A year after the first buzz about the Volkswagen XL1’s diesel hybrid technology making it to the Up! hatchback hit the interweb, more details about the Up! diesel hybrid have emerged. The Up! diesel hybrid car could be up and ready for a launch by the end of 2014. When that happens, the Up! diesel hybrid could be the world’s first ever small car to feature the diesel-electric combination. Thus far, diesel hybrid cars have not been as popular as petrol-hybrid cars with only Peugeot(3008 and 508) and Volvo(V70) actually having diesel-hybrid cars on sale.
On the Up! hybrid, the Volkswagen XL1’s 800cc TDI turbo diesel engine and the 27 Bhp electric motor will be used to make the Up! a highly fuel efficient car. In the real world, the Up! diesel hybrid car could deliver up to 40 Kmpl. On the Up!, the diesel-hybrid powerplant is expected to be positioned in the bonnet. The Up! diesel hybrid is expected to be front wheel driven, unlike the real wheel drive layout of the XL1. Instead of the engine, the battery pack will be placed in the boot of the Up!. The 7 speed DSG dual clutch automatic gearbox is expected to be retained on the diesel hybrid version of the Up! hatchback.
Considering the fact that the XL1 hybrid is expected to be priced at about 60,000 Euros, the Up! diesel hybrid could command much lesser given the fact that the Up!, unlike the XL1, won’t be built of the ultra light weight carbon fiber reinforced polymer. Instead, the Up! will use the conventional steel body and this will mean that the Up! will be much heavier than the XL1 and that explains the lower fuel economy number. Nevertheless, the Up! will be much more frugal than the petrol engined variants and this will be the small car’s biggest selling point.
With the 800cc TDI turbo diesel engine making it to the Up! engine bay in the form of the diesel hybrid model, there’s a fat chance that Volkswagen would do a diesel engined Up! model in the future. A diesel powered Up! with start-stop system, brake energy regeneration and low rolling resistance tyres could be a highly fuel efficient city hatchback aimed at European city car buyers looking for a compact, frugal means of getting around town.