World Premiere of the New Volkswagen L1 1-Litre Car at 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show - VIDEO ENHANCED
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FRANKFURT, Germany, September 14, 2009: Technological breakthrough for the 1-litre fuel consumption car: International Motor Show (IAA), Volkswagen is presenting the concept of the future L1 in a world premiere that points the way toward the production version. The full hybrid vehicle weighs just 380 kilograms thanks to its carbon-fibre reinforced body (CFRB). With a combined fuel consumption figure of 1.38 litres of diesel per 100 kilometres, this extremely aerodynamic (Cd 0.195!) Volkswagen suitable for everyday use is intended to become the most fuel-efficient automobile in the world. CO2 emissions of the 160 km/h L1 are similarly low at 36 g/km.
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Retrospective: Seven years ago, Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, at that time Chairman of the Board of Management and today Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Volkswagen Group, drove a prototype from Wolfsburg to Hamburg that was unlike any other car before it: the Volkswagen 1-Litre car – the world’s first car with fuel consumption of one litre fuel per 100 kilometres. The man and machine wrote automotive history. In April 2002, however, it was also clear that the time for a production version of the 1-Litre car lay far in the future. Production of the body itself – from carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) – was not realistic due to cost considerations. Yet, in 2002 Dr. Ferdinand Piëch already prophesised that the time would soon come for the 1-Litre car and CFRP as a material for industrial applications. By 2009 the time had come: Volkswagen is making a clear statement at the IAA in Frankfurt (September 17 to 27) with the second generation of this ingenious car: The L1 represents a step forward into the future with completely new technology and a new design; revolutionary yet close to production readiness.
“It is an enormous challenge to control costs in producing the monocoque out of CFRP,” says Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen Brand with responsibility for development. Both technically and visually, the CFRP body is already considered a significant achievement in car design. Unique on this car are the proportions of its dimensions. While the length of the L1 at 3,813 millimetres is still similar to that of a Volkswagen Fox, and its height of 1,143 millimetres nearly matches that of a Lamborghini Murciélago, the car’s aerodynamically optimised width (1,200 millimetres) has no comparisons in the world of today’s production cars.
L1 philosophy – defining a new type of automobile In developing both prototype generations of the L1, Volkswagen simply questioned everything that typically characterised an automobile. The key starting point was body construction, and a core question was raised here: How would a car have to look and be built to consume as little energy as possible? The logical answer: extremely aerodynamic and lightweight. Yet these objectives had to be achieved under a nonnegotiable precondition: a maximum of safety. The approach taken: a narrow two-seater with a CFRP body!
The seat layout fitting this design goal was dictated by the uncompromising aerodynamic form of a glider: One seat behind the other. Entry to the concept car is also similar to that of a glider; through a roof cover hinged at the side. On this second generation of the L1, the concept has been further honed; each component has been redesigned, a special chassis with aluminium components was developed, and above all the crucial CFRP technology from Formula-1 racing and airplane construction was transferred to automotive manufacturing. This has been combined with a unique form of hybrid drive to create a near-production vehicle. 2013 is the target year for this future dream to become a reality.
The Future Needs the TDI: Small TDI leverages minimal fuel consumption and maximum range DSG are located at the rear, and they combine to create the most fuel efficient road-legal car hybrid drive in the world. Proof of this are its 1.38 litre per 100 kilometres fuel consumption and 36 g/km CO2 emissions. Serving as the primary drive source is a completely re developed two-cylinder turbo-diesel with common rail direct injection (TDI). It is operated in two different modes depending on the load conditions. In the standard “ECO” mode, the 800 cm3 TDI develops a power of 20 kW/ 27 PS (at 4,000 rpm); in “Sport” mode – used to reach top speed, for example – the car’s power rises to 29 kW/ 39 PS (at 4,000 rpm). The TDI’s maximum torque is 100 Newton-meter (at 1,900 rpm). Naturally, the L1 also has a Stop-Start system that automatically shuts down the engine when vehicle has stopped and restarts when the accelerator or E-pedal is pressed. The hybrid module has been integrated into the housing of the 7-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox). It is located between the TDI engine and the DSG gearbox and consists of a 10 kW / 14 PS electric motor and a clutch. The E-motor is supplied with energy from a lithium-ion battery located at the front of the car. An electronic power control module, operating at around. 130 Volts manages the flow of high voltage energy the battery and to the E-motor. In parallel, the vehicle’s low voltage electrical system is supplied with the necessary 12 Volts through a DC/DC converter.
Electric motor – details of the E-motor In normal operation the electric motor can support the TDI engine in conditions such as by electronic load point shifting and in acceleration
If necessary – generally during acceleration – the E-motor can supply 40 percent additional torque over the entire speed engine speed range. Moreover, the E-motor can propel the L1 over short distances by itself. In this case, an auxiliary clutch decouples the TDI from the drivetrain. Restarting the TDI is a very easy process. In so-called “pulse starting” of the TDI, the electric motor is sped up and is then coupled to the TDI unit to provide almost instant starting. The entire process takes place automatically and without jolts, so the driver hardly notices the re starting of the TDI engine.
In braking phases, the E-motor operates as a generator to charge the lithium-ion battery by recovering braking energy. The gears of the auto mati cally shifting DSG are always selected with the aim of achieving the best possible fuel economy. The engine controller regulates all energy flow and drive management tasks taking into account the moment by moment demands for power made by the driver. Some of the parameters used to calculate the optimum propulsion mode for the given conditions are: accelerator pedal position, engine load, momentary fuel demand, energy supply and the mix of kinetic and electrical energy at any given time.
Diesel engine – details of the 0.8 TDI The TDI engine in the L1 is a new development. Yet, even here Volkswagen has been able to exploit synergies to design an engine that is both innovative and cost-effective. Hence, this 0.8 litre TDI unit has been derived from the 1.6 TDI just introduced a few months ago. The 1.6 TDI is making its debut at the IAA in cars such as the new version of the Golf BlueMotion (3.8 l/100 km) and the Passat BlueMotion (4.4 l/100 km) – which are currently the world’s most fuel-efficient production cars in their respective classes.
Based on their common origins, the 0.8 TDI and 1.6 TDI have identical cylinder spacing (88 millimetres), bore (79.5 millimetres) and stroke (80.5 millimetres). These high-tech TDI engines also share key internal
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