Automotive

Volkswagen's 214 mpg Twin Up! concept debuts in Tokyo

Volkswagen's 214 mpg Twin Up! ...
Twin Up! uses a 2-cylinder, 800 cc diesel engine in partner with a 35 kW electric motor to achieve its impressive mileage figures
Twin Up! uses a 2-cylinder, 800 cc diesel engine in partner with a 35 kW electric motor to achieve its impressive mileage figures
View 18 Images
Twin Up! made its world debut at the Tokyo Motor Show this week (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
1/18
Twin Up! made its world debut at the Tokyo Motor Show this week (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
In electric mode only the Twin Up! has a top speed of 125 km/h (77 mph) (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
2/18
In electric mode only the Twin Up! has a top speed of 125 km/h (77 mph) (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
Twin Up! has a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) in hybrid mode (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
3/18
Twin Up! has a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) in hybrid mode (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
Twin Up! decked out in “Ceramic” colors has user-configurable home screen and a dual-climate control system (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
4/18
Twin Up! decked out in “Ceramic” colors has user-configurable home screen and a dual-climate control system (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
Mileage figures would make the Twin Up! the most efficient production car on the planet (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
5/18
Mileage figures would make the Twin Up! the most efficient production car on the planet (Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
Output with both engines engaged is 74 horsepower and 157 lb.ft (215 Nm) of torque(Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
6/18
Output with both engines engaged is 74 horsepower and 157 lb.ft (215 Nm) of torque(Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
Volkswagen claims the Twin Up! can achieve 214 mpg (1.09 L/100km)
7/18
Volkswagen claims the Twin Up! can achieve 214 mpg (1.09 L/100km)
Twin Up! has a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) in hybrid mode
8/18
Twin Up! has a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) in hybrid mode
Twin Up! uses a 2-cylinder, 800 cc diesel engine in partner with a 35 kW electric motor to achieve its impressive mileage figures
9/18
Twin Up! uses a 2-cylinder, 800 cc diesel engine in partner with a 35 kW electric motor to achieve its impressive mileage figures
Twin Up! will do 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 15.7 seconds in hybrid mode
10/18
Twin Up! will do 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 15.7 seconds in hybrid mode
Twin Up! uses same hybrid arrangement as the 261 mpg XL1
11/18
Twin Up! uses same hybrid arrangement as the 261 mpg XL1
Digital display shows air quality, temperature and energy efficiencies and statistics for both drive modes
12/18
Digital display shows air quality, temperature and energy efficiencies and statistics for both drive modes
Twin Up! uses regenerative braking to recharge the battery and “load point shifting” when running diesel to improve efficiency and capture excess energy
13/18
Twin Up! uses regenerative braking to recharge the battery and “load point shifting” when running diesel to improve efficiency and capture excess energy
The Twin Up! concept is reported to provide a range of 50 km (31 miles) when running on electric alone
14/18
The Twin Up! concept is reported to provide a range of 50 km (31 miles) when running on electric alone
An 8.6 kWh battery and 33 liter gas tank are mounted behind the rear seat with the 0.8 liter diesel engine mounted up front
15/18
An 8.6 kWh battery and 33 liter gas tank are mounted behind the rear seat with the 0.8 liter diesel engine mounted up front
The driver has control over when and where the electric is engaged, and when the diesel can come back into the equation via a “pulse start” system
16/18
The driver has control over when and where the electric is engaged, and when the diesel can come back into the equation via a “pulse start” system
17/18
18/18

Earlier this year Volkswagen announced production of its 261 mpg hyper-efficient XL1, but with an estimated $145,000 price tag it’s unlikely the hybrid will become a common fixture on most streets. The company’s Twin Up! hybrid concept, which made its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show yesterday, could however become a more reasonable option for the masses.

Cute as an inner-city button, Volkswagen’s new Twin Up! shares the same hybrid power configuration as the XL1, but without the sticker shock. By virtue a carbon fiber body and chassis, a drag coefficient of 0.30 Cd and a 2-cylinder, 800 cc diesel engine that works in partnership with a 35 kW electric motor, Volkswagen says the 2657 lb (1205 kg) car can make an astounding 214 mpg (1.09 L/100km). These figures would make the 1 liter Twin Up! the most efficient production car on the planet, and not too far behind the XL1 in terms of mileage bragging rights.

Unsurprisingly, performance figures of the Twin Up! aren't quite at supercar level, but they are definitely workable for an urban commuter. Volkswagen reports 0-100 km/h (62 mph) times of 15.7 seconds and a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph) in hybrid mode. In electric mode only the Twin Up! has a top speed of 125 km/h (77 mph).

