Promises of a performance-oriented take on the Volkswagen XL1 have been realized, in the Volkswagen XL Sport at the Paris Motor Show.
The original Volkswagen XL1 featured a 1.0 liter diesel/hybrid powertrain conceived and tuned for efficiency, which granted the 1,750 lb., plug-in two-seater a magnificent fuel economy of 260 mpg.
But beside efficiency, there’s another bonus to building a car so light: performance.
To that end, VW massaged the original XL1 body in a sportier direction, into something somewhat reminiscent of an Audi R8, and gave the Volkswagen XL Sport the 197 HP four-stroke V-twin engine from the limited-run Ducati 1199 Superleggera, with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Despite the small displacement, the motor can turn up to a staggering 11,000 RPM, allowing for the perfectly respectable peak power figure. The drag coefficient on the new body swelled to a claimed 0.26, which puts it on-par with the Tesla Model S and Toyota Prius. In other words, still pretty darn good.
The resulting Volkswagen XL Sport is a car that can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.8 seconds, reach a top speed of 168 mph, and presumably sound like a duet of deafening trumpets played by God’s most over-zealous Cherubim in the process.
The Volkswagen XL Sport is a study of how to keep furious, inspiring performance alive, even in the presence of approaching fuel-conservation requirements. A run of 250 Volkswagen XL Sport cars is expected, the same as the total number of XL1s were built, but like that car, probably zero will come to the US.