Just over one year ago, we reported on rumors that Volkswagen was pairing with its then-new corporate cousin, Italian motorcycle maker Ducati, to build a high-performance version of the XL1, a vehicle that we (actually, I) said would be a “firecracker,” thanks to its super-low curb weight, slippery aerodynamics and alleged 190-horsepower engine. Now, only slightly late for its rumored Geneva Motor Show debut, VW is trotting out the so-called XL Sport to the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
Total output has jumped to 197 horsepower, thanks to the presence of a Ducati 1199 Superleggera V-twin, which has been mated up to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. In addition to screaming its way to 11,000 rpm, the two-cylinder engine will help the XL Sport zip to 62 miles per hour in a brisk 5.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 168 miles per hour.
168 mph is a lofty speed for a 200-hp vehicle, and it wouldn’t be possible without VW’s obsessive streamlining of the XL Sport’s body.
That’s a lofty speed for a 200-horsepower vehicle, and it wouldn’t be possible without VW’s obsessive streamlining of the XL Sport’s body. Featuring a 0.258 coefficient of drag, it’s not as efficient as the standard XL1’s 0.189, thanks to the presence of wider tires, increased downforce and additional cooling ducts. Still, the XL is sleek enough for VW to claim the title of most aerodynamic sports car.
A pushrod rear suspension and forged magnesium wheels are just a few of the race-minded items underpinning the XL Sport, indicating that on top of being a quick little scamp, it should prove a capable dancer.
While Volkswagen is planning on building 250 XL1s, at this point there’s no indication that the XL Sport will be sold to the public. We’re guessing that question could depend on the public’s reaction to the unique sportster when it makes its debut in the coming days at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.
Scroll down for the full press release from Volkswagen, and then head into the gallery and take a closer look at the XL Sport.