Now this is something that’s properly exciting – the Volkswagen XL Sport concept. Imagine if the ultra-efficient Volkswagen XL1 (111 km/l, limited to 250 units) married the ultra-fast Ducati 1199 Superleggera (200 PS on a 155 kg bike; limited to 500 units), this would be their offspring.

On to the serious stuff. The XL1’s rear-mounted, fuel-sipping plug-in diesel hybrid powertrain is no more, replaced by the featherweight Ducati’s 200 PS/134 Nm 1.2 litre Superquadro V2 engine – claimed to be the world’s most powerful two-cylinder engine. The V-twin motor revs to 11,000 rpm, and is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox to run the rear wheels.

Weighing just 890 kg, Volkswagen says the XL Sport is the fastest 200 PS car in the world, with a top speed of 270 km/h. Its 0-100 km/h time is less impressive, though, at 5.7 seconds. With the XL1 as a base, aerodynamics is top notch, with the concept featuring an extendable rear spoiler (internals taken from the Lambo Aventador) and an adaptive rear hatch louvre to cool the engine when necessary.

Quite a lot has changed on the outside, with more than enough air intakes and aerodynamic appendages to impress even Adrian Newey himself. The XL Sport is both longer and wider than the XL1 to suit its more dynamic character. It’s now 4,291 mm long (+403 mm over the XL1), 1,847 mm wide (+183 mm) and 1,152 mm high (-1 mm), with a stretched 2,424 mm wheelbase (+200 mm).

Underneath the carbon-fibre body, the XL Sport has a racecar-like chassis, featuring all-around double wishbone suspension with a pull rod set up up front and a push rod configuration at the back. Ceramic brake discs hide behind 18-inch forged magnesium wheels, with the latter itself saves as much as 23.9 kg over regular aluminium alloys.

Through the unique front-swivelling doors (with lightweight polycarbonate windows), changes over the already-bare-bones XL1 are limited to a few red highlights (contrast stitching and seatbelts), aluminium shift paddles and a motorsport-inspired digital instrument cluster, complete with a flat carbon panel over it to eliminate reflections.


Like the XL1, digital e-mirrors showing live feeds off external cameras replace conventional wing mirrors, and the two seats are mounted in an offset position to free up more shoulder room without having to make the car too wide. How’s that for attention to detail?

The Volkswagen XL Sport concept is precisely the sort of lunacy that motoring enthusiasts dreamed about when Audi bought over Ducati in 2012. Will it be built? Well, never say never, as even the wild XL1 went into (limited) production. It wasn’t cheap, though, and neither is the Ducati Superleggera, so don’t expect the XL Sport to be any different.