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Meet the 214-mpg Volkswagen Twin-Up concept

Fri, 08 Nov 2013

Ahead of a Tokyo motor show debut, VW is showing off the Twin-Up concept. Essentially an advanced version of the company's entry-level Up supermini, the Twin-Up runs a modified version of the plug-in diesel-electric hybrid driveline used in the high-tech XL1 for spectacular claimed combined consumption of 214 mpg on the Euro combined cycle along with a zero-emissions electric range of 31 miles.

The Twin-Up name alludes to the new car's twin drive sources. The new four-seater is among a range of alternative drive models under development at the German car maker, which has been customarily slow to bring both hybrid and electric power versions of its existing models to showrooms.

Hans-Jakob Neusser, head of Volkswagen's R&D operations, described the Twin-Up as an engineering prototype with future production potential. Elements of the futuristically styled XL1's hybrid system are used, although various components have been modified to offset the compact hatchback's added weight.

Tipping the scales 904 pounds above the XL1 at 2,657 pounds, the Twin-Up receives an upgraded electric motor, a larger battery with an additional two modules raising its capacity to 8.6 kWh and a diesel fuel tank boasting an additional 6.1 gallons of capacity for a total of 8.7 gallons.

A two-cylinder diesel engine combines with an electric motor in the VW Twin-Up

Power hails from the same turbocharged 800cc two-cylinder common rail diesel engine used in the XL1. Mounted transversely in the engine bay, it produces 47 hp and 88 lb-ft of torque. The combustion engine is supported by an electric motor developing a similar 47 hp – 20 hp more than the unit used in the XL1 -- and 103 lb-ft of torque.

Altogether, the Twin-Up boasts a combined system output of 74 hp and 158 lb-ft. Drive is channeled through a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox to the front wheels.

While still in the early stages of development, Volkswagen claims the Twin-Up accelerates from 0-37 mph in 8.8 seconds, 0-62 mph in 15.7 seconds, and reaches a top speed limited to 87 mph in hybrid mode.

With claimed combined consumption of 214 mpg on the European test procedure, the diesel-electric powered Up boasts average CO2 emissions of less than 17 g/mile. An e-mode function also allows the driver to select pure electric propulsion for distances up to 31 miles and speeds up to 78 mph.

A more production-oriented version of the Twin-Up is planned to make its public debut alongside the recently unveiled all-electric e-Up at the Tokyo motor show later this month.

About the Tokyo Motor Show

Japan is once again among the leaders of the global auto industry, and the Tokyo motor show promises to showcase the best of what that country has to offer. From green cars to super cars, technology to design, 2013 promises to be a banner year for the Tokyo motor show. Autoweek will be on the show floor, bringing you the latest Tokyo reviews, news, photo galleries, and videos right here.

By Greg Kable