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Old 03-19-2020, 10:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Up close: the Volkswagen XL1

I stopped in at the Lane Motor Museum earlier this week; I had forgotten they have an XL1 which was not on display last year. But this time it was out! You can get right up next to it, so I took some pictures from angles most journalists don't think to look at. Here are some of the details.



It was parked next to a Fisker Karma, a car about the size of a Dodge Charger, which made the XL1 look tiny.



The radiator sits up front, with a wide, low inlet for cooling air.



The sides of the front bumper cover come down to form the front edge of the wheel fairings, with the center of the bumper cover cut out.



A single wiper sits below the hood edge.



The front wheel arches follow the curve of the tire all the way down, and are faired behind.



The rear wheel fairings extend almost all the way to the point of the front fairings.



Side view cameras are used instead of mirrors.



The front wheel covers are not completely solid; the end of each "spoke" is vented.



Significant taper to the rear, especially in the upper body.



Vents at the back are open; the exhaust must vent here too since there is no visible pipe anywhere else.



CHMSL is sculpted into a shallow divot.



These vents are open to the engine below.



There's a paper slot instead of a glovebox with a door, in the name of lightness I suppose.



The A-pillars do not sit flush with the fenders/hood.



The profile taper flattens out slightly at the end of the body.



All in all, it's a pretty remarkable car.


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Old 03-20-2020, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great pictures, thanks for sharing. It's an absolute dream car for most hypermilers. Silhouette reminds me of the famous EV1.

Great piece of engineering, it's a shame they never produced it for mass market.
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Old 03-20-2020, 12:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The passenger's seat is staggered toward the back (by about 16"?) to give the seats more hip / shoulder room, and still have a narrower car. The frontal area is only 1.5 m2 / 16.1 sq ft, which is tiny. And the Cd is better than any other production car, so the CdA will be very hard to surpass.
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Old 03-20-2020, 01:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It looked like maybe 6" or 8".



Sadly, if this did reach mass production in anything close to its current form, I doubt it would find many buyers even at an economy-car price. It deviates too much from what people expect a "car" to be. This has Cd 0.189; Hucho mentioned he expects production cars to reach 0.20 "and that's it," and I'm inclined to agree with him.

That said, I would give my eye teeth to have one of these.
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Too bad VW doesn't just release to body to be used as a kit car. Then people could make their own, from electic to LS powered, it would be as cool as a Cobra to me.
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Old 03-20-2020, 03:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vman455 View Post
The A-pillars do not sit flush with the fenders/hood.

Very interesting, glad you noticed this detail.

I wonder what a CFD picking that point would look like.
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Old 03-20-2020, 06:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Adding my thanks, and a permissible level of envy, for your getting to go there (twice?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hersbird
Too bad VW doesn't just release to body to be used as a kit car. Then people could make their own, from electic to LS powered, it would be as cool as a Cobra to me.
I felt the same way about the Volkhart-Sagitta V2. They are offering (through a 3rd party) electric refits for the Beetle chassis.
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Old 03-21-2020, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Too bad nothing was done with the xl1 tech
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Old 03-21-2020, 02:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Too bad nothing was done with the xl1 tech
I've enjoyed it for decades!
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Old 03-23-2020, 01:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vman455 View Post
It looked like maybe 6" or 8".



Sadly, if this did reach mass production in anything close to its current form, I doubt it would find many buyers even at an economy-car price. It deviates too much from what people expect a "car" to be. This has Cd 0.189; Hucho mentioned he expects production cars to reach 0.20 "and that's it," and I'm inclined to agree with him.

That said, I would give my eye teeth to have one of these.
I think most of the cost is from "unobtanium" materials - if they built it with steel, it would cost far less.

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