Archive for January, 2011

VW diesel hybrid XL1 price and mpg

In the last post which confirmed the XL1 for production, the concept car was shown.  For a production XL1,

What is the price for the diesel hybrid VW XL1 as a production car?

The Xl1 is built from a carbon fiber tub with aluminum skin.  The concept car also had carbon ceramic brakes.  Aside from low enough production numbers, 100 cars planned for retail sale, that the car could be considered hand made, the parts along would push the car’s retail price into six figures.

Carbon fiber made in such low numbers can be considered hand made.  There are ways to automate chassis construction but I don’t know if it’s economical to do it in such low numbers.  Aluminum is no longer as exotic in car material as it used to be but it’s still more expensive to use.

The carbon ceramic brakes cost about $16,000 alone!  Carbon ceramic rotors are much lighter than cast iron rotors used in almost all cars but it’s much more expensive.   Even “mass produced” carbon ceramic rotors are still hand finished.  The benefit of much lighter weight is better handling, comfort, and lighter overall weight but could they afford to put such an expensive part on a production car?

All in all, the retail price of the production car is unknown but as-is, it’s impossible for it to be under $100,000 US.  How could they reduce the price?  Here’s a list:

-cast iron rotors instead of carbon ceramic
-aluminum chassis instead of carbon fiber
-use existing components from other VW-Audi products like the instrument cluster, steering wheel, steering gear, suspension, etc.

Even still, the price of what is essentially a hand made concept car would still be in the range of $50,000 (if they were willing to sell it at a great loss), to $100,000.

, ,

No Comments

VW diesel hybrid xl1 confirmed

VW diesel hybrid xl1 confirmed for production

And it’s coming to the USA!  Automobilwoche and thetruthaboutcars have reported that VW auto group’s leaders Piech and Winterkorn said at the 2011 Qatar auto show that the VW XL1 will enter production.  It’s a plug in diesel hybrid that can get up to 235 mpg.  Some quick specs:

lithium ion battery w/plug in

35 kilometer range on electricity only

2 cylinder diesel engine

side by side seating (previous concepts had inline seating)

The final specifications and release date aren’t yet known since the car is still in concept mode.  It will be sold in Germany first, then US and China.

, , ,

No Comments

Interview with Audi AG chairman, Rupert Stadler

Part 1 of the interview below:  Rupert Stadler talks about technology features on new cars.

No Comments

Will the real Audi A6 hybrid please stand up?

So which is the hybrid?  That’s one of the highlights of the Audi A6 hybrid.

Unlike many cars, the Audi A6 hybrid doesn’t shout “Look at me, I’m a hybrid”!  The new styling is bold and if you look closely you can tell which is the hybrid from the subtle badging.  Is this a turn off?  I don’t know because part of the sales success of the Prius other than competence is the fact that it looks like no other car.  A Prius is instantly identifiable as a hybrid.  The Honda and Nissan hybrids haven’t sold nearly as well even thought the Nissan licenses Toyota’s hybrid technology and system.  In fact, only the Prius can really be called a complete sales success.  In fact, if you asked most people what was the first modern hybrid sold in the US, you’d probably hear Prius instead of the correct answer, the Honda Insight.

So should Audi have followed the Hyundai Sonata’s example and given the A6 hybrid at least a different grille, headlights, and taillights?  The sales numbers will tell…

, ,

No Comments

Audi e-tron spyder convertible, now in red

So far, the press photos of the Audi e-tron spyder have been in silver, the traditional color for Audi.  I guess they wanted red for the convertible, pics below from Autoblog.  Personally, I’d rock silver instead of arrest-me red.

, , ,

No Comments