Volkswagen unveils the XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle in Qatar

The new Volkswagen XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle (SEV) has been unveiled at the Qatar Motor Show.  Pioneering construction techniques, an advanced plug-in hybrid drivetrain and innovative packaging all play a part in allowing the XL1 to return 313 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 24 g/km of CO2 to set a new benchmark for vehicle efficiency.

Powering the XL1 is a compact 800 cc TDI two-cylinder common rail diesel engine developing 48 PS.  It’s linked to an electric motor producing 27 PS, resulting in a total of 75 PS – a modest output yet more than enough when the low kerb weight (795 kg) of the vehicle is taken into account.

The TDI engine is linked to an electric motor and a seven-speed DSG gearbox with an automatic clutch mounted between each unit.  The electric motor can either work independently of the TDI engine or in tandem when accelerating.  In pure electric mode the XL1 can travel up to 35 km before the diesel engine cuts in.  Accelerating from rest to 62 mph can be achieved in 11.9 seconds; the electronically limited top speed is 99 mph.

In both its styling and packaging the XL1 draws on lessons learned from the 1-Litre car (2002) and the L1 concept (2009).  The XL1 has evolved to feature staggered seating with the driver and passenger placed next to each other in a body structure made from advanced new materials providing immense strength yet weighing just 230 kg.

To make such weight savings possible, and yet viable for series production, Volkswagen developed and patented a new system for the manufacture of the Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) parts on the car called the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process.

In total the XL1 weighs 795 kg.  In addition to the body structure, the weight is accounted for by the drivetrain (227 kg), the running gear (153 kg), the interior including a pair of bucket seats (80 kg) and the electrical system (105 kg).  In total just 23.2 per cent of the car (184 kg) is made out of either steel or iron.

Further savings are made through the extensive use of lightweight materials including magnesium (wheels), ceramics (brake discs) and aluminium (dampers, steering system, brake calipers).

The styling of the XL1 is borne out of functional requirements – easy access to the interior is granted via a pair of elegant scissor doors that hinge on the A-pillar while the profile of the car has been honed in the wind tunnel, the result being a remarkable coefficient of drag figure of 0.186.  The XL1’s overall length (3,970 mm) and width (1,682 mm) are similar to those of a Volkswagen Polo yet its height (1,184 mm) is more akin to that of a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder.

Although the XL1 is still very much a concept, its unveiling marks the next step towards the birth of a new class of Super Efficient Vehicles, while the advent of a process such as RTM is a significant milestone.

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Scirocco R-Cup tickets competition currently open on Facebook


The Volkswagen UK Facebook page is currently running an exclusive competition, to win one of ten pairs of VIP tickets to the Scirocco R-Cup race weekend at Brands Hatch on the 3rd and 4th of September. Running until midnight on Tuesday 23rd August, it is the first time that Volkswagen Motorsport have offered tickets to a UK audience in a Facebook competition.

The prize is significant and includes:
• Two weekend tickets to the event (The Scirocco R-Cup race on 3rd September and the DTM race on 4th September) with access to Grandstand, Paddock, VIP Hospitality & Legends party on Saturday night
• An overnight stay on 3rd September for two in a 4* hotel close to the event
• Transfers between the hotel and the event
• Special VW Motorsport pocket guide

The Scirocco R-Cup has returned in 2011 after a successful first season in 2010 where it took over from the Volkswagen Polo cup. The cup promotes and encourages young drivers and the cars are fuelled by bio natural gas. The two-litre engine’s overall carbon footprint of racing plus logistics is reduced by 80 per cent compared with conventional racing petrol.

The season consists of 8 races starting in April at Hockenheim, moving around Germany, Austria and the UK through the summer and returning for a final race back in Hockenheim on 21st October.

Currently the British driver Daniel Lloyd is placed 2nd in the points standings and Brands Hatch will be a key race for him to try and take the top spot.

For more information about the Scirocco R-Cup or Volkswagen Motorsport, please visit:

You’ll find the competition on the Volkswagen UK Facebook page here:

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The Bugs start to fly: New range of Beetle models now on sale

Entomologists in the UK are set for an exciting day, and not just because the ants are flying.  There’s another kind of flying bug about: the Volkswagen Beetle with either a 2.0-litre 140 PS TDI turbodiesel engine, or a 2.0-litre 200 PS TSI turbocharged petrol engine. 


The latter is enough to propel this bug from zero to 62 mph in just 7.5 seconds and on to 139 mph, while the TDI takes a far from sluggish 9.5 seconds and can reach 123 mph.  Of equal interest, however, will be its 57.6 mpg combined economy, and 129 g/km of CO2 rating.


Both new versions are available with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearboxes. The TDI comes in either mid-level Design or top-line Sport trim.  The 2.0-litre TSI 200 PS model is available in Sport or special-edition Turbo Black and Turbo Silver specification, complete with ‘Turbo’ decals in either silver or black along the side, door mirrors in silver or black, the door rubbing strip in body colour (rather than black, as it is on standard Sport models), and 19-inch ‘Tornado’ alloys. 


