The most distinctive technical highlight of the XL1-based XL Sport Concept is the rear-mounted engine, the V2 adapted from the new 1199 Superleggera from Ducati, the Italian company recently acquired by VW Group.
With a power output of 147 kW / 200 PS at 11,000rpm, the unit is the world’s most powerful two-cylinder engine.
Torque from the V2 engine (134 Nm) is transmitted to the rear axle via a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG).
On the XL Sport, also thanks to the excellent aerodynamic efficiency (Cd of 0.258 and cd x A = 0.44 m2) and the weight of just 890 kg, the engine allows to reach a top speed of 270 km/h, which makes the XL Sport the fastest 200 PS car in the world.
The chassis combines a high-strength steel space frame with an advanced suspension setup, featuring a double wishbone front axle with the dampers connected below in a pull