XL Sport Concept: VW?s Ducati-Powered Paris Surprise Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Oct, 02 2014 | 2 Comments

Volkswagen has wheeled out a surprise new concept for this week’s Paris Motor Show: the XL Sport.

Arriving as the brand’s most exciting show-car since the 2009 debut of its Bluesport roadster, the XL Sport is a new take on the miserly XL1.

The diesel-electric and efficiency-focused XL1 made its production debut in Europe early last year, and rumours of a special ‘XR1’ performance model surfaced in the following weeks.

Today, that ‘XR1’ rumour becomes the ‘XL Sport’ reality, but you won’t find a thrifty diesel-electric hybrid system with this one.

Instead, the XL Sport is driven by a two-cylinder V2 that offers a (relatively) whopping 147kW - with an 11,000rpm redline - along with a relatively meagre 130Nm of torque.

Fans of two-wheeled performance might recognise that engine, because the compact powerhouse is in fact the same v-twin that drives the Ducati 1199 Superleggera motorcycle.

(This concept’s debut comes after Volkswagen’s Audi arm purchased Ducati back in 2012 for a cool $1 billion.)

Matched to a special reduction gear and Volkswagen’s seven-speed dual-clutch shifter, the powerful V2 gives the XL Sport a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds.

Top speed is listed at 270km/h.

Along with being more powerful, the XL Sport is also noteably larger than the XL1 it’s based on, growing from 3888 to 4291mm long and from 1664 to 1847mm wide. The wheelbase has also grown, up from 2224 to 2424mm.

The concept’s construction is of steel subframes and a carbon-fibre reinforced polymer body, and kerb weight is just 890kg.

And, with a coefficient of drag of just 0.258, the XL Sport is also one of the most slippery cars Volkswagen has ever unveiled.

Will we see the XL Sport in production?

We didn’t expect to see the XL1 hit public roads, so a debut for XL Sport could also be on the cards.

Possibly, however, as a track-only prospect.

MORE: Volkswagen News & Reviews
MORE: Concepts | Performance | Paris Motor Show

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