Volkswagen XL Sport brings Ducati power to Paris

One of the biggest deals at the 2014 Paris Motor Show is this, the Volkswagen XL Sport Concept. Boasting an engine donated by the wild Ducati 1199 Superleggera motorcycle and based on the limited edition, fuel-sipping XL1, the XL Sport is a tantalizing blend of lightweight technologies, extreme aerodynamic focus and high-performance punch.

While yesterday’s news focused on the performance aspects of the XL Sport, including the 197-horsepower V-twin, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and slippery 0.258 drag coefficient, we’re going to focus on the car’s looks this time (mostly because we have some spiffy new live images), which in our eye, are exquisite.

The XL Sport maintains two of the XL1’s most defining features: a wide, low shape and a kammback rear end. For performance duty, Volkswagen sacrificed the smooth body of the XL1 in order to fit large cooling ducts behind the rear doors, to better feed air into the Ducati engine.

The front end is more aggressive, with a prominent chin spoiler, while a significantly larger and wider wheel/tire package delivers additional grip and aesthetic appeal at the expense of aero efficiency. The door’s character lines look more defined, likely to better feed air into the side-mounted intakes while a substantial rear spoiler helps keep the rear-end pinned at the XL Sport’s 168-mile-per-hour top speed. Our team on the ground in Paris, meanwhile, reports that this concept’s matte paint is a particular highlight of the low-slung VeeDub. We can’t be certain, but we’re pretty sure it’s Sepang Blue, a matte shade found on the Audi R8.

Inside the cabin, a set of aluminum-alloy shift paddles have spawned from the back of the flat-bottomed steering wheel, while anodized accents, red contrast stitching and a digital instrument cluster round out the most significant interior upgrades.

Take a look up top for our complete round up of live images of the new XL Sport Concept direct from the floor of the 2014 Paris Motor Show.