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Old 06-15-2014, 01:55 PM   #346 (permalink)
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Sizing up the XL1

On a recent trip to the Design Museum, London I was lucky enough to see the Volkswagen XL1. It was nominated for an award and was on display with all a wide variety of other nominees.

Iím a big fan of this vehicle because of its design objective (to travel 100km on one litre of fuel), which is the same as my own target for Project 100. Of course, our budgets are at opposite ends of the scale but Iím still confident that my bike will out-perform this car.

This is the third version prototype of this vehicle, and with each step forward the design team dilutes the original focus with conformity. The original prototype featured tandem seating, and this version with offset side-by-side seating has a much larger frontal area. For this reason, I believe the enclosed recumbent motorcycle will always have the upper hand.

My impression, from seeing this car in the flesh, is of how low the car is Ė just like an exotic sportscar. Also, the body styling looks remarkably ordinary which makes me feel that they have hit their targets with ease. The sharp edges at the rear indicate how the wake management is a step change from ďregularĒ production cars. I canít help but wonder how efficient this vehicle could have been if they had kept the low frontal area design.
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