Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2010 Volkswagen Golf R

At the 2009 IAA, however, Volkswagen is demonstrating - with the debut of Volkswagen Golf R - that fuel consumption values can even be corrected downward in the high-end sports car area. And indeed without even a hint of a compromise in dynamic performance. On the contrary. Traditionally each new R version of this model series bears the title "strongest Golf of all times." With a power of 199 kW / 270 PS (at 6,000 rpm), the new Volkswagen Golf R is continuing in this dynamic tradition; the previous model transferred 184 kW / 250 PS to its all-wheel drive system. The highlight here: While the now retired Volkswagen Golf R32 processed 10.7 litres of fuel through its fuel injection system every 100 kilometres, on the new Volkswagen Golf R the figure is just 8.5 litres - 2.2 litres or 21 percent less! CO2 emissions were reduced from 255 to 199 g/km. Like all R models, this one was also conceptualised by Volkswagen Individual.

In parallel, its performance data advanced as well. The new Volkswagen Golf R sprints from 0 to 100 km/h - also via all-wheel drive - in 5.7 seconds. On the previous model, the stopwatch stopped at 6.5 seconds. The new model puts the 1,000-meter mark behind it in 25.4 seconds, while the already masterful Golf R32 shot past this mark in 26.7 seconds. The Volkswagen Golf R does this even better with the optional DSG gearbox, sprinting to 100 km/h in a sensational 5.5 seconds and requiring just 8.4 litres petrol per 100 kilometres (equivalent to 195 g/km CO2) at the fuel pump.

The enormous efficiency gain of the new Golf R is not based on some magical trick, rather it is the result of highly advanced downsizing. Its legendary predecessor generated its power from a displacement of 3.2 litres ("32") and six cylinders. In the new model, this is done with four cylinders and 2.0 litres of displacement - a highly advanced direct injection petrol engine with turbocharging (TSI). At the fuel pump and on the winding mountain road, this high-tech alliance is superior to a classic six cylinder unit with multi-point injection. Proving that even the sound of a four cylinder can leave a strong impression are the fifth and sixth generations of the VW Golf GTI, which is also powered by a four cylinder TSI. And the Volkswagen Golf R exhibits an even greater "sound range."

The TSI's torque characteristic is just as impressive. By comparison: The six cylinder of the previous model developed a maximum torque of 320 Newton-meters at 2,500 rpm. And that was already remarkably good. The turbo four-cylinder direct injection engine of the new Volkswagen Golf R, on the other hand, transfers 350 Newton-meters torque to the crankshaft, which is also available starting at 2,500 rpm, but it can maintain this peak value up to 5,000 rpm. So the new car delivers a fascinatingly high level of basic dynamic performance. The Volkswagen Golf R32 and Golf R are really only equal in one discipline; they both have a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited on the Volkswagen Golf R).

TSI of the Volkswagen Golf R

The EA113 series direct-injection petrol engine is used in the new Volkswagen Golf R; its turbocharger makes it very flexible and variable right up into the highest performance ranges. The 1,984 cm3 TSI's specific power is a respectable 100.3 kW / 136.6 PS per litre displacement, and its response is just as impressive. The engine's power can be spontaneously summoned in the blink of an eye throughout its speed range. The engine also impressively underscores its potential acoustically. Visually too: Its two chrome tailpipes can be seen at the centre of the bumper under the diffuser integrated there - an "R trait" that the previous model also displayed.

The in-line four-cylinder engine develops its tremendous propulsive power via a turbocharger (up to 1.2 bar boost pressure) with intercooling. The engine, with a weight of just 152 kilograms, is controlled by a fully electronic engine management system with E-Gas. The cylinders of the four-cylinder engine have been equipped with reinforcing bolts, unlike less powerful TSI versions. Also designed to be stronger are the connecting rods, so that they can reliably transfer the engine's high torque to the crankshaft. Last but not least the cylinder block was also reinforced to handle the aggressive engine forces.

