The XL1 is the third generation of Volkswagen's 1-litre car concept (1 litre fuel consumption per 100 km).
The XL1 is the third generation of Volkswagen's 1-litre car concept (1 litre fuel consumption per 100 km).

The high-strength monocoque compartment is designed in the style of a Formula 1 race car, but differing in that it is enclosed on top for additional safety, VW notes. Depending on the type of collision, the load path may be directed through the A- and B-pillars, cant rails and sills, all of which absorb the impact energy. Additional side members and cross members in the front and rear add to the car’s passive safety.

The 0.9 l/100 km (226 mpg) car is powered by a 27 hp electric motor and a 48 hp two-cylinder turbo diesel engine and has a 7-speed gear box. Aluminium has been used extensively in the running gear, suspension and brake system, contributing to the light weight of the XL1 – only 795 kg (1753 lbs). Of that, 21.3%, or 169 kg (373 lbs), consists of CFRP materials, relates the car maker.

The aerodynamic carbon fibre body of the XL1 reportedly cost about US$6800 to produce using the aRTM (advanced Resin Transfer Moulding) process that was developed for CFRP production and patented by VW. The monocoque structure features slightly offset seats for driver and passenger.

 


This article is an extract from the feature Carbon fibre market poised for expansion published in the March/April 2011 issue of Reinforced Plastics magazine. Read the complete feature here.