By on October 2, 2014


What happens when you mashup Italian motorcycle power with German engineering? The Volkswagen XL Sport happens.

The more metal version of the two-seat, hyper-efficient XL1, the XL Sport gets its power from the Ducati 1199 Superleggera sport bike. The two-cylinder 1199cc powerplant pushes 197 horsepower (at 11,000 rpm, no less) and 99 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto to the back. The vehicle also receives upgrades to the chassis, sport suspension and ceramic brakes.

Aside from having more power and more aggressive bodywork, the XL Sport also sports more weight, coming in at 1,962 pounds — thanks in part to the Ducati two-pot — compared to the XL1’s svelt 1,700 pounds.

Inside, it’s still an XL1 for the most part, but now boasts a digital gauge cluster providing performance data to the driver as they shift the seven-speed via flappy paddle. Polycarbonate windows help reduce weight, but don’t expect to hit the Starbucks drive-thru: the windows are fixed in place.

Despite its supercar looks, the car is as quick off the line as a Ford Fiesta ST, moving from naught to 60 in 5.8 seconds, with a top speed of 168 mph.

Alas, much like the XL1, it’s not likely anyone outside of Europe — if at all, in this case — will ever bring home an XL Sport. Only 250 of the former will be assembled for sale in European markets — deliveries having commenced this summer — retailing for approximately $146,000 USD to start.

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8 Comments on “Paris 2014: Volkswagen XL Sport Unveiled, Powered By Ducati...”

  • avatar

    Perhaps they should retain the hybrid setup, the electric motor could improve the low torque characteristic of the ice and eventually improves on both fuel efficiency and acceleration.

  • avatar

    Cool looking car, but I’d rather spend $120K less and get a 1199 Panigale S and use that sweet mill as it was originally intended.

  • avatar

    This car looks like a mini R8.

  • avatar

    I’d just buy the R8 with the 4.2 for that kind of money.

  • avatar

    I’m frankly surprised it’s not substantially lighter. It isn’t much lighter than an Elise, despite many things that should’ve dropped a lot of weight, such as fixed plastic windows and, most importantly, a high-end motorcycle drivetrain instead of a low/mid-end car drivetrain. It’s also far more expensive than an Elise. Seems like with some decent materials this could be well under 1500 pounds. Hell- the new Elise just makes 24% less power using an Econo car engine and only weighs about 240 pounds more with all kinds of luxuries, like…roll-down glass, convertible top, etc….for 1/5 the price. Makes this car look pretty unimpressive, even if it is pretty.

    Generally, a high power/weight ratio engine creates a spiral effect; you don’t need as heavy of a chassis to carry the reduced weight, which let’s you get by with lighter suspension parts, wheels and tires, which reduces your power requirements, which let’s you get by with an even lighter motor if desired.

  • avatar

    There’s something very 90s about the overall look of this car. In a good way.

    I didn’t think they even sold the XL1 to the public though, is it the same case with this?

    The wood gearshift is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen, it has no place in there. And fixed windows are stupid.

  • avatar

    I would love to see a race version of this car. It’s already super slipppery through the air, with less trim and some more power it would be an interesting addition to any race series. With it’s low weight I like to think it could be competitive.

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