VW XL1 Aerodynamics Will Influence Next-Gen Golf


With a price of $169,000 and fuel efficiency of some 261 MPG, the Volkswagen XL1 is a concept car nobody expected VW to build. Yet it did, and people lined up for the limited production run of the hyper-efficiency, teardrop-shaped coupe.

A report from AutoCar says that lessons learned from the Volkswagen XL1 will be applied to the next-generation Volkswagen Golf, which is already being designed with the next round of European emissions standards in mind. This means a lot of aerodynamic efficiencies which could ultimately shape the look and feel of the next Golf…though it will still look like a Golf, we’ve been assured. Still, the XL1’s shape is what makes it so efficient, and turning a 1+1 coupe into a family hatchback is a tall order.

The Golf Mk8 will, due out sometime in 2019, will continue to use the flexible MQB platform, but won’t make use of aluminum due to cost constraints. Instead, new aerodynamic enhancements gleaned from work on the XL1 will be utilized, as a new round of engine improvements is unlikely to deliver the 22 to 27% carbon emissions reductions demanded by the Euro5 emissions standards. Even without aluminum though, Volkswagen is aiming for a 1,100 kg/2,425 lb. curb weight, as well as integrating flywheel energy recovery systems and electric turbochargers (an Audi speciality) into more mainstream cars.

What other lessons might Vdub get from the XL1 though? Well, the next Golf could have an adjustable ride height, hugging the road at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag. The XL1 has an aerodynamic drag of just 0.189 and a curb weight around 1,800 pounds, which along with a hyper-efficient two-cylinder diesel engine/electric motor combo, delivers more than ten times the average new American car’s fuel economy.

Just how efficient does the next Golf have to be?

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.