New all-wheel drive on the Volkswagen Golf R

As standard equipment, the Volkswagen Golf R transfers the TSI's power to the road via the latest generation of Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Compared to the version implemented in the Golf R32, the system underwent significant advanced development. Above all, power transmission between the front and rear axles - especially the all-wheel differential that operates in an oil bath - exhibits clear advances compared to the previous generation. The most important one: Activation of the all-wheel differential no longer requires a difference in speeds between the front and rear axles.

That is because, different than on the previous generation, for the first time an electric pump is used to build pressure. The electric pump supplies oil to a hydraulic reservoir whose working pressure is 30 bar. A control module computes the ideal drive torque for the rear axle and controls, via a valve, how much oil pressure is applied to the working pistons of the multi-plate clutch. The contact pressure at the clutch plates rises in proportion to the desired torque at the rear axle. The amount of torque that is transferred can be varied continuously with the magnitude of the pressure applied to the clutch plates. Compared to the previous 4Motion generation, the system operates independent of slip, since the system's working pressure is always available. When starting up and accelerating, this prevents spinning of the wheels at the front axle more effectively, since the control module regulates the torque distribution based on dynamic axle loads. In extreme cases, nearly 100 percent of the drive torque can be directed to the rear axle. This results in further gains in active safety and dynamic performance.

Sport chassis and brakes on the VW Golf R

When it came to the chassis, development engineers were able to adopt the first-class system in the current production Golf. This means: In front the familiar McPherson strut suspension with helical springs and telescoping shock absorbers; and at the rear a multi-link suspension ensures that the standard ESP seldom needs to intervene. Nonetheless, the basic layout was transformed into a sport chassis with ride-height lowered 25 millimetres, and the springs, dampers and stabilisers were completely retuned to match.

The brake system was also modified for the higher level of driving performance on the Volkswagen Golf R. In place of a 16-inch system, a 17-inch brake system is used with internally ventilated discs all around and R-specific brake calipers painted a high-gloss black with R logo. In front the discs are 345 millimetres in diameter, and 310 millimetres at the rear. The electronic stabilisation program (ESP) was also modified. It can be switched to a new Sport mode via the ESP button. During very fast and curve-filled drives - as on a motorsport race course - the ESP system delays intervention, enabling even more responsive handling properties. The electro-mechanical power-assist steering of the Golf R was also given a sportier characteristic. If the sports car is ordered with the optional DCC dynamic chassis control option, the power-assist steering even assumes a specially tuned characteristic for each of the system's driving modes (Sport, Normal, Comfort).

The chassis maintains contact with the road through its standard newly designed 18-inch alloy wheels ("Talladega" type) with 225/40 tyres. As an option, the same wheels are available in a 19-inch version with 235/35 tyres.

Exterior features of the VW Golf R

Like the first two generations of the Super Golf (I starting in 2002, II in 2005) and the new sister model, the Volkswagen Scirocco R, the new Golf R too sports a completely modified set of exterior and interior features. Volkswagen designers, led by Klaus Bischoff, have given the Volkswagen Golf R an independent image with a bundle of well-coordinated refinements. The Volkswagen Golf R unmistakably marks the peak of the model series, and the quality of its styling follows the basic postulate of "La Semplicità" set forth by the Head of Group Design, Walter de Silva.

Outside, the customisation includes new wheels and brakes as well as new bumper designs. In front, three very large air intakes characterise the VW Golf R in the bumper area; the louvres on the intakes are painted in high-gloss black, and standard LED strips that serves as daytime running lights are integrated in the two outer air intakes. Also painted in high-gloss black are the two louvres of the radiator grille. Placed on the right side of the grille is the newly designed R logo in chrome. Bi-Xenon headlights, included without surcharge, illuminate the way through the night. On its sides, the Volkswagen Golf R is identified by its Talladega wheels, side skirt extensions in car colour and mirror housings painted in high-gloss black.

It is also possible to recognise the Volkswagen Golf R as an independent top model at the rear. Along with the bumper with diffuser and tailpipes, R logo and larger roof edge spoiler, the newly developed taillights stand out. They operate with standard, distinctive LED technology. The taillight covers are also smoked.