Specification levels are high.  Design trim comes with 17-inch alloy wheels in a choice of two styles, Bluetooth telephone preparation, an RCD 510 DAB CD/radio with MDI multi-device interface (for connecting an iPod or similar), front fog lights, rear Isofix preparation, an alarm, manual air conditioning, multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel and body-coloured door and dashboard panels.


The range-topping Sport specification adds 18-inch alloys in a choice of styles, tinted glass, cruise control, sports seats, parking sensors, gloss black door mirrors (silver or black on ‘Turbo’ special editions), gloss black dashboard and door panel and 2Zone electronic climate control.


The 2.0-litre TSI 200 PS Sport model uniquely comes with certain specification highlights over and above all other models.  These include: four-link rear suspension, twin chromed exhaust pipes, red brake calipers and a body-coloured rear diffuser. 


A wide range of optional equipment is also available on all Beetle models, including Keyless Access, satellite navigation systems, bi-xenon headlights and a selection of different alloy wheel designs.


The option that will make the biggest impact, however, is the Fender sound pack.  Developed in conjunction with the eponymous electric guitar firm, this audiophile’s delight offers a 400W output and a subwoofer, along with switchable three-colour illumination surrounding the front loudspeakers, all for just £500.

The Beetle is also available with a 1.2-litre TSI 105 PS engine with seven-speed DSG gearbox and a 1.4-litre 160 PS TSI with a six-speed manual gearbox.  These models were restricted by supply at launch but are all now available, many with attractive low-rate finance offers.  The new 2.0-litre models are also available to order now, with some models in stock ready for delivery.

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Great Product, Great Service: Volkswagen is commended by Motability

Motability customers have two good reasons to take a closer look at Volkswagen’s range of vehicles, thanks to Volkswagen achieving a commended award for its work with Motability Operations (the company that manages the Motability Car Scheme and the Motability Powered Wheelchair and Scooter Scheme) as well as low Advance Payment terms on a number of popular models including the Golf.

The commended accolade is part of the annual Motability Supplier Awards, now in their seventh year, and recognises Volkswagen’s excellence, efficiency, innovation and exceptional customer service. Commenting on the commendation, Mike Betts, chief executive, Motability Operations, said: ‘Offering stable pricing for customers, and popular models at very affordable rates, Volkswagen is highly committed to the Motability Scheme. The commended accolade at the Motability Supplier Awards acknowledges the efforts that have gone into increased environmentally friendly options, better value and an engaged dealer network. Well done to all at Volkswagen.’

A wide range of Volkswagen models is available through the Motability scheme from the new up! city car, through the Polo, Golf – including the Golf Plus, Golf Estate and Cabriolet – Jetta, Passat, Scirocco and Tiguan to the Touran and Sharan people carriers. Many are available with low Advance Payment offers, for example, £99 for the Golf S, and zero Advance Payment on the Polo S and Match models.

Commenting on the commendation, head of Volkswagen Fleet Services, Vince Kinner, said: ‘We’re delighted to receive this award and proud that we have been recognised as people who are committed to Motability, both through the products we are able to offer and the service and back-up we provide both internally and through our Retailer network.’

Motability Operations manages the worry-free Motability Scheme for over 600,000 disabled people and their families. Anyone who receives the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance or the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement can exchange this monthly payment to lease a brand new car, scooter or powered wheelchair through the Motability Scheme.

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New look, greater economy: the revised Eos is unveiled

Volkswagen has unveiled the new face of the Eos convertible coupé ahead of its public debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show on 17 November.

The modifications bring the Eos in line with the latest iteration of Volkswagen’s design language as seen applied to the new Polo, Passat and Sharan.  Horizontal lines dominate the front of the car with a prominent new grille complete with chrome highlights that create the impression that the Eos is wider and lower than the car it replaces.  A set of new headlight units, similar in shape to those fitted to the Golf, features the option of integrated LED daytime running lights to lend the revised Eos an elegant new look. 
A revised front bumper featuring new airdams and fog lights is joined by a reprofiled bonnet.  At the back of the car a set of new tail lights, drawing on the look of those fitted to the new Passat, creates a distinctive new appearance. 
As before, the Eos features an advanced five piece folding roof with an integrated tilt sliding glass sunroof.  To go from a closed coupé to an open cabriolet – an operation that can now be undertaken remotely via the key fob if the car is specified with Keyless Entry – takes just 25 seconds while the boot capacity ranges from 205 litres when the roof is down up to 380 litres with the roof closed.
Inside, new trim finishes enhance the interior of the Eos which is both comfortable and extremely well equipped.  Highlights include a leather multifunction steering wheel, air conditioning, a powerful eight-speaker CD stereo system and sports seats. 
The new Eos will be available with a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines when deliveries commence in the UK early in 2011.  These include a 1.4-litre TSI engine developing 122 PS, a 2.0-litre TSI unit producing 210 PS as well as a refined 2.0-litre TDI engine producing 140 PS.  This unit, with BlueMotion Technology modifications including automatic Stop/Start and battery regeneration systems, can return a combined economy of 58.8 mpg.
Prices and specifications for the new Eos will be announced when ordering opens for the car in November.