? The up or the uplight?

      The picture posted in this article is the electric Up. The VW 2L is the one presented at the LA Autoshow. It's a four seater. Maybe you remember the VW executive telling autoblog at the LA Autoshow that the concept car displayed was actually the final body design for the 2L … with the engine of the 1L. I remember reading here the account of a somewhat confused autoblog editor that it was a 2L with a 1L engine that was getting around 1.5L/100Km.

      Funny how it ends up being just that. A 2L body with a 1L engine sipping somewhere around 1.5L/100km.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Up! Lite was a concept car never meant for production, using amongst other things a carbon fibre roof which is not making it into the production Up!.
        I believe the executive was referring to the bodyshape being the same as the final production version.
        Since they seem to have shaved off around 500 lbs within the challenging confines of a very small car in comparison to the Polo in the production version I don't think we should give VW too hard a time on this.
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