Currently reading: Ducati-engined Volkswagen XL1 could reach production
New high-performance 187bhp variant of the XL1 could be revealed at the 2014 Geneva motor show, prior to a limited production run
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1 min read
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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Malcolm Scott 10 November 2013

It's Torque that turns wheels!

".......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?
Turismo 10 November 2013

Malcolm Scott

Malcolm Scott wrote:
".......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?
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.
Peter Cavellini 9 November 2013

Same old story.......!

All sounds good on paper,but the catch is?.........the cost!,i thought the idea was to bring cheaper, cleaner motoring to the masses?
Einarbb 8 November 2013

Subtract the battery and the electric motor!

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.