New high-performance 187bhp variant of the XL1 could be revealed at the 2014 Geneva motor show, prior to a limited production run
8 November 2013

Volkswagen is pushing ahead with plans to boost the performance of its two-seat XL1 with a highly strung two-cylinder petrol engine sourced from the Ducati 1199 Panigale superbike, high-ranking insiders at the German car maker have confirmed. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the unveiling of the new e-Golf in Wolfsburg this week, Volkswagen’s head of R&D, Hans-Jakob Neusser, revealed engineering, development and testing of the Ducati-engined XL1 is well underway. “Yes, we are working on it internally. It is a very special project,” he told Autocar.

Neusser declined to confirm when the new car would be revealed, although Volkswagen sources suggest the XLR, as the powered-up XL1 is expected to be named, could make an appearance at the 2014 Geneva motor show prior to being placed in to limited production.

In standard guise, the XL1 runs a rear-mounted plug-in diesel-electric hybrid driveline developing a combined system output of 68bhp and 103lb ft of torque.

Plans are to supplant it with the Panigale’s 1.2-litre two-cylinder petrol engine, which delivers 187bhp at 10,750rpm and 91lb ft of torque at 9000rpm.

The XLR had been previously revealed by Volkswagen board chairman Ferdinand Piech, during a lecture at the Vienna University of Technology at the end of September.

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9

8 November 2013
factor, but this one with the Ducati engine looks alright. Removing those dumb rear wheel covers does it a favour. Now it does look like a sports coupe unlike the XL2 that looks neither. As I said before somewhere - nobody gives a toss about 200 or 300 miles. What we need is a car that does 100mpg and does not cost an arm and a leg.

9 November 2013
[quote=fadyady]factor, but this one with the Ducati engine looks alright. Removing those dumb rear wheel covers does it a favour. Now it does look like a sports coupe unlike the XL2 that looks neither. As I said before somewhere - nobody gives a toss about 200 or 300 miles. What we need is a car that does 100mpg and does not cost an arm and a leg.[/quote] I think VW needs to build this as a low cost and stylish mainstream ultra-low emission car.. The original Honda Insight was on the right lines, but the world was not ready (and the Prius is too expensive and heavy). It was a shame that the Up!/Citigo/Mii was not rear engined as per the original Up! concept, as this could have made it easier to develop. A front engined version with a 1.2tdi engine in would be good, and I reckon it woud do 100mpg if it was based on the Up platform. Sell it for £15k and it will not steal sales from Audi's A1, and It'll buy some more time too to allow both Audi and VW to get their hybrid technology sorted too.

8 November 2013
If it should go into production I wish it all the best,it is so good to see a big boy have a go at some thing new. What a pity no one will have a go with Gordon's T25-T27..

8 November 2013
make this carbon platform a better's more agile and visceral drivers car than anything Porsche have done in many years- including the new wide /monster GT3, but alas they won't, they could but they won't, sad that, j

8 November 2013
Going by the article, it seems that the Ducati-engined Volkswagen XL1 is not a hybrid. If that is the case than how will Volkswagen overcome the inherent issues bike-engined cars have (particularly regarding the gearbox)? Though likely wrong afaik, the only production bike-engined cars were the Isetta 600 and BMW 700 along with the stillborn Moto Guzzi-powered Innocenti Mini 650cc V-Twin (prior to switching to Daihatsu's Kei class engines).

8 November 2013
Then this car would loose maybe 150kg, even 200. Then it would get quite quick with 187hp, and would feel quite tractable despite only 91lb.

9 November 2013
All sounds good on paper,but the catch is?.........the cost!,i thought the idea was to bring cheaper, cleaner motoring to the masses?

Peter Cavellini.

10 November 2013
".......the Panigale’s 1.2-litre two-cylinder petrol engine, which delivers 187bhp at 10,750rpm and 91lb ft of torque at 9000rpm." So, less torque than the Polo 1.4 developed at more than twice the engine speed, coupled with a usable rev range of 1750rpm. Am I alone in thinking that this is totally irrelevant in todays conditions?

10 November 2013
[quote=Malcolm Scott]".......the Panigale’s 1.2-litre two-cylinder petrol engine, which delivers 187bhp at 10,750rpm and 91lb ft of torque at 9000rpm." So, less torque than the Polo 1.4 developed at more than twice the engine speed, coupled with a usable rev range of 1750rpm. Am I alone in thinking that this is totally irrelevant in todays conditions?[/quote] The Polo 1.4 has 85bhp@5000 and 97lbft at 3800rpm. That is 1200rpm usable rev range according to your definitions. Making the bike engine more usable and relevant....with 550rpm more usable rev range than the Polo engine.

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