VW’s 200 millionth car is a unique motorcycle-powered eco car special

2014-11-26 14:55:03

Volkswagen has surprised the motoring world by installing a 192bhp V2 Ducati engine into its XL electric car to create an XL Sport concept. The engine is the world’s most powerful 2-cylinder engine and has been transplanted from Volkswagen-owned Ducati’s 1199 Superleggera. In a car that weighs just 890kg, the XL Sport can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds before going on to 167mph, despite only have 86lb ft of torque.

Power is transmitted via a 7-speed DSG gearbox and, being a motorcycle engine, has the capacity to rev as high as 11,000rpm. A reduction gear between the engine and gearbox slows engine speed and boosts torque to 184lb ft, making the car far easier to drive on the road. With the engine featuring titanium connecting rods and magnesium alloys to allow for those exceptionally high revs, the driving experience would almost certainly feel unlike almost any other car on the road to drive.

The footprint of the XL Sport is larger than the 313mpg XL production car on which it is based, including a stretched wheelbase. Length is 4,291mm whilst the broader width of 1,847mm means that handling and stability should be improved. The height is 1,152mm.

Volkswagen say the XL Sport has been inspired by motorsport, emphasised by both an interior and exterior which the company says features details to optimise performance. On the outside particularly, there are air curtains, wheel arch outlets, a rear diffuser and a smooth underside to improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce lift. Airflow and cooling have also been improved due to the introduction of exhaust heat vents which have been integrated into the rear lid.

Those familiar with the original XL will also have noticed a slight change to the interior too. The instrument cluster has been changed to a digital format and has been specially designed for motorsport. Less significantly, there is also red decorative stitching and aluminium shift paddles to manually change the gears.

VW have told EcoCars4Sale that the XL Sport is purely a one-off model to demonstrate what is possible by mixing technology from cars and bikes. The company insist that there are no plans to put the XL Sport into production. However, by some bizarre coincidence, in presenting the XL Sport, the German car giant also announced that the VW Group had just produced its 200 millionth car – which just so happened to be the XL Sport.

Reported By

Andrew Merritt-Morling

Chief Editor

On Behalf Of First4Auto