Interior features of the VW Golf R

The sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, with its high-end interior materials, breaks through boundaries to the next higher class. The Golf R also benefits from this quality image; it is in a league of its own based on its power reserves. Additional special upgrades developed by Volkswagen Individual underscore the car's high-class positioning.

A key equipment option here is the newly designed "Top Sport seat system" with its excellent ergonomic properties. The driver just sits down, adjusts the seat longitudinally and in height, adjusts the steering wheel, buckles up, and is ready to go. The seat fits as though tailor-made. Together with the similarly customised Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf GTD, the Golf R sets standards here among the international competition. The centre panels of the sport seats are upholstered in the honeycomb textured grey-black "Kyalami" design - named after the race course by the same name in South Africa. The front edge of the seat is upholstered in Titan Black fabric, while the inside panels of the side supports are upholstered with crystal-grey "San Remo" micro-fibres. The rest of the seat components and the roofliner are coloured black. The new R logo is embroidered in the front head restraints as well. Motorsport shell seats for driver and front passenger are also available as an option. In this case, the centre seat panels are upholstered in the "San Remo" micro-fibre fabric. On the outside, the shell seats are covered with black leather.

All seams of the interior are in "Art Grey"; this is also true of the decorative seams on the three-spoke leather steering wheel. Perforated leather is used at the top and bottom of the steering wheel, ensuring maximum hand grip. The sides of the steering wheel featuring ergonomic motorsport attributes are covered by continuous leather. Spokes in fine black piano paint add an elegant aspect to complete the sporty image. The centre steering wheel spoke bears the new R logo. The fascinating material contrast of piano paint and chrome conveys an image of the passion for finesse and precision in every detail.

Other new design features include the R gearshift knob, carpet floor mats, aluminium door tread plates with R logo and the instruments with their blue pointers. Stainless steel sport pedals and R-specific instrument and door accents in "Silver Lane" style complete the customisation. Another standard feature on the Volkswagen Golf R is an automatic climate control system ("Climatronic"), "RCD 310" radio-CD system (4 x 20 Watt) including MP3 player plus dual tuners. The Volkswagen Golf R can be ordered in Germany starting at the end of 2009.

2009 Volkswagen L1 Concept

The Volkswagen L1 Concept is unique in the world today. Thanks to a carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) body, it weighs just 380 kilograms. The two-seater is powered by a new common rail turbo-diesel (two-cylinder TDI) and an electric motor. With its average fuel consumption of 1.49 litres diesel per 100 kilometres, this fully road-ready and extremely aerodynamic L1 (Cd 0.195!) is advancing to become the most fuel-efficient hybrid automobile in the world. CO2 emissions of the 160 km/h fast concept car are just 39 g/km. If the Volkswagen L1 were to also go into production in 2013, it would debut an entirely new lightweight car concept and introduce a new era in automotive production.


The TDI, E-motor and 7-speed 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 redeveloped 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 Volkswagen 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 Volkswagen 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 restarting 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 automatically 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 Volkswagen L1 Concept 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 engine features for reducing emissions. They include special piston crowns, multi-injection and individual orientations of the specific injection jets. On both drivetrains there is exhaust gas recirculation, an oxidation catalytic converter and a diesel particulate filter. Equipped this way, the TDIs in each Volkswagen fulfil the limits of the Euro-5 emissions standard with ease.

The 1.6 TDI, thanks to its common rail injection, is also an exceptionally quiet and low-vibration diesel engine. These positive properties have been successfully transferred to the two-cylinder unit. The TDI's aluminium crankcase was also constructed with high precision to achieve very low friction losses. The oil pump, designed to operate at a maximum oil pressure of 4.0 bar, also contributes to engine efficiency.

Another example of how the entire drive system is configured for high efficiency is the Volkswagen L1's cooling system. Its external water pump is controlled by engine management so that cooling is only activated while engine operating conditions require it. This thermal management also contributes to reduced fuel consumption. A second electric water pump, also activated only when needed, provides cooling required for the starter generator and the power electronics in a separate water circulation loop operating at a lower temperature level.

