Currently reading: VW reveals 167mph Ducati-engined XL Sport concept
Sleek motorcycle-engined concept produces 197bhp from its 1199cc engine, which can rev to 11,000rpm
Matt Burt
News
3 mins read
3 October 2014

Volkswagen has revealed a high-performance Ducati-engined version of the XL1, named the XL Sport, at the Paris motor show.

The mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive XL Sport concept, which is the 200 millionth car produced by Volkswagen, is powered by the Italian motorcycle company’s V-twin engine, which is the world's most powerful two-cylinder motorcycle engine.

Ducati is part of the Volkswagen Group, having been bought by Audi in 2012.

The engine is derived from that found in the 1199 Panigale Superleggera. Installed in the sleek XL Sport, it produces 197bhp, has a top speed of more than 167mph and revs to a maximum of 11,000rpm.

This engine, together with a seven-speed DSG transmission, launches the sports car from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and revs up to 11,000rpm.

Although the car bears a close resemblance to the super-frugal XL1, some major design aspects have been developed completely from scratch. The XL Sport weighs 890kg and has a drag coefficient of 0.258. Volkswagen claims these factors combine to make it the fastest car in the world for its power output.

For example, the XL Sport has a number of special aerodynamic tweaks including special air curtains, wheel arch air outlets, an optimised underbody, a diffuser that reduces aerodynamic lift and adaptive exhaust heat vents integrated in the rear lid.

The concept car is slightly longer and wider than the XL1 with a length of 4291mm, width of 1847mm and height of 1152mm. It has a 2424mm wheelbase, longer than the XL1, significantly wider wings and larger wheels.

The extendible rear spoiler is powered by the same apparatus unit as in the Lamborghini Aventador. It also has adaptive waste heat vents incorporated in the rear hatch – the louvres opens and closes automatically as required to conduct excess engine heat away. The air supply for cooling the Ducati engine is via vents in the rear wings.

It has a carbonfibre tub like XL1, with steel space frames at either end to hold the suspension. They are supplementary to the carbonfibre tub and aluminium crash structures. The suspension consists of a double wishbone front axle with the dampers connected below in a pull-rod configuration, and a double wishbone rear axle with the dampers connected above in a push rod configuration.

The tyres are 205/40 R18 at the front and 265/35 R18 and the rear, and the wheels are made from forged magnesium, which brings a total weight reduction of 23.9kg compared with aluminium wheels.

Like the XL1, many parts of the XL Sport's body are manufactured in carbon-reinforced polymer (CFRP), with a monocoque featuring slightly offset seats for the driver and passenger.

The interior boasts a number of changes over the standard XL1, such as a digital instrument cluster, with an individual lap time and oil pressure display. A flat carbonfibre part that extends the top of the instrument cluster covering to eliminate reflections in the windscreen.

“The XL Sport is based on the XL1, our lightweight efficiency champion with an extremely low drag coefficient and excellent aerodynamics. We’ve improved the aerodynamics but maintained the sporty look,” said a Volkswagen spokesman. “It has a heart made by Ducati.”

Volkswagen describes the XL1's interior as "highly influenced by motorsport". There’s no word on whether Volkswagen intends to put the striking car into production, but last year the manufacturer stated its intention to build one example of the car to gauge reaction.

The German manufacturer is expected to reveal more details of the concept at its Paris motor show press conference at 0850hrs tomorrow.

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Add a comment…
dickieb 26 October 2014

looks great

...but it'll make no sense for vw to build. Let's hope they use some of the styling cues, stick it on a Golf R MBQ platform with 300ps and 4 wheel drive and call it Scirocco mk4 or Corrado mk2....
pauld101 3 October 2014

If it wasn't so sad it would be funny...

These VW marketing boys are a joke. Anyone who has ever ridden a highly tuned motorbike will know about holes in the power curve, where you open the throttle on the wrong gear and it just completely bogs down. With a light bike, you can live with it. Put it in a car, and even with 7 close ratios, the thing would be completely undriveable in normal road conditions. More VW fairy stories.
Will86 2 October 2014

Not Sure

I really like the shape and design of the XL1 and I want to like this new XLS, but I'm struggling with the width and length of the back end - the proportions seem a little odd. Plus at 890kg it's no longer that light and 0-60 in 5.7 seconds isn't anything to write home about. A Seat Leon Cupra will give it a run for its money, whilst a Lotus Elise S is faster and lighter, and I dare say a lot cheaper.

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