Volkswagen would be preparing a new hybrid car in order to compete with the Toyota Prius after its Diesel fiasco, according to the British magazine AutoExpress. And it would even assume the XL1 heritage in order to present itself as a fuel-efficient vehicle, hence its possible name: XL3. AutoExpress has even created renderings to show how this new hybrid would look like, the images you can see above and below.
The new XL3 would be produced over the MEB platform that has been introduced by the BUDD-e concept. AutoExpress states it is largely related to the MQB platform, what makes perfect sense. Some of the modules of MQB could be used by MEB, helping it have a huge scale from the start.
Still according to the British magazine, the XL3 will use a 22 kW electric engine and a less powerful 1.4 TSI version. Probably because it will have a Miller cycle (being a turbocharged engine), which makes it more efficient in fuel consumption. Its battery range would be very short, but it would offer a 3 l/100 km fuel economy.
This is an expressive change in strategy. Volkswagen thought it would be able to compete with hybrids selling turbodiesel cars. And it was doing fine until researchers found out that their turbodiesel engines were cheating emission tests, liberating much more NOx than regulations would allow. The USA already had a problem with diesel cars due to a 5.7 V8 diesel engine shared by Oldsmobile and Cadillac that had huge reliability problems.
Following Tesla’s success in the North American market, the Volkswagen group is sure to follow the electric path. First with the future Porsche Mission E. Later, probably with the XL3.