Automatic transmission - details of the 7-speed DSG

Gear shifting work aboard the Volkswagen L1 is handled by the 7-speed DSG, which is one of the most innovative automatic transmissions in production. Compared to the version equipping the new Polo, for example, the design of the Direct Shift Gearbox has been developed to include clutch control for the hybrid module. Furthermore, individual gear ratios have been optimised to attain responsive driving performance despite the car's extremely low fuel consumption. The hybrid module is integrated into the DSG housing as previously mentioned. It is located where the flywheel is usually to be found.

Driving performance - economical and yet responsive

The Volkswagen L1, equipped with ABS and ESP, has a top speed of up to 160 km/h - this is remarkable considering its fuel efficiency. With maximum acceleration from a standstill, the two-seater reaches 100 km/h after just 14.3 seconds. The fuel tank holds just ten litres yet, this is sufficient for a theoretical driving range of about 670 kilometres, given the car's 1.38 litre average fuel consumption.


Talking about car driving as 'piloting' might sound out of place, but in the case of the Volkswagen L1 it is wholly appropriate. The driver (in the CFRP tube frame seat) and passenger (in the fixed CFRP seat that is part of the monocoque) sit one behind the other. At both locations, the seat position is ergonomical and very comfortable. All instruments and controls are arranged over a 180 degree radius for the driver, which places them perfectly within view and reach. The instrument panel itself has been integrated into the monocoque and is made of CFRP. The interior applications are produced from glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP). One of the materials Volkswagen is introducing for interior side trim is the new "Sport Esteem" material that is as robust as it is touch-friendly.

To start the Volkswagen L1, the driver pushes a button on the right side of the steering wheel. When it is rotated, the round start button simultaneously serves as a gear selector switch and is used to activate the electronic handbrake (Drive, Neutral, Reverse and Park). The entry canopy and rear hatch are opened electrically by touch controls to the left and right of the driver. Also designed as touch sensors are controls for the entire air conditioning control system. Via multifunctional keys in the steering wheel, the driver controls the on-board computer, navigation and entertainment systems.

The classic door mirror and rear-view mirror have been completely eliminated on the Volkswagen L1. In their place, cameras display images on OLED-active (OLED = organic light emitting diode) displays located on the left and right sides of the instrument panel. A Park Distance Control (PDC) system makes parking easier as well.

In case of a crash, not only are the driver and passenger protected by the monocoque, which is designed as a highly rigid CFRP safety cell, as well as aluminium crash elements in the front of the car, but also by a steering wheel airbag and head/side curtain airbags to the left and right inside the entry canopy.


Both technically and visually, the CFRP body is already a significant achievement in car design. Unique on this car: the proportions of its dimensions. While the length of the Volkswagen 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.

CFRP body - Monocoque and exterior skin

The two-seat monocoque, including the tubular frame driver's seat and passenger seat as well as the exterior body skin, all consist of CFRP. There are no doors. Instead, the driver and passenger climb into the Volkswagen L1 from the top. An electrically actuated entry canopy above the seats is opened and closed for this purpose. Headlights and taillights all utilize LED technology, which consume a lot less energy. The rear wheels are completely covered; their wheel covers can be removed to change the Michelin low resistance tires ("Energy Saver": front 95/60 R16, rear 115/70 R16). The underbody is also completely enclosed. The 0.8 TDI is cooled via adaptive air channels integrated in the sides of the car body. These automatically open and close based on the hybrid unit's operating state and vehicle speed. The tailgate is opened in the usual, manual way. It too consists of CFRP. Inside is a stowage space of 50 litres.

CFRP advantages - composition and weight

Carbon fibre reinforced plastic, as the name implies, consists of multiple layers of high-strength carbon fibres, which are integrated in a very tough matrix. This mix results in an extremely strong and lightweight composite material. Until now, producing a body like that of the Volkswagen L1 from CFRP, while conforming to industrial standards, was an insurmountable task. Up to now CFRP was only practical for very small production runs, as in aircraft manufacturing or motorsport. Now Volkswagen has succeeded in finding a production-viable and cost-effective way to produce CFRP parts in suitable volumes.

