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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Volkswagen XL Sport Trades MPG for Ducati Power


        Volkswagen’s econo-miser XL1 hybrid has always been a polarizing vehicle. This though, this might be a bit more universally lauded. Revealed yesterday at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, say ‘hello’ to the XL Sport – what a 313mpg eco-car would look like if you stripped away its green heart, and replaced it with something a bit brasher.

        The 1199cc v-twin engine from a Ducati Superleggera perhaps. Slotted in the back of the blue-bodied XL, the world’s most powerful two-cylinder generates a 197-horsepower wallop of grunt, capable of rocketing the sleek sports car from 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 168mph. Volkswagen, just take our money now.

        The game of numbers doesn’t stop there either. Built to celebrate the firm’s 200 millionth car produced, the XL Sport dons some extra aero bits (nabbing a drag coefficient of just 0.258) and a resized body – both longer and wider – to account for the needed cooling and downforce of a near-170mph coupe.

        Hybrid fans, we’re not sure how to say this, but it’s gone. Instead of the XL1’s techy battery and hybrid system, Volkswagen has equipped the XL Sport with a larger fuel tank.

         In place of the electric motor, the XL Sport gets a reduction gear in its seven-speed DSG gearbox, designed to make the 11,000-rpm engine a bit more livable in its new road car body.

        Structurally speaking, everything is stiffer, tightened and performance-minded.

        The chassis incorporates high-strength steel subframes in addition to its carbon fiber monocoque, as well as a pullrod suspension design up front and a pushrod setup out back. Racing car type stuff.

        For now though, the XL Sport remains purely a one-off creation, though if its XL1 brother is anything to go by…we wouldn’t be surprised if an extremely limited run of these bright blue VW speed machines happens in the near future. One can hope.