According to a report in Autocar, Volkswagen might have more in mind for the XL1 than mining it for advances to grace the next-generation Golf. Aiming to fight the Honda FCEV due for public consumption next year, we're told VW executives have put a four-door, four-seater version of the XL1 - it could be called XL2 - on the drawing board. The impetus is said to come from the top, with VW Group chairman Ferdinand Piëch intent on staying in the deep end of "super-efficent vehicles."

Autocar suspects the necessary changes could raise the weight of the car from 1,749 pounds to 2,068 pounds, which would make it four pounds less than the 2,072-pound Up! we drove a few years ago. Crucially, however, the mag thinks the extra capacity wouldn't change the two-seater's 310-mile-per-gallon rating, with tech tweaks and the aerodynamic benefit of a longer car offsetting the weight. Speculation is that the back seats would be staggered like the fronts in order to maintain the XL1's overall profile.

We recently heard about another XL1 variant that's gone off the radar entirely, the Ducati-engined XLR that we thought we'd see at the Geneva Motor Show and that was said to be going into production, so this one could go the same way. The biggest hurdle to making such an idea a reality, though, could be the price: the current XL1 costs 110,000 euros ($146,116). If VW really is going to compete with the Honda FCEV and the Toyota FCV - $70,000 in Japan - that might be where it wants to start.


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  • 20 Comments
      Spec
      • 4 Months Ago

      Do it!    But make a pure electric version too!

      Ducman69
      • 4 Months Ago

      Gay.  How about a mass production cheaper affordable version sized as it is now for the masses, with a simple small turbodiesel engine.

      Larry Litmanen
      • 4 Months Ago

      I wonder how come no automaker has a designer who can make rear wheel covers look cool. They seem to be aiding in fuel economy a great deal but look pretty lame.

        Human
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen

        I know I'm in the minority but i love the wheel covers.

          BipDBo
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Human

          I love them too.  Always have.  I wish that they were more widely used.  Since most cars now are FWD with a strong majority of the weight on the front wheels, they could bring the rear wheels in a little bit allowing for wheel covers without flared fenders.  That, however, is probably why they don't do it.  To narrow the rear, track on many cars would require the rear bench seat to be more narrow, or to push the rear wheels back behind the rear seat.  Alternately, and this may be the best method, would be to make the rear tires skinnier than the front.

        Spec
        • 4 Months Ago
        @Larry Litmanen

        Eventually, some smart automaker will realize that they can make them optional.  Have them available for the people that want the best aerodynamics but leave them off for the people that don't like the way they look.  It can't be that hard to do.   You have to be able to remove them to change the rear tire.  

          DarylMc
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Spec

          This vehicle has front and rear wheel covers.

          It seems they remove them from the front when required and I don't think it looks too bad either.

          http://www.solarworld-gt.de/fileadmin/sites/swno1/gallery/sw-gt_west-ost_8.jpg


          spannermonkeyuk
          • 4 Months Ago
          @Spec

          Hi Spec,

          The biggest challenge is in getting the stylists (and chassis people, to a lesser extent) to accept having a reduced track width at the rear, and having the wheels inset more from the wheelarch 'eyebrow'. It's a choice of inset wheels or aggressively bulged covers. 

          Doing that and having the wheels permanently covered can be much easier than having them removable, if the car looks 'wrong' without them. Check out a pic of the Gen 1 Insight without its rear covers to see what I mean. It's clear the car isn't complete. Maybe someone will figure out a neat solution, but it's difficult, and you can get 70-80% of the aero benefit from good wheel design, anyway, so it's a tough sell.

      JaredN
      • 4 Months Ago

      The two-seat XL1 would work just fine for me as a commuter car, if only it wasn't slow as a dog and didn't cost a zillion dollars.

      Bernard
      • 4 Months Ago

      Elon Musk is laughing right now.

      Hazdaz
      • 4 Months Ago

      This is not that different than how the Prius started.


      It was originally a very small, under-powered, impractical car who's benefits were limited compared to its price.  Over 3 generations its turned into a practical, but boring, car that is roughly mid-sized, and costs about what any other average car costs, while actually becoming even more efficient, and selling over 100k units each year (in the US alone). 


      Other car makers should be looking at this VW very closely.

      danfred311
      • 4 Months Ago

      Stop using moronic pounds.

      Vwfanatic
      • 4 Months Ago

      WHY?  It will cost more than a BMW and never replace more cost effective VW  offerings. VW can't make production sense of the MKVII Golf, the xl1 will drive them crazy in mass production. 

      BipDBo
      • 4 Months Ago

      I think that the sedan should be an entirely difference design, more practical, more affordable at the sacrifice of being a little less efficient.

      • Spread the seats apart a little bit to give the occupants a little more personal space.  It will need to be a bit longer, but the current overall height may be preservable.  The windshield would need to be wider, but the width at the fenders may not need to expand.
      • Use more conventional materials like aluminum and high strength steel instead of carbon fiber.
      • Put in a little more sound insulation, better engine dampening and softer suspension for a quitter, more comfortable ride.
      • Obviously, with more weight and the need for better drivability, it will need a bump in power.  The drivetrain would need to be scaled up a bit

      It would still be a very extreme, efficiency oriented car, with an aluminum body, low, slippery shape with wheel covers, etc, and diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain.  It could be much more practical to own and probably be offered for half the price, with potential to catch a lot more buyers.

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