Volkswagen has chosen to go with a 7-speed DSG gearbox and with the 8.6 kWh battery and 33 liter gas tank mounted behind the rear seat, the concept is reported to provide a range of 50 km (30 miles) when running on electric power only. Total power output with both engines engaged is 74 horsepower and peak torque is 157 lb.ft (215 Nm).

Output with both engines engaged is 74 horsepower and 157 lb.ft (215 Nm) of torque(Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)
Output with both engines engaged is 74 horsepower and 157 lb.ft (215 Nm) of torque(Photo: Mike Hanlon / Gizmag.com)

The Twin Up! Hybrid system is designed so that the driver has control over when and where the electric is engaged, and when the diesel can come back into the equation via a “pulse start” system. This system is designed to seamlessly restart the diesel and bring it up to speed, thus avoiding any jolts upon engagement. Twin Up! uses regenerative braking to recharge the battery but also relies on “load point shifting” when running the TDI, which according to Volkswagen improves engine efficiency and feeds excess energy back into the charging system.

Digital display shows air quality, temperature and energy efficiencies and statistics for both drive modes
Digital display shows air quality, temperature and energy efficiencies and statistics for both drive modes

Inside, the tiny four-seater is decked out in Volkswagen’s “Ceramic” color scheme and features a user-configurable home screen designed specifically for the car. A dual-climate control system is mounted mid-dash that also shows air quality, temperature, energy efficiency and statistics for both drive systems.

While this is clearly a car designed with a high-volume production in mind, there's no word yet on when/if Volkswagen will bring the Twin Up! to production, or on what it will cost.

Source: Volkswagen

23 comments
Slowburn
complicated = expensive batteries & electric motor = expensive Did somebody mention carbon fiber? Hardly anybody that could afford it would be willing to be seen in it.
The Skud
A worthy thought, but if you have 4 people going anywhere, where do you put, for instance, grocery bags? What should be a boot (trunk?) is full of batteries.
The Skud
Apologies - Read th story, then checked out the pix. There appears, #15, to be a little space left at rear.
Stephen Colbourne
We need a better way of comparing the economy of hybrids. Plug in hybrids such as the Volt should show the steady cruising range and economy after the battery has been exausted of its initial charge as well as the government combined figures for short trips. If I want to drive to Queensland from Melbourne (2000km approx) will the 33litre tank in the TwinUp get me there without re-fuelling ? I do think there is a place for hybrids but misleading fuel economy figures do not help.
bogdan
They just are tricking the regulations with these hybrids. It's just in like Formula 1, you just have to find a way to go around the rules. This will not change until they will not implement a consuption cycle where a car is run until all kind of energy tank is depleted, then the consumption is calculated.
bergamot69
Carbon fibre has no place in road cars, unless in a part of the vehicle that is not likely to suffer impact damage, as it is prone to shattering into projectile shards in the event of a crash. Apart from that, it isn't a material that most body repairers will have been trained to deal with.
Niko
Good ol' Slowburn. Always in a hurry hatin' anything EV or even hybrid related. Yes carbon fiber was mentioned in regard to driving the XL1's price tag uphill. It escaped Your attention that This car is NOT the XL1. The Up! seems like a perfectly viable intermediate solution towards a sustainable future if humanity survives to see it. Don't even try to justify any of our average gas-guzzling toxic fumes spewing monsters of yesterday (with Your usual subsidies non-argument). I told You before and I'll tell You again: Should You live to see old age, You'll see the inevitable decline of Fossil fuel burning vehicles. You will be able to dwell in atavistic nostalgia by visiting Your truck in a museum probably called "the human stupidity memorial".
MarkmBha
This is mind-blowing!
Bryan Paschke
Yeah, for the right price I think I could see myself in one of these....wonder if it'll take racks for my kayaks and what the extra drag will do to efficiency.
epochdesign
It is insane that a small fuel efficient car is this expensive. All you need is a 600cc diesel engine running a small generator, a small bank of super-capacitors (perhaps linked with a small Li battery) and electric motors driving at least 2 wheels, to get 150-200mpg. How complicated is that? No complex transmission system that is cost-prohibitive to repair. It's not complicated, and maybe that's the problem. No one seems to be stepping up to create something that is affordable and fuel efficient. It certainly shouldn't cost over $30K to get something like that built in semi-mass production. VW values this car at $145K? What a joke! Maybe for a prototype. Fuel efficient cars are needed by everyone, not just the elite. VW (and everyone else for that matter) needs to step up and produce these cars in quantities enough to see affordability. And if they need someone to show them how to do it, I'd be more than happy to.