VW XL Sport – The Ultimate Two-Seater Ducati [Paris]


2014, vw, xl sport, concept, paris
VW XL Sport

You may remember the Volkswagen XL1 ultra-efficient diesel-electric hybrid that the company has put into production with a very limited number of 250 units. The XL1 is all about stretching every ounce of fuel and every watt. It is rated at 210 MPG by United States standards. What if there was another use for the light-weight carbon fiber reinforced polymer monocoque? Enter the VW XL Sport.

volkswagen xl1 vw

The “1” in XL1 stood for efficiency rating of 1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers. The “1” is now gone thanks to a fire-breathing Ducati 1199 cc V-Twin motor that produces 197 horsepower and 99 lb-ft of torque. This motor comes courtesy of a limited production Ducati 1199 Superleggera. The company claims this is the most powerful two-cylinder engine in production. This is a great example of technology sharing between corporate peers as Volkswagen Group owns Ducati Motorcycles.


Volkswagen XL Sport Concept is laser focused on performance. The narrow streamlined car is actually significantly bigger than the XL1 on which it is based, but the numbers are still very impressive. The 11,000 rpm redline of the V-Twin motor pushes the 1,962 pound car 0-62 mph in 5.7 seconds. The 7-speed DSG transmission helps the XL Sport reach a top speed of 168 mph. OK, these performance statistics are not mind-blowing, but can you image winding out this motorcycle engine on a twisty race track in a car that weighs less than 2,000 pounds!

The XL Sport is 15.8 inches longer and 7.2 inches wider than the XL1 (total length of 168.9 in and width of 72.7 in). The wheelbase has also been stretched. The changed were need to accommodate the new propulsion system, get cooling air, and make the car more stable at high speed and cornering loads. Still, the aerodynamics magicians at Volkswagen managed an ultra-low 0.258 coefficient of drag, while also getting optimal downforce.

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1997 VW W12 Concept

It makes for an aggressive and fast looking car, that has character lines of a proper racing machine. It also has a few hints of the VW W12 Nardo concept from 1997.

vw_xl_sport_concept_interior_cockpitThe XL Sport uses many other light-weight and special touches focused on performance. The 18-inch wheels are made of forged magnesium-alloy to save even more weight. The tires are properly wide: 205/40 R18 in the front and 265/35 R18 in the back. The digital instrument cluster includes a lap timer. There is an adjustable rear spoiler to optimize downforce.

What a great sports car concept! There is no word on whether Volkswagen will produce the XL Sport concept and if it will be available in the United States. We are not optimistic.

Check out this insider TFLcar video of the VW CrossBlue Hybrid Concept debut.


Andre Smirnov
Andre Smirnov

Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, video producer, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFL since 2011.