Studies and concept vehicles generate great interest

In this section, we describe the most important concept vehicles and studies we presented in 2011 in addition to the numerous production vehicles.

As part of the launch of the new up!, the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand presented different aspects of the model with six studies. These included the robust cross up!, the sporty GT up!, the natural gas-powered eco up! – which emits a mere 79 g/km of CO2 – and the purely electric version, the e-up!, series production of which will start in 2013 as up! Blue-e-Motion.

With the XL1 study concept, which is close to series production, the brand presented the third evolutionary stage of its 1-liter car strategy and thus highlighted the Group’s ambition to become the automotive industry’s ecological leader by 2018. The perfect aerodynamics of the lightweight body and the plug-in hybrid system mean that the XL1 produces just 24 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Fuel consumption of just 0.9 l of fuel per 100 km (combined) makes it the world’s most fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle.

The Nils concept presents the vision for a commuter vehicle in urban areas. The single-seater electric vehicle with its futuristic design features wing doors and open wheels, and weighs a mere 460 kg. Paired with an aluminum space frame, the 5.3 kW lithium ion batteries enable a range of 65 km – ideal for covering short daily stretches.

Another concept study based on e-mobility is directed at urban delivery traffic. The eT! is a compelling offering thanks to its ergonomic door opening and access system. Its use of interior space is designed to meet the demands of urban delivery vehicles – and perfect for delivery logistics. It also has an especially tight turning radius and offers the automatic driving functions “follow me” and “come to me” at low speeds. The vehicle automatically follows a walking driver or it can be called over by the driver when standing at distances of up to 25 m from the eT!.

The Audi brand unveiled a premium vehicle in 2011 with ample interior space in the shape of the A2 technical study concept, which is designed for congested urban areas. It offers a preview of electric driving in the megacities of the future. Thanks to its 85 kW (116 PS) electric motor, the A2 concept car can accelerate to 100 km/h in only 9.3 seconds, while its lithium ion battery gives it a range of up to 200 km.

Audi took a further step with the Audi urban concept and Audi urban concept Spyder vehicles. The electrically powered twin-seaters with a carbon body and open wheels represent an emotional entry into e-mobility.

The Audi Urban Mobility research project, which is based on an Audi TTS as the technology showpiece, demonstrates how a driverless car can safely perform maneuvers and drive autonomously. The vehicle is the product of a collaborative project with Stanford University at the Volkswagen Group Automotive Innovation Laboratory in California.

ŠKODA offered a preview of the sixth model series of the Czech brand with the close-to-production MissionL concept car.

The SEAT brand highlighted the appearance of future SEAT models with the IBX and IBL studies. The vehicles – a combination of SUV or saloon with a sport coupé – stand out with their clean, pure design.

Deutsche Post DHL put the Caddy Blue-e-Motion from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to the test in 2011. The electrically powered city delivery van proved to be very well suited to commercial fleet operations in stop-and-go traffic. The test took place as part of the “Erprobung nutzfahrzeugspezifischer E-Mobilität” (EmiL – “E-mobility Test for Commercial Vehicles”) project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).

Improved aerodynamics offer the largest CO2 savings potential in long-distance truck transportation. MAN presented a truck study in the shape of the concept S, which achieves around 25% savings in fuel and CO2 emissions thanks to its aerodynamic design. However, series production would require changes to several homologation requirements in the EU.

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