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by Brett Davis

Volkswagen has revealed the Volkswagen NILS Concept ahead of the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show on September 13. The concept may look dramatic and futuristic but Volkswagen says it is a “realistic proposition” for 2030 personal mobility.

The Volkswagen NILS Concept was developed by the Volkswagen Group Research department and will provide technologies that could become mainstream in future models of the Volkswagen Group brands.

The Volkswagen NILS Concept uses a single-seat, almost open-wheel layout similar to a Formula series racing car. It’s all constructed with an aluminium spaceframe, keeping weight down to just 460kg.

Volkswagen says the NILS Concept was specifically designed for motorists who travel alone, which, according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, is around 90 per cent of city commuters.

It’s quite a small concept, measuring 3040mm in length, 1390mm in width and 1200mm in height, making it around 500mm shorter than Volkswagen’s smallest car, the Volkswagen Up!

The Volkswagen NILS Concept is powered by a 5.3kWh electric motor which produces 25kW of power 130Nm of torque, providing a range of around 65km.

Although it’s not meant to be a sports car by any means, the Volkswagen NILS Concept is said to be capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in around 11 seconds, which isn’t too bad for a small personal mobility EV. Top speed is rated at 130km/h.

Other highlights include innovative glass gullwing doors that offer easy access even in the tightest situations, as well as a convenient luggage compartment placed above the electric motor at the rear of the concept.

Of course, Volkswagen has no immediate plans to put the NILS into production, but elements of its design and the technologies involved are expected to trickle their way down into production cars of the future.

More details will be revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, starting September 13. What do you think of it? Would you like to drive one of these to work every day?




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