Ever since Audi’s acquisition of Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, there have been those of us dreaming of what the fruits of this marriage may be. Well, the Volkswagen XL Sport is the first such fruit – a mesh of VW group tech from the XL1, powered by a Ducati superbike engine.
Sound exciting? We thought so too. Based upon the VW XL1 – the world’s most efficient automobile – the XL Sport’s lightweight carbon fibre construction results in a final weight of 890Kg. Combined with the Ducati 1199 Superleggera’s V2 engine – the most powerful two-cylinder in the world – outputting 147kW and 134Nm, the XL Sport’s rear wheels drive the concept from standstill to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds, and on to a final top speed of 270km/h. Oh, and did we mention the engine revs out to 11 000rpm?
Design-wise, the XL Sport differs slightly from the XL1, longer by approximately 40cm, wider by nearly 20cm, and with a 20cm longer wheelbase. The XL Sport features forward swinging wing doors, 18-inch forged magnesium wheels, dual-LED headlights, and aggressive sports car styling.
Technologically, the XL Sport boasts e-Mirrors – rear facing cameras instead of rear-view mirrors – a 7-speed DSG transmission, and a carbon fibre monocoque chassis with CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic) body panels. The XL Sport’s Ducati V2 engine is mid-mounted with the coupe roofline also housing the gearbox and a 110-litre boot.
Sadly, Volkswagen has confirmed that the XL Sport will never see production and is merely a technological showcase to show what’s capable when VW Group brands co-develop vehicles. But while the XL Sport is only a concept, perhaps it paves the way for a future in which Ducati engines rev past 10 000 in many a VW group sports car. Do we even need to say how excited we are at that prospect?