The reason that CFRP is the ideal material for the Volkswagen L1 body is demonstrated by considering its weight and strength. The Volkswagen L1 weighs just 380 kilograms, which is equivalent to the weight of a very high-end, fully equipped touring motorcycle of the 1200-cc class. The Volkswagen L1, on the other hand, is an automobile through and through. Of the 380 kilograms curb weight, 122 kilograms are taken by the drivetrain, 79 kilograms by the chassis, 35 kilograms by interior furnishings and 20 kilograms by the electrical system. 124 kilograms remain, and this is precisely the weight of the body.

These 124 kilograms can be further broken down: 64 kilograms are accounted for by the CFRP monocoque including integrated passenger seat, 28 kilograms is the weight of the entire CFRP exterior skin, 19 kilograms for the CFRP entry canopy, 9 kilograms for the CFRP driver's seat and 4 kilograms for the LED lights. By way of comparison: The body of the legendary Lupo 3L - until today the smallest Volkswagen production car ever built - weighed 306 kilograms, and the entire car weighed a lightweight 813 kilograms. That is 433 kilograms more than the Volkswagen L1.

And there are other advantages: the material's extremely high stress limits and its ideal forming properties for even the most challenging of design features.

Design - anything but typical, yet a typical Volkswagen

The design and styling of the Volkswagen L1 Concept - function and form - combine to form one uncompromising unit. Walter de Silva, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Group has this to say: "The design of the Volkswagen L1 redefines classic and aesthetic vehicle traits. Especially significant, of course, is how the nearly rocket-shaped lines catch one's attention. All of its moving parts are integrated so accurately that the body resembles a rocket or jet. It is a body that cuts through the air with minimal aerodynamic resistance." A top Cd value of 0.195 and 1.02 m2 frontal area (Cd x A = 0.199 m2) is a statement that is sculpted into the CFRP.

And this is how it looks, the most aerodynamic front end in the world: "The typical layout of conventional headlights with a radiator grille in the middle would be entirely inappropriate here," says de Silva. "That is why we chose a more minimalistic layout and integrated the headlights into a neutral horizontal stripe that conveys a far-sighted and contemporary feeling." The Head of Group Design continues: "In a sense, we applied the same principle to the front end of the Scirocco, where the headlights are joined by a glossy black stripe, and the brand logo is also placed on the engine bonnet. This underscores the dynamic character of this automobile."

The extremely aerodynamic design also shapes the rear with its diffuser and wheels that are completely enclosed. The most distinctive feature of the overall appearance in the rear are the LED taillights that were worked into the TDI's air outlet ports. De Silva: "The same stylistic features as in front are repeated in the rear, in the taillights - which we have integrated in the grilles of the two air outlet ports; they have an even more aerodynamic appearance. Another identifying feature is the air outlet directly behind the cockpit - a nearly abstract, graphic element that underscores the purposeful aesthetics of this vehicle." Due to the driver's low seating position, there is an additional window in the roof that is ideal, for example, to view traffic lights.

2009 Volkswagen E-Up Concept

In its styling, the powerful and clearly drawn lines of the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept body follow the new Volkswagen "design DNA" par excellence and show cult potential. That is because never before has an ultra-compact vehicle - which does not aim to be retro but forges new paths instead - brought such appealing, timeless, class-independent and dynamic qualities to light. Inside, the smallest Volkswagen ever also astonishes with its impressive space utilisation. The zero-emissions concept car designed under the leadership of Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management, Volkswagen Brand, and Head of the Development business area, is based on modules of the New Small Family anticipated in the year 2011, but at a length of 3.19 meters it is even more compact. It also offers an innovative 3+1 seating concept.

