VW Unveils Up! Lite Concept at LA Show; Diesel Hybrid with Combined Cycle Fuel Consumption of 96 mpg US (70 mpg Highway)
|Volkswagen’s Up! Lite concept. Click to enlarge.|
Volkswagen staged the world premiere of the Up! Lite concept at the LA Auto Show. The new concept, based on Volkswagen’s New Small Family (the Up! models), incorporates a variation on the two-cylinder TDI hybrid powertrain from the L1 concept unveiled earlier this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. (Earlier post.)
The door, five-seat concept offers combined EPA cycle fuel consumption of 2.44 L/100km (96 mpg US), with 70 mpg highway. The poewrtrain comprises an 800cc, 2-cylinder TDI (turbo-diesel), electric motor and 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). Combined with aerodynamics of Cd 0.237, the concept has reduced CO2 emissions to 65 g/km.
Many of the components of the 695 kg (1,500 lbs) Volkswagen are based on those of the future New Small Family, an entirely new model series that is already scheduled for market launch in initial countries at the end of 2011; Volkswagen executives at the show said the Up Lite! might be commercialized.
The newly designed 0.8 TDI two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine delivers power of 38 kW / 51 hp. Furthermore, the electric motor (10 kW)—designed as a pulse start module (starter, alternator and E-drive)—also reduces the load of the TDI, provides added propulsion (boosting) and works to recover kinetic energy (regenerative braking). During boost phases, the TDI and E-motor combine for a total power of 48 kW / 64 hp.
Between 1,800 and 2,250 rpm the 55 kilogram light turbo-diesel direct injection engine delivers 120 N·m (89 l b-ft) maximum torque. Anyone wishing to benefit from the car’s full savings potential and attain a combined fuel consumption value of 2.44 liters will need to press the “Eco” button, activating an operating mode that reduces the engine’s power output to 26 kW / 36 PS.
Since they share a common construction as an engine family, the 0.8 TDI and the 1.6 TDI have an identical cylinder spacing (88 millimeters), identical bore (79.5 millimeters) and stroke (80.5 millimeters). In addition, these TDI engines share important internal engine details for reducing emissions. They include special piston recesses, multiple injection and special tuning of the individual injection jets.In both cases, the technical package includes exhaust gas recirculation, oxidation catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter. Both TDIs exhibit especially quiet and low-vibration operation thanks to common rail injection. The aluminium crankcase was also built with a high degree of form precision, resulting in very low friction losses.
In two of its operating phases, the hybrid drive of the Up! Lite was designed to operate without any TDI propulsion at all.
In coast-down, activated by the driver taking his or her foot off the gas pedal (car coasts, TDI engine is shut off).
For shorter distances of up to 2 km (1.2 miles), e.g. in residential areas, the E-motor can power the Up! Lite all by itself. In this case, a lithium-ion battery supplies the energy.
|The Up! Lite concept features a weight-optimized mix of metals. Click to enlarge.|
Since it is capable of pure electric driving, the configuration is classified as a full hybrid. Shifting work is handled by a 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) like the one used in the new Polo. Moreover, the Volkswagen is equipped with a Stop-Start system.
The car features a safety frame of aluminium, steel and carbon fiber. The Volkswagen concept has a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph) and accelerates to 100 km/h in 12.5 seconds.
The vehicle uses active thermal management with the radiator grille closing and opening automatically depending on the cooling needs of the engine (although te grille failed to open during the demonstration at the unveil). When the car is parked in the summer, hot air is vented to outside the vehicle (passive park ventilation). Instead of a classic rearview mirror, the Up! Lite uses three cameras to perform this function.