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Old 08-14-2020, 10:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New XL1 documentary (short and informed)

A YouTube channel called "Big Car" released a 12 minute, quite good documentary film on the XL1 a couple days ago:


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Old 08-16-2020, 03:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Seemed fair and even-handed, and adequately technical. I appreciate the share!

I'm of the opinion that we can praise VW for their ambition, while still keeping in mind they achieved what they did with a limited production run, cheating emissions regulations, and fudging MPG numbers with battery range.
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Old 08-16-2020, 05:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
Seemed fair and even-handed, and adequately technical. I appreciate the share!

I'm of the opinion that we can praise VW for their ambition, while still keeping in mind they achieved what they did with a limited production run, cheating emissions regulations, and fudging MPG numbers with battery range.
I agree with that take completely. I also think the car is a beautiful spaceship of a thing. Really amazing vehicle.
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The price makes the result kinda meh for me. I see no reason why you couldn't build this at the price of a BMW i3 Rex. (And maybe place the range-extender in the front to maximize trunk-space.)
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Now imagine they just built this out of stamped steel and could have sold it for <$35k. It probably would have dropped about 10% of the gas mileage... say 108mpg instead of 120.

But that would have taken the quantum leap of real tooling and intent to make it a real production car, not what is essentially a one-off demonstrator. Yes. they made 250, but what that really means is each one was basically hand made.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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economies of scale

If Volkswagen hadn't lost it's compass long ago, the XL1 could have become the Strength Through Joy' car of the 21st-Century.
Mass produced by Wal Mart, COSCO, The Home Depot, or LOWE'S; in steel and glass, without any exotic materials, or hybrid drive, with only an entry-level, gasoline ICE engine, the car could be spit out at below KIA Rio prices.
It would only be 100-mpg HWY, but young couples would save enough for a mortgage on a tiny home. Minimum wage would be enough to finance one, even after necessities were met.
No advertising. No salesman. No dealerships. Purchased like a big screen television, or washing machine. Zero-down. Members drive it home from the store. Nationwide parts and service, anywhere.
Sixteen-year-olds could soon find them on the used car market.
Volkswagen AG, FUBAR.
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Old 08-21-2020, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice video of a well known car for eco modders.

As said before, with conventional materials and drivetrain it would have been somewhat more affordable. Ok, even with only a 2 cylinder diesel (or 3 cylinder of the shelf) it would have fallen victim of dieselgate. But why not a simple gasoline version.

Although VW also knows that the market for these types of cars is not very large. Probably not profitable enough. And it's just always about money. Car builders need to show more courage sometimes.

By making it exclusive with limited production numbers, it became a must-have for the rich, they sure made a little profit (or break even) but it's also advertising (see what we can).
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Old 08-21-2020, 12:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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aerohead, I don't think that's very representative of what people are interested in. I don't see very many people going for tiny houses or compact cars anymore, regardless of the cost. You and I do not live in that country.

100mpg highway on gasoline is probably optimistic considering with a 46hp diesel and exotic materials it was only ~120mpg (rated).
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Old 08-21-2020, 01:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
aerohead, I don't think that's very representative of what people are interested in. I don't see very many people going for tiny houses or compact cars anymore, regardless of the cost. You and I do not live in that country.

100mpg highway on gasoline is probably optimistic considering with a 46hp diesel and exotic materials it was only ~120mpg (rated).
No doubt, you're correct. Hedonic adaptation trumps reason.
As to fuel economy, the hybrid system wouldn't provide much mpg during steady-state highway cruising. That diesel would have been doing nearly all the work. Weight is virtually meaningless during highway driving. Even plain vanilla ICE technology of the mid-90s produced thermal efficiencies of 36% during highway driving. The difference in heat content between diesel and gasoline wouldn't be enough to knock mpg down remarkably.
I believe 100 mpg would be a walk in the park.
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Old 09-12-2020, 10:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aerohead View Post
If Volkswagen hadn't lost it's compass long ago, the XL1 could have become the Strength Through Joy' car of the 21st-Century.
Mass produced by Wal Mart, COSCO, The Home Depot, or LOWE'S; in steel and glass, without any exotic materials, or hybrid drive, with only an entry-level, gasoline ICE engine, the car could be spit out at below KIA Rio prices.
It would only be 100-mpg HWY, but young couples would save enough for a mortgage on a tiny home. Minimum wage would be enough to finance one, even after necessities were met.
No advertising. No salesman. No dealerships. Purchased like a big screen television, or washing machine. Zero-down. Members drive it home from the store. Nationwide parts and service, anywhere.
Sixteen-year-olds could soon find them on the used car market.
Volkswagen AG, FUBAR.
This^^^^

The old VW that gave us the original Beetle would have done this.

Of course, that VW didn't have to deal with the modern day federal automotive regulatory juggernaut.

I would have made it a simple 750cc twin, maybe even make it a hybrid with a modest, not terribly expensive battery. This would come in handy to give that small ICE a little low end grunt. I think giving it inline rather than side by side seating might have been a good idea as well. It might have gained a few pounds, but frontal area would have been much lower.

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