Drive unit - battery and integral drive

The 135 km/h fast 3+1 seater is driven by an electric motor with a peak power output of 60 kW (continuous power: 40 kW). The motor of the front-wheel drive car, which is mounted in front, develops a maximum torque of 210 Newton-meters right from rest. The driver activates forward or reverse gear via a rotary knob in the centre console. The fact that the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept will also quite clearly offer driving enjoyment is demonstrated by a look at the car's classic 0 to 100-km/h sprint time: 11.3 seconds. The Volkswagen E-Up! Concept develops even greater responsiveness in the intermediate sprint from 0 to 50 km/h in city driving: 3.5 seconds. This dynamic performance is based first on the electric motor's excellent torque characteristic and second on the low kerb weight of the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept, which is just 1,085 kilograms.

Lithium-ion battery: The car's low weight is quite astounding, given the fact that 240 kilograms are taken up by the lithium-ion battery. The implemented battery's energy capacity of 18 kilowatt-hours (kWh) enables driving distances of up to 130 kilometres, depending on driving style - enough for the city and the drives of most commuters. The Volkswagen E-Up! Concept will be "refueled" in the garage at home, in a parking structure or on the road at one of the future municipal recharging stations that will be enabled by chip card. Depending on the available charging infrastructure and the battery's momentary charge state, the storage battery could be charged to up to 80 percent of its total capacity within an hour.

If the batteries are recharged in a home garage, for example, by plugging it into a 230-Volt household outlet, this would take a maximum of five hours. Generally, off-peak night-time electric rates are very inexpensive. So refueled at night the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept could be driven 100 kilometres for just two Euros in electricity costs (about 14 Euro cents / kWh).

The batteries themselves are housed in the underbody of the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept To optimally distribute the weight of the battery system, it is housed in a special, crash-protected tray in the underbody frame. Air cooling ensures a constant heat balance within the batteries. The fans and heat exchangers needed for this are housed in the front section of the underbody.

Integral drive: The teams of Concept Development (headed by Ralf-Gerhard Willner) and Engine Development (headed by Dr. Jens Hadler) integrated all important drive assemblies and auxiliary assemblies in the engine compartment at the front end. The design of an integrated form of the electric drive made a key contribution toward reducing weight and space requirements for the drive unit. Background: All components important to the powertrain are unified in compact form in the so-called integral drive. In this unit, the electric motor, together with the transmission and differential, form the centrepiece of this drive. Energy is supplied via a high-power pulse-control inverter, which is combined with the 12-Volt electrical system DC/DC converter and the charger to form the compact integral drive. At 140 kilograms, the integral drive is also very lightweight. To summarise its advantages: low space requirement, ideal acoustic comfort, high torque and power development and strong driving performance in the city. So the system fulfils the requirements of an innovative electric drive in a nearly ideal way.

Styling - the Beetle of the 21st Century

The Volkswagen E-Up! Concept emphatically demonstrates that emission-free Volkswagens will be anything but lacking in emotion. Responsible for this, once again, is the team led by Group Chief Designer Walter de Silva. Together with Klaus Bischoff (Chief Designer, Volkswagen Brand) and Flavio Manzoni (Head of Creative Design, Volkswagen Group), he developed a layout for the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept that reflects the visual bandwidth of the future New Small Family. The Volkswagen E-Up! Concept bears a resemblance to previously presented concept vehicles of this new model series - the Up! (city specialist), Space-Up! (microvan) and Space-Up Blue! (fuel cell powered van) - it represents a design stage that reflects the future production car even more closely.

"The VW E-Up!", says Klaus Bischoff, "is characterised by a reduced, very clear and yet highly emotional design." And that is certainly no coincidence. The car's lines consistently follow Volkswagen's new era "design DNA" that was developed by de Silva, Bischoff and Manzoni. Its key stylistic traits: Simplicity, purity, durability and perfection of its technologies and quality. Bischoff: "The new concept is therefore very much in harmony with its stylistic 'siblings' of the New Small Family, the Roadster BlueSport and the new Polo." Dimensions of the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept are 3.19 meters (length) x 1.64 meters (width) x 1.47 meters (height). Its wheelbase is 2.19 meters.

