VW shows electric Up, Golf variants

  • 18-Sep-2013 01:48 EDT
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VW e-Golf uses a conventional electrical drive system with ac synchronous motor and lithium-ion battery pack accommodated in VW MQB architecture. (Newspress)

Electric models were given some prominence by Volkswagen at the 2013 IAA (Frankfurt Motor Show) as the company revealed its e-Up, e-Load-Up, and e-Golf models. VW has adopted a similar electrical architecture for both the e-up! and e-Golf models, with the same basic electric motor design and similar battery technology for both cars.

The electric motors, transmissions, and lithium-ion batteries are all assembled at VW plants, while the Panasonic-sourced lithium-ion battery cells are assembled into complete battery packs that are designed and built by Volkswagen at its Braunschweig plant in Germany. As with internal combustion engine models, drive torque is fed to the front wheels.

The batteries use nickel, cobalt, and manganese as a positive material and graphite as a negative material. Battery project leader Dr. Christian König told AEI that the same material has been used for around 15 years: “It’s nothing special, nothing new, but adapted to greater reliability. It has been modified to withstand even 10 years of operation and in the past it wasn’t, that’s the big difference.” The charge capacity is expected to reduce from 100% to 80% over a period of eight years.

Both the e-Up and e-Golf permanent magnet synchronous motors share the same diameter and are manufactured in the same facility at Kassel in Germany. The difference is that the active material in the e-Golf motor is longer than in the e-Up motor to provide a power output of 85 kW compared with 60 kW for the e-Up models.

The e-Golf is said to consume electricity at the rate of 12.7 kW·h per 100 km, and the 85-kW motor produces 270 N·m (199 lb·ft) of torque. VW quotes a maximum range of up to 190 km (118 mi). The car is able to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) from rest in 10.4 s and can reach an electronically limited top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph).

The high voltage cabling from the 24.2 kW·h capacity battery pack is sheathed in a Kevlar material to protect against damage and the risk of severe shock. The Kevlar sheathing is also designed to prevent rodents from biting through the insulating layer.

The e-Golf is designed around the VW Group’s MQB architecture, which is able to accept any powertrain option from internal combustion to electric motor. The control system includes a dc/ac inverter to provide power to the ac motor. It also includes a dc/dc inverter to step the voltage down to 12 V so that standard vehicle electrical components can be used for ancillary equipment.

The car offers standard, Eco, and Eco+ drive modes. Both Eco and Eco+ modes offer extended range by limiting the power output of the system, reducing the output of the air conditioning, and modifying accelerator response. In Eco+ mode, power output is further reduced and the air conditioning switched off.

The range can also be extended by selecting one of five regenerative braking modes: D, D1, D2, D3, or B. In D, the system offers no regenerative braking unless the brake pedal is pressed. The level of regenerative braking is progressively increased in D1 through B modes and when D2, D3, or B modes are selected, the brake lights are automatically activated when the accelerator pedal is released because the regenerative braking is so pronounced.

Standard equipment for the e-Golf includes an automatic climate control system with parking heater and ventilation, a radio/navigation system, LED daytime running lights, and LED headlights—the first use of LED headlights in a Volkswagen badged car.

Volkswagen also premiered other Golf variants at the Frankfurt Show including the Golf R all-wheel-drive model and the Golf Sportsvan Concept, designed to provide a large volume body similar to the previous Golf Plus. A production version of the Sportsvan concept is expected to go on sale in mid-2014.

Utilizing the MQB architecture of the latest Golf, the Sportsvan concept offers greater interior space, a raised seating position, and more flexible seating. The 60/40 split rear seat can be moved forward or backward by 180 mm (7.1 in) to vary rear-seat legroom or provide up to 1512 L (53.4 ft³) of cargo capacity. The seat can be moved forward or back entirely or by moving the split sections of the seats individually.

Compared with the Golf hatchback, the Sportsvan concept is 83 mm (3.3 in) longer at 4338 mm (170.8 in) and 224 mm (8.8 in) shorter than the station wagon. It is 8 mm (0.3 in) wider than the Golf and 126 mm (5.0 in) taller. The front overhang is 20 mm (0.8 in) shorter than the Golf, while the rear overhang is 46 mm (1.8 in) longer to provide greater luggage space.

The raised seating position offers a hip point 7 mm (0.3 in) lower than the Golf Plus, but between 59 and 85 mm (2.3 and 3.3 in) higher than in the Golf, depending on seat height adjustment. Although the car shares the same overall height as the Golf Plus, interior height is 10 mm (0.4 in) greater in front at 1017 mm (40.0 in) and 32 mm (1.3 in) greater in the rear at 1008 mm (39.7 in). VW claims that 1.9 m (6 ft, 3 in) tall occupants can be accommodated in front and rear seats at the same time.

The concept has a blind-spot monitoring system that is adapted to monitor the area around the car when reversing out of a parking space. The system will warn the driver of approaching cars in the blind spot and activate emergency braking if necessary. The Sportsvan concept also includes a standard electronic differential lock (XDS+) integrated into the electronic stability control system.

Standard features will include an electronic parking brake with auto-hold function and a five-inch touchscreen. It will also be the first Golf model to be available with a heated steering wheel.

The production Golf Sportsvan will be offered with a range of Euro-6 compliant engines equipped with automatic stop/start as standard equipment. Power output from the TSI turbocharged direct injection gasoline engines will include 63-, 81-, 92-, and 110-kW (85-, 109-, 123-, and 148-hp) variants, while two TDI turbocharged direct injection diesels will offer 81 and 110 kW (109 and 148 hp).

All models except the 63-kW TSI engine will be available with VW’s DSG dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

VW says that the 1.6TDI BlueMotion variant will offer fuel consumption on the NEDC combined cycle of 3.7 L/100 km and 95 g/km CO2 emissions.

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