TodayApril 16, 2022

Volkswagen’s Rainer Michel on a diesel hybrid

Will Volkswagen bring out a diesel hybrid?

Lou Ann Hammond, the CEO, Driving the Nation, talked to Rainer Michel, Volkswagen, about the different types of engines coming out in Volkswagen. I asked him about a diesel hybrid. Let’s face it, Volkswagen is known for its diesel. Why not diesel hybrid?

I understand the challenges of a diesel hybrid. Currently, the emission standard is EU5. Going forward it will need to be ULEU2/EU6. Where there is new technology there is usually more cost and more weight. You have to add on an ad blu tank, etc. The most efficient car is a lightweight car. The power to weight ratio is a fundamental fuel economy. and how expensive can a car be with great fuel economy before it is too expensive?

There are diesel hybrids coming out. Peugeot is bringing out a diesel hybrid, Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4, in collaboration with GKN and Bosch. Will Volkswagen bring out a diesel hybrid? Will it be brought out by Volkswagen alone, or will there be suppliers helping them?

Well, they are. Volkswagen’s XL1 concept is going to come out as a diesel hybrid. It will be a limited production of about 1,000 cars, but it will get 250 miles per gallon. It’s a two-seater two-cylinder with an EV mode. It will be brought out in Europe.

From the Volkswagen press release:

Wolfsburg / Doha, 25 January 2011 – Future mobility is one of the most stimulating topics of our time. The key question here: Just how much could the energy consumption of cars be reduced if all the stops were pulled out for efficiency? There is now an answer to this question, and Volkswagen is delivering it in the form of the new XL1. Combined fuel consumption: 0.9 l/100 km. No other hybrid car powered by an electric motor / internal combustion engine combination is more fuel-efficient. The prototype will be unveiled in a world debut at the Qatar Motor Show (26 – 29 January).

To the point

Conceptually, the XL1 represents the third evolutionary stage of Volkswagens’s 1-liter car strategy. When the new millennium was ushered in, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, who is today Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG, formulated the visionary goal of bringing to the market a production car that was practical for everyday use with a fuel consumption of 1.0 liter per 100 km. In the new XL1, Volkswagen is demonstrating that this goal is now within reach.

The new Volkswagen XL1 attains a CO2 emissions value of 24 g/km, thanks to a combination of lightweight construction (monocoque and add-on parts made of carbon fiber), very low aerodynamic drag (Cd 0.186), and a plug-in hybrid system – consisting of a two-cylinder TDI engine (35 kW / 48 PS), E-motor (20 kW / 27 PS), 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DSG) and a lithium-ion battery.

The results: with fuel consumption of 0.9 l/100 km, the new Volkswagen XL1 only emits 24 g/km CO2. Since it is designed as a plug-in hybrid, the XL1 prototype can also be driven for up to 35 kilometers in pure electric mode, i.e. with zero emissions at the point of use. The battery can be charged from a conventional household electric outlet. Naturally, battery regeneration is also employed to recover energy while slowing down and store as much of it as possible in the battery for re-use. In this case, the electric motor acts as an electric generator.

Despite the very high levels of efficiency, developers were able to design a body layout that offers greater everyday practicality, incorporating side-by-side seating rather than the tandem arrangement seen in both the first 1-liter car presented in 2002 and the L1 presented in 2009. In the new XL1, wing doors make it easier to enter and exit the car. Further progress has been made by manufacturing body parts from carbon fiber reinforced polymer parts (CFRP), a technique used in Formula 1 car construction.

Once again, Volkswagen has successfully achieved significant reductions in production costs“ an important step forward to make viable a limited production run of the XL1. Background: together with suppliers, Volkswagen has developed and patented a new system for CFRP production in what is known as the aRTM process (advanced Resin Transfer Moulding).

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.