Cars

The XL Sport Is Volkswagen’s New Ducati-Powered Supercar

Published On 10/06/2014 Published On 10/06/2014
This is Volkswagen's new supercar
All Photos: Volkswagen Automotive Group

A few years ago, Volkswagen designed the XL1 as an uber-efficient, somewhat futuristic vehicle. While it is an excellent piece of engineering and clearly a beautiful design, it’s barely effective if you want to use it as an adrenaline pump.

VW’s just fixed that in a huge way. They’ve taken the XL1 platform and converted it to a supercar, complete with an engine taken straight out of a Ducati. The resulting XL Sport is so hot it’s borderline NSFW.

On the outside, they’ve changed most aspects of the car, giving it a look that’s oddly reminiscent of a futuristic Renault Alpine. Surprisingly, those beautiful doors are just about the only exterior components not thoroughly redesigned. 

The car’s not just beautiful on the outside, though: it keeps getting better the further you go. The mid-mounted engine is taken straight from a superbike. A Ducati 1199 Superleggera to be exact, meaning it’s an ultra compact (read: lightweight) two-cylinder engine that revs to over 11,000 rpm and produces nearly 200 hp.

That’s insane, and like many insane things, there’s a little bit of genius behind it.

Because the chassis was originally designed to be hyper-efficient, and because a motorcycle engine weighs almost nothing when compared to even the smallest of car motors, the whole vehicle weighs just 1,800 lbs. That’s an entire episode of The Biggest Loser lighter than even a Miata.

It’s also so aerodynamically smooth that it can hit nearly 170 mph despite having “only” 200 hp. Quite simply, this is the sports car of the future.

After all the righteous engineering going on with this car, you could forgive VW if the interior were a letdown, but it’s not. In the finest tradition of some of the most classic sports cars ever designed, the single-piece seats are right on the floor to lower the car’s center of gravity. Everything else is simple, basic, nearly perfect. All that’s left is to figure out how to convince Volkswagen to sell these.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor, and can be found on Twitter. He’s already clearing a space in his garage for this.

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