A Ducati-powered XL1 was unveiled by Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech during a lecture at the University of Vienna. The model, which is dubbed the XL Sport, stands out due to an aggressive body kit that consists of a front splitter, a ventilated hood and extended fenders. It also has a set of unique alloy wheels and motorsport-inspired graphics.
Very few details have been released of the model. Piech said that it will be equipped by a Ducati-sourced 1200cc engine that delivers 190 HP (140 kW) and 123 Nm (91 lb-ft) of torque.
There’s no information yet about its performance but it’s reported that it is lighter than 795 kg (1752 lbs) due to its lightweight parts and the fact that it doesn’t have a plug-in hybrid system. There were speculations that a petrol-powered XL1 may soon enter production, but the XL Sport seems to be a concept or research vehicle.
The Volkswagen XL1 could be regarded as the most fuel-efficient production car in the world, as evidenced by the fact that it only consumes 0.9 liter per 100 km. Furthermore, its plug-in hybrid system allows the XL1 to travel up to 50 km in all-electric zero-emission mode.
Amazingly, the VW XL1 adheres to pure sports car design principles like its low weight (at 795 kg.), a low center of gravity (at 1,153 mm in height) as well as superb aerodynamics (coefficient of drag value of 0.189). With these attributes, the XL1 could travel down the road at a constant speed of 100 km/h with 6.2 kW (8.4 PS) of output. When working in all-electric mode, the XL1 needs less than 0.1 kWh just to travel a distance of over 1 km.
Its lightweight design and perfect aerodynamics are helped by a plug-in hybrid system that employs a two-cylinder TDI engine delivering 35 kW (48 PS), an E-motor providing 20 kW (27 PS), a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) as well as lithium-ion battery. These elements also help the XL1 emit just 21 grams of carbon dioxide per km. If needed, the XL1 could sprint from nil to 100 km/h in just 12.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 160 km/h. These performance and efficiency values have never been reached by any vehicle so far.
As penned, the VW XL1 marks the third evolutionary phase of the carmaker’s 1-liter car strategy. At the start of the new millennium, Ferdinand Piech – now Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen AG – came up with the visionary goal of bringing to market a practical production car that consumes just one liter of fuel per 100 km.
The two-seat XL1 turns this vision into reality, while having a body concept that delivers more everyday utility than its two predecessors. In the L1 concept unveiled in 2002, the driver and passenger sit in a tandem arrangement to achieve optimal aerodynamics. In 2009 XL1, the two occupants sit slightly offset side by side.
In terms of dimensions, the 2011 XL1 has them in extremes as it measures 3,888 mm in length, 1,665 mm in width and 1,153 mm in height. Its production cousin, the VW Polo, is slightly longer (at 3,970 mm), a bit wider (1,682 mm) and significantly taller (at 1,462 mm). Purebred sports cars are also taller than the XL1, like in the case of Porsche Boxster (at 1,282 mm).