Front end: Although Volkswagen E-Up! Concept styling was developed from the Up!, the electric car differs from conventionally powered models in the new model series. Consider the front end: It fits in perfectly with the brand's new family face, yet at the same time it refers back to one of the greatest icons in automotive history in the area of the engine bonnet: the Beetle. Nonetheless, the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept does not reveal the slightest hint of retro styling; instead, designers created new and unmistakable styling tools that would carry the small Volkswagen far into the future.

Fitting in with this image are the headlights with their facet-like lenses - cut like diamonds - that extend over the entire width of the lens cover. Another interesting detail: the fog lights. At first glance they can hardly be recognised as such. The designers have configured them as C-shaped, chrome-trimmed elements in the headlight housings. Also style-defining is the black line running in a circular pattern in the bumper - a typical characteristic of the New Small Family. "In the interplay of all elements, the bumper, headlights and engine bonnet," explains Klaus Bischoff, "the VW E-Up! really appears to smile. And that is how it should be." Conspicuous: There are hardly any openings at the front end, since there is no need for separate cooling of the drive unit.

The VW logo on the V-shaped engine bonnet of the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept is more than just an homage to the Beetle. Hidden behind the folding logo is the integrated port for charging the batteries. The advantage of positioning the plug port here is that it makes it easier to recharge the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept from stations on either the left or right sides of the street or directly in front of the car.

Side profile: "In keeping with Volkswagen's "design DNA" the side sections also exhibit a high level of stylistic purity, following the Bauhaus principle created in the 1920s in Germany that 'less is more'," says Flavio Manzoni. This car's visual identity is very intentionally created by just a few graphic elements that blend together to form a new unit in the classic Bauhaus approach to creative art and innovative technology. These defining elements of the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept side profile include its side glass and shoulder styling line above the door handles known as the tornado line. The side profile styling is further defined by the car's short body overhangs, the confident outward shaping of the wheel housings and unique C-pillar. Flavio Manzoni explains the special presence of the C-pillar: "Visually, the vertically aligned C-pillar is positioned above the rear wheel, which conveys a feeling of balance and solidity. These properties are indispensable for a Volkswagen. Last but not least, the prominent and powerful wheel styling gives the car a perfect 'demeanour'".

Rear end: The basic graphic forms of the tailgate and rear bumper follow those of the very first Up! However, the once again completely glazed tailgate now exhibits significantly larger taillights in dark smoked glass look. Running through the taillights is a line trimmed in chrome that extends across the tailgate. The circular chrome line unites the two taillights in a vertical direction. These accents are also reflected in the matching graphic element of the front and rear bumpers.

Solar roof: The roof of the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept is equipped with solar cells over an area measuring 1.4 square meters. This area - between the rear part of the roof edge spoiler and the front windscreen - can be enlarged to 1.7 square meters in total by folding down the sun visors that are also equipped with solar cells. The solar cells continuously supply energy to the car's electrical system, and while the vehicle is parked they help to cool the interior by supplying energy to the car's ventilation system.

Interior I - Instruments and controls

Flavio Manzoni: "The interior was designed in complete harmony with the car's exterior styling, and it exhibits a similar aesthetic with a technical-purist influence." To improve the electric car's energy economy by avoiding unnecessary loads, actuators such as mirror adjustment and window lifts were designed to be manually operated. Nonetheless, the highly innovative Volkswagen E-Up! Concept makes its appearance with an impressive array of future generation high-tech displays and controls. They are all quite self-explanatory, and the car's controls are intuitive, making driving and life with this Volkswagen as simple and stress-free as possible.

HMI: The concept car has a touch-screen based HMI (Human Machine Interface) with intelligent Volkswagen E-Up! Concept specific indicators and assistance functions. During navigation, the system continually monitors the momentary load state of the batteries, for example, as well as activated energy consumers such as lights and air conditioner, momentary traffic data, elevation profiles of potential routes and the locations of available charging stations. The driver can display these "filling stations" at any time; available charging stations may be reserved within a defined reservation time period.

