Back in September 2013, VW’s Ferdinand Piech showed the first Ducati-powered XL1 but today, the German manufacturer unveiled a new version of the XL at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the new XL Sport Concept. Described by Volkswagen as a sports car you’ve never seen before, the XL Sport Concept is powered by a V2 engine adapted from the Ducati 1199 Superleggera a.k.a. the most powerful two-cylinder motorcycle.
The 1,199 cc DOHC engine develops 200 hp (147 kW) as well as 134 Nm of torque and can attain speeds up to 11,000 rpm. Power is delivered to the rear axle via a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) and the vehicle is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.7 seconds, while top speed is 270 km/h or almost 168 mph.
XL Sport is able to hit this top speed thanks to the high-speed tyres wrapped around the 18-inch forged magnesium wheels, which bring a total weight reduction of 23.9 kg when compared with aluminum wheels. Behind the wheels we find a high-performance braking system with ceramic discs.
According to Volkswagen, the XL Sport has a total weight of just 890 kg, thanks to the carbon-reinforced polymer (CFRP) manufactured using the RTM process (Resin Transfer Moulding). Just like the XL1, the XL Sport concept gets wing doors that swing forwards, with windows made of polycarbonate.
Due to the impressive top speed, the XL Sport is longer and wider than the XL1 and has a length of 4,291 mm (XL1: 3,888 mm), is 1,847 mm wide (XL1: 1,664 mm), while its height is just 1.152 mm (XL: 1,153 mm).
Meanwhile the wheelbase also increased to 2,424 mm (XL1: 2,224 mm). When it comes to design, the XL Sport is based on the XL1 but arrives with an even more muscular appearance with broader wings and larger wheels.
The front end features air intakes on each side of the headlights for the air curtains, but the actual air supply for the Ducati engine is via the vents in the rear wings. On the sides we find the e-mirrors which replace the traditional exterior mirrors.
On the front of the rear wheels, ‘Motore Ducati’ lettering refers to the 1199 Superleggera engine found in the rear. The flat rear end resembles a powerful racing car while the iconic red LED ribbon that follows the shape of the rear sections shows that this is no ordinary vehicle.
The interior was modified too compared with the XL1 and features a digital instrument cluster, a flat-bottomed steering wheel equipped with aluminum shift paddles as well as contrasting red stitching.