Last year Volkswagen launched the XL1, an ultra economical and super-slippery plug-in hybrid car that sips 0.9 l of fuel per 100 km. Today at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen revealed the XL Sport that’s capable to reach a top speed of 270 km/h, powered by the world’s most powerful two-cylinder engine. Blasphemy? Sort of.
The two-cylinder engine in the XL Sport is actually taken off a Ducati 1199 Superleggera, a 1,199 cc DOHC V2 that produces 197 hp and 134 Nm of torque, and screams all the way to 11,000 rpm. The original XL1 is also powered by a two-cylinder engine, but a diesel unit generating 47 hp and 120 Nm of torque.
The XL Sport can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds using a 7-speed DSG that drives the rear wheels. The lightweight wheels have grown wider and larger compared to the ones on the XL1. They’re made out of forged magnesium, measuring 18-inches in diameter and wearing 205/40 R18 tyres at the front and 265/35 R18 tyres at the rear. Braking is provided by ceramic discs on all four corners.
The lightweight chassis has been redesigned, using double wishbone front and rear axles but with pull rod dampers at the front and push rod dampers at the rear. Clothing the chassis is a carbon-reinforced polymer (CFRP) body that’s manufactured using the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process.
The basic design still resembles the XL1 and retains the dramatic wing doors, but the XL Sport has been given an extra dose of attitude. The face gets an extended chin along with air curtains at the side of the LED headlamps. The side sills are wider, bridging the broad front wheel arches that also houses the e-Mirror (digital outside mirrors) and the extended rear wheel arches with air inlets and air outlets for optimum air flow and for cooling the engine.
The back gets an extendable rear spoiler, and the rear hatch has louvres that opens or closes depending to the cooling requirements of the engine. The rear hatch opens to reveal the engine bay and 107 litres of luggage space.
Aerodynamically, the XL Sport’s Cd value have increased to 0.258 from 0.189 on the XL1. This is due to the longer and wider dimensions which is now at 4,291 mm long with 2,424 mm wheelbase, 1,1847 mm wide, and 1,152 mm tall. For comparison, the XL1 is 3,888 mm long with 2,224 mm wheelbase, 1,664 mm wide, and 1,153 mm tall.
The interior also received a makeover featuring red highlights to the black and grey colour scheme. Aluminium bits are used for the shift paddles on the steering wheel, while the digital instrument panel displays individual lap time as well. Furthermore, if you notice the gearknob is made out of wood, perhaps to rekindle the spirit of the old racing cars such as the Lotus 25 and Porsche 917.