Veyron of Hybrids: 2014 Volkswagen XL1

Feather Weight: With its ostrich-winged doors, Volkswagen’s new mileage champ, the XL1, is the Veyron of hybrids.

 

If you drove a Volkswagen XL1, you’d be unlikely to encounter anything like it coming the other way. That’s because VW plans to build only 250 copies of its 283-mpg hyper-hybrid, and also because GM long ago crushed most of its EV1s, from which the XL1 looks almost entirely plagiarized.

Here’s another example of VW chairman Ferdinand Piëch going to extremes—in this case, to show his many critics in the German Green Party where to stick it. The XL1 is 1800 pounds of carbon fiber, aluminum, and plastic propelled by a two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine sharing the trunk with an electric motor. As of this writing, this Karmann Ghia of tomorrow may be sold or leased, VW hasn’t decided, but any sticker price should exceed $120,000. Sorry; European distribution only.

Just 45.4 inches tall, the XL1 is half an inch lower than a Lambor­ghini Gallardo, and it would be impossible for anyone but Tom Thumb dipped in Vaseline to enter through conventional doors. Even so, normal people climbing in have to bow deeply under the forward-winged hatches, step over a sill that is nearly a foot wide, and drop into a body that clears the ground by a mere three inches. If you expect this Volks­wagen XL1 to be a sports car, with its proportions and ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber tub with attached aluminum crash structures and body panels, you are mistaken. Push the starter button to see.

Instead of engine yowl, an indicator at the bottom of the central speedometer ­simply reads “READY.” Pull the lever of the seven-speed, magnesium-case, dual-clutch automatic to “D,” and push the accelerator. The electric motor integrated into the ­gearbox gently whirs like a blender, and the XL1 moves off. The low-rolling-resistance Michelins sound like grinding millstones—they are sized 115/80R-15 in front and 145/55R-16 in back, and no, that is not a misprint. The front rubber, just 4.5 inches wide, is inflated to 44 psi.

slim fastThere is no single silver bullet for creating the world’s most efficient production car. No, it takes a flurry of them, and the XL1 relies on meticulous optimization of aerodynamics and weight to meet its audacious goals. Steel and iron account for less than a quarter of the car’s 1800-pound weight, and the 0.004-inch-thick coat of paint is 50 percent lighter than a typical carbon-fiber paint job. Other details:

The skinny tires provide a comfortable ride up to city speeds. As the car accelerates on electric power, an orchestra of mechanical noises plays from the wheels and the transaxle. Every push of the brake pedal is accompanied by the rumble of pads sanding the ceramic discs. “We did not use any insulation,” says VW development engineer Ulrich Mitze, stating the obvious. “And the side windows are made of polycarbonate.”

Saving weight was the major developmental target for the second most extreme project within the Volkswagen Group after the Bugatti Veyron. The goal was a saleable “1-liter car,” or one capable of averaging 1.0 liter/100 km of fuel consumption. That’s a target of 235 mpg, nearly five times better than a Toyota Prius’s EPA combined rating. And VW claims to have beaten it.

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source: caranddriver

New Corvette Stingray turns 12-second quarter-mile

2014 Corvette Stingray Price and Performance GM
The 2014 Corvette Stingray will go 0-60 in 3.8 seconds on its way to a 12-second quarter-mile.

The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with an available performance package has been rated as the best performing standard Corvette to date.

The 2014 Vette with the performance-exhaust system can make the 0-60 sprint in 3.8 seconds. Braking from 60-0 mph takes just 107 feet, and the Stingray can sustain 1.03g in cornering.

A Corvette with the performance and magnetic ride-control package lapped the 4.2-mile Virginia International Raceway Grand Concourse in 2 minutes, 51.78 seconds. To achieve those figures, the Stingray was modified to include a racing seat and harness, and fire extinguisher system.

The Corvette equipped with the performance package is priced at $56,590. The Stingray goes on sale this September with a base $51,995 price (including destination charges).

The $2,800 optional Z51 performance package adds an electronic limited-slip differential; dry-sump oiling system; integral brake, differential and transmission cooling; and aero package.

Magnetic Ride Control with Performance Traction Management is a $1,795 option.

 

By: Angie Fisher

 

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source: autoweek

TWIN TURBO CADDY: THE 2014 CTS

Joining the list of impressive new machines unveiled at the New York Auto Show last week is the 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan. From the get-go the CTS was designed to rival sport sedans from Europe and Japan, and the new third generation car could be the best of its breed yet.

