Opel Eco Speedster (2002): the Volkswagen XL1 arrived 11 years late

Opel produced over the years, the fantastic Speedster. This sporty mid-engine-rear was based on the Lotus Elise, and today it is a piece highly prized, as well as an episode almost forgotten in the history of Opel. In 2002, Opel created a experimental prototype with the goal of combining ecology and speed records. It was called Opel Eco Speedster, and thanks to an aerodynamically very advanced and a diesel engine broke several records of speed and efficiency. Yes, the Volkswagen XL1 arrived 11 years late to your appointment.

Aerodynamics German, chassis English, Italian soul

In 1972, an Opel GT with a diesel of 2.1 liters and 95 HP exceeded 200 km/h in an endurance event at high speed.

“Enter a German, an English and an Italian in a bar…”. Looks like the start of a joke, but in this car it brought together the three nationalities. The Opel Eco Speedster – the same as the Speedster of production – used the chassis of the Lotus Elise. Although the rack was not modified, instead a propeller turbo gas, is installed in your rear a turbodiesel 1.3-liter source FIAT, that Opel was starting to introduce in some of their models. Instead of the 70 HP of then, was harnessed to the 112 HP.

opel-eco-speedster-2A specific power of 86 BHP/litre, not bad for an engine of only 1.3 liters. This engine was associated to a gearbox Easytronic, manual switching, robotic that Opel offered at that time. Of course, the engine was not the only piece modified from the Opel Eco Speedster. The body is similar to that of the production car, but just shares the optics with this. Its height was reduced to only 95 centimeters, with the goal of stick the car as much as possible to the ground.

It accelerated to 100 km/h in about 9 seconds, and on the role it had a maximum speed of 250 km/h.

To achieve this was to reduce the size of the glazed area, and the installation of doors type “gull-wing” to allow entry to the passenger compartment. The body panels were made of carbon fiber, with the aim of reducing weight to the minimum necessary. The empty weight of this machine was of only 660 kilos, and the figure is prodigious that went hand in hand with a drag coefficient of only 0.20 on. The Cx of the Opel Speedster production was of 0.38. The improvement is quite patent.


The train of shooting was also optimized, with Bridgestone low rolling resistance measure 175/55 WR 17. On paper, this car had a top speed of no less that 250 km/h and an average consumption encryption in 2.5 litres per 100 kilometres. Opel had to prove it, so I prepared a Eco Speedster to take on a huge challenge: to prove to the world that Opel was going serious with this prototype. Dress with colors of war and wheels of competition, began 24 hours of torture mechanics.

In 24 hours, the Opel Eco Speedster broke no less than 17 world records of speed and efficiency in its class.

On their own test tracks of Opel, a giant oval was the scene of 17 world records of speed and efficiency for vehicles with a diesel engine of between 1,100 cc and 1.499 cc. Reached 256,74 km/h of maximum speed, as well as a quick return to 256,24 km/h. Its average speed in 24 hours was 225,08 km/h. The average consumption recorded in 24 hours was of 2.54 l/100 km. Interestingly, 55 minutes before performing the 24 hours, the car stopped by an electrical problem.

opel-eco-speedster-8Already had 16 records in the pocket, but the car must comply with the 24-hour rolling non-stop. Moments of despair for the engineers, who saw to get rid of the records before their eyes. Almost finishing with the failed record, and as permitted in the rules, the pilot pushed the car to the finish line – without anyone’s help. The car crossed the finish line by their own means, on the basis of squeezing out the starter motor with a gear engaged. Finally, the pilot was able to rest and you were able to make the photos relevant.

what really Came late-the Volkswagen XL1?

Volkswagen XL1 was presented in 2013 as a prototype and from 2015 has been sold in a spin, really limited. Like the Eco Speedster uses a diesel engine in rear center position, a 0.8 TDI two-cylinder 48 HP of power, which is associated with an electric motor to a total power of 69 HP. Approvals by an average of 0.9 l/100 km and makes the 0 to 100 km/h in 12.7 seconds. It is much more technological than the Eco Speedster, but its chassis and aerodynamic performance – is 0.189, even lower – are very similar.

xl1-motorAlthough the XL1 is a car that has been sold, it is not a production car to use, it is almost an experiment with the wheels. The project XL1 started in the distant year 1999, when Volkswagen produced the 1-Liter Concept, a prototype that looks like the XL1 powered by a diesel engine of three cylinders, whose purpose of use was of only 1 l/100 km Equally aerodynamic on both cars I missed the factor prestacional of the Opel Eco Speedster, based on a car of larger dimensions, and already in circulation.

Source: Opel