The charging process can also be precisely planned to the minute via the HMI. This lets users charge the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept during a specific time period in which electricity is available at special low rates. The charging process can be activated at any time via an intuitively operated application installed on an iPhone or similar mobile device, even from outside of the vehicle. Even more: From the application users can query the momentary charge status and vehicle location (the latter via map display) or simply check whether the car is locked. Moreover, to preserve vehicle battery power the program lets users pre-condition the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept interior. This involves cooling or heating the car's interior as long as the car is still connected to the charging station and is drawing its electrical power from the electrical grid.

Interior II - 3+1 seating concept

The generous space implemented over a total vehicle area of just 5.1 square meters is absolutely astounding. Several factors are responsible for this clever packaging. First, there is the reduced size of the instrument panel, which was shifted further forward than usual toward the engine compartment. This was enabled, among other things, by optimising the components within the instrument panel. Second, the small Volkswagen is a 3+1 seater. This means that the front passenger seat is located 50 millimetres forward, thanks to the instruments being shifted further forward. This layout increases leg room in the rear behind the front passenger tremendously. As a result, two adults can sit comfortably on the passenger's side. Stepping into the vehicle is also simplified by an Easy-Entry feature, which allows the front passenger's seat to be pushed up to 270 millimetres away from the rear bench. There is less leg room behind the "normally" positioned driver's seat; the space here was designed as a spare seat.

Additional freedom of movement is provided to rear passengers by lowering the centre tunnel in front of the rear bench seat; it serves as an additional footrest. This enables use of an electric handbrake in the style of the Passat, so that no lever mechanism obstructs the footwell.

Cargo area: The clever packaging solutions do not end there: To optimise comfort in the rear, the rear seat backrest is split 40/60. When the backrest on the driver's seat is folded down (40 percent section), stowage capacity is increased from 85 to 180 litres (with loading to the upper edge of the front seat backrest). This stowage space can be enclosed by a load barrier that folds down out from the folded backrest. When the entire rear seating backrest is folded down, a stowage capacity of 320 litres is created. It is even 520 litres when loaded to the roofliner. To transport long objects, the front passenger's backrest can also be folded to a pass-through position. In this configuration, the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept can handle objects up to two metres in length.

This high degree of variability will also certainly characterise the affordable production version of an Up! powered by an electric motor. That is because electric cars, as Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn insists and therefore wrote into the specification for this future Volkswagen, must be truly affordable and offer uncompromising everyday practicality.

Micro-mobility in the city - made by Volkswagen

Volkswagen is comprehensively addressing implementation of this everyday practicality. These efforts not only encompass the vehicle itself, but the entire environment around the car driver. In the city, for example, this includes the realisation that after parking the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept people will want to cover shorter distances without a car - from the job to lunch, to the fitness studio, another meeting, whatever is on the day's schedule. For these shorter trips, the Volkswagen "Micro-mobility in the city" concept team has invented clever zero-emission micro-vehicles. The Kickstep, for example, which is an ultra-compact folding scooter. And the electrically powered Microbully, a scooter that also fits easily in the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept load space. There is also the ped-tric, a folding bike with electric motors built into the wheel hubs that could also make the trip to the city aboard the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept And even the VW_1M, a large electric moped - the size of a carry-on case when not in use - that could be stowed in the Volkswagen E-Up! Concept without even needing to fold down the rear bench seat. Such micro-mobility solutions were created at the Volkswagen Design Center in Potsdam. So the E-Up! will be putting many things into motion. In 2013 this will become a reality for the first time.

Technical Specifications
Dimensions / Running Gear
Length: 3,199 mm
Width: 1,641 mm
Height: 1,468 mm
Wheelbase: 2,190 mm
Front overhang: 555 mm
Rear overhang: 454 mm
Front suspension: McPherson
Rear suspension: Semi-independent
Drive type: Electric motor
Power (max. / continuous): 60 KW / 40KW
Max. torque: 210 Nm
Transmission / Tyres
Transmission: EQ 210 (1-speed variable transmission)
Drive type: Front-wheel drive
Tyre size: 185/50 R16
Performance data
0-50 km/h: 3.5 s
0-100 km/h: 11.3 s
Top speed: 135 km/h


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