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Auto blogFri, 08 Nov 2013 11:31:00 EST
We've received multiple reports that Volkswagen will be bringing a diesel-electric concept to the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, set to take place later this month. The car, called the Twin-Up!, is based on the Up! city car, with some sources claiming this is a thinly veiled concept that will eventually enter production.
According to Automotive News Europe, the Twin-Up! will reportedly return 214 miles per gallon on the US cycle by combining an 800-cc, two-cylinder diesel and an electric motor. It will also boast plug-in capabilities, and will be able to cover 30 miles on electric power alone.
Autocar has a more complete picture of the Twin-Up!'s powertrain, though, claiming it's a modified version of the hybrid system found in the Volkswagen XL1. The Twin-Up! will get a more potent, 47-horsepower electric motor to the XL1's 27-hp unit, but will retain that car's 47-hp turbodiesel. The battery pack will also grow, from 5.5 kilowatt hours to 8.6 kWh. Both of these increases are necessary due to the increased weight of the Twin-Up! - it's some 900 pounds heavier than an XL1.
Volkswagen brought an angular, bulldog-like small crossover concept called Taigun to the São Paulo motor show last year, claiming that it wanted to gauge interest in the design before making a decision about production. If a new report with alleged leaked patent images is to be believed, then, interest must have been pretty high.
China's Auto.Sohu.com has published this group of Taigun images, claiming that they have been sourced from the Chinese patent office and that the subcompact VW utility based on the Up! has been cleared for production.
If all of that is true, and if these images are representative of the final product, you'll see that designers haven't done much to alter the concept car's appearance. Comparing, shot for shot, with the images we have from Brazil, we see that even small details like roof rack-mounted lights and exhaust tips integrated in the rear fascia have been carried over. Take a closer look for yourself in the attached galleries.
World's Most Efficient Car Impresses, Not Without Compromises
Among our many duties at the recent Geneva Motor Show, we were offered a pretty exclusive drive in the new Volkswagen XL1 hyper-efficient plug-in diesel hybrid. There is so much that is interesting about a car like this reaching production from a major automaker that it's tough to know where to begin.
First off, you should know that - at least for this generation - there is absolutely no chance in Albuquerque that this "1-liter vehicle" (i.e. a vehicle that can burn just one liter of fuel to travel 100 kilometers, or 62.1 miles) will ever make it into the hands of North American customers. We, too, were having trouble imagining an XL1 in typical American traffic, surrounded by comparatively massive pickups and SUVs. The driving experience had us recalling a couple of weeks in 1999 when we drove the then-revolutionary Honda Insight hybrid on US roads. We keenly remember the feeling of being very small and vulnerable, even as we felt proudly green in our 61-mpg Tochigi pod. Thing is, the Volkswagen is smaller still, and nearly as light despite its more complex drivetrain and safety features.