The styling for the new CTS draws from Cadillac’s 2011 Ciel Concept, but it also shares many design traits with the smaller Cadillac ATS. While both the wheelbase and overall length of the car have grown, it weighs less than the previous model, and GM says it’s 200 pounds (90kg) lighter than the BMW 528i.

The interior treatment on the new CTS is also representative of how far GM’s interior design and material quality has come in recent years. The days of cheap, sub par cockpits seem to be a thing of the past.

However, the biggest story is under the hood where the 2014 CTS will be offered with three different engine options. The base motor is 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo making 272 horsepower (203kW), while the mid-grade engine is a 321 horsepower (239kW) naturally aspirated 3.6 liter V6. Topping the line in the new CTS VSport model is an all-new twin turbocharged 3.6 V6.

The twin turbo V6 will make 420 horsepower (313kW) and 430 foot pounds (583Nm) of torque mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. In real world numbers Cadillac says the CTS VSport will hit 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds. The VSport also comes equipped with Brembo brakes, high performance tires, a limited slip diff, and more.

Of course the VSport isn’t to be confused with the CTS-V, which should be coming along later with some sort of mad V8 under the hood. But for the ‘standard’ CTS, which is set to go on sale later this year, this is looking very good.

-Mike

 

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source: speedhunters.com

GREAT AMERICAN V8S

Corvette LS7 Engine

As we continue with our selection of Americana-themed reader polls this month, it’s only appropriate that we square off the most iconic American V8s against each other. We’ve gathered up ten different V8s engines which span several different brands and over 80 years of automotive history.

Which will rise to the top? That’s for you to decide.

Ford Flathead

Ford Flathead

A proper place to start is with the Ford Flathead V8. Originally introduced in 1932, the Flathead was a groundbreaking piece of engineering. It’s considered the world’s first affordable eight cylinder engine andwas in production for more than 20 years. It also became the engine of choice for early hot rodders and it’s cult following continues to this day.

Oldsmobile Rocket

The 303 cubic inch Oldsmobile Rocket V8 was introduced in 1949 and is considered the first mass-produced overhead valve V8 engine. It was a powerful piece by 1949 standards, and was idolized in the early rock ‘n roll song “Rocket 88″. The introduction of the Rocket also helped to fuel the horsepower war that would unfold in the years and decades to follow.

Small Block Chevy

What needs to said about the small block Chevy? It was (and is) one of the most popular engines of all time. The first iteration of the long-running SBC was the 265, which was introduced in 1955. The venerable small block would be continually updated and was available in GM cars and trucks through the early 2000s. Not only that, but enthusiasts have dropped SBCs into just about every sort of vehicle imaginable.

Chrysler Hemi

The Hemi. While it’s not nearly as common as the small block Chevy, it’s reputation is just as strong. These hemispherical induction chamber motors first appeared in the early 1950s, but it was in the ’60s with the introduction of the 426 that the Hemi truly came into its own. Besides being available in a number of Mopar muscle cars, the Hemi also established itself as competition powerhouse – both in NASCAR and on the drag strip. Chrysler continued the lineage with the reintroduction of the new “Hemi” V8 in the early 2000s.

Small Block Ford

Ford’s small block contribution is not to be overlooked. In the 1960s the 260 and 289 cubic inch V8s appeared not only in standard Ford vehicles, but also in competition-bred vehicles like Carroll Shelby’s Mustangs and Cobras. The small block Ford also made waves in the 1980s with the introduction of the fuel injected 5.0 HO, which helped launch the modern muscle car era.

Pontiac V8

Today it can be hard to fathom that GM’s brands once had their own unique powerplants completely different from each other. Of these, some of the greatest were Pontiac’s series of V8s in the 1960s. It was the 389 cubic inch motor that made history in 1964 when Pontiac decided to drop it in the mid-sized Tempest and create the first real “muscle car”.

Ford FE

Ford’s FE series big blocks could be found not only in hot street cars, but on the race track as well. The famous 427 powered winning drag cars, sports cars, stock cars, and was the heart of the Ford GT40 during its run at Le Mans. There was also the experimental SOHC “cammer” 427 that became a favorite among drag racers after it was outlawed for NASCAR use.

Big Block Chevy

While GM’s factory race presence in the ’60s paled in comparison to Ford , Chevy’s take on the big block was equally potent. On the street, these big displacement engines became the top dog choice for muscle cars like the Chevelle and Camaro, as well as the Corvette. Besides hot street cars, these motors could also be found in Can Am machines as well. To this day, the BBC is still a top choice for racers seeking outrageous amounts of power.

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source:  speedhunters.com