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2014 Volkswagen XL Sport Concept 1.2 Ducati V2 197 hp 168 mph 0-62 mph 5,7 s 1,962 lb

The VW XL Sport is one of the big surprises at the Paris motor show 2014: it’s a tiny sports car mating Ducati power with Volkswagen engineering.

The baby coupe takes the XL1 architecture and ditches the electric motor for a 197bhp Ducati superbike engine, mounted amidships in a heavily modified XL1 body.

The VW group bought Ducati a couple of years ago; now we’re beginning to understand why.

VW XL Sport: the lowdown

This is a radical VW alright. The XL1’s electric powertrain is dumped for the twin-cylinder from a Ducati 1199 Superleggera, featuring the brand’s trademark desmodromic valve control. In a nutshell, both inlet and exhaust valves are operated by a cam, rather than squeezed by a spring.

It generates a heady 197bhp near the high 11,000rpm redline; it’s all about power, peak torque stands at a rather weedier-sounding 99lb ft.

Drive is sent through a VW twin-clutch DSG gearbox with seven ratios.

Sounds great! A VW superbike on four wheels!

The VW XL Sport is a little heavier than the electric XL1, weight rising to 890kg although a rather exotic-sounding construction list leaning towards the expensive end of the period table keeps things low. That carbonfibre build explains why 0-62mph takes a buzzing, rabid 5.7sec, says Volkswagen.

The redesign makes it a touch less aerodynamic, too, the drag coefficiency rising to a still-eel-slippery 0.26, where most sports cars are over 0.3. The wheels are now 18-inchers, sporting 205/40 rubber up front and 265/35 at the rear.

Volkswagen XL Sport Video

volkswagen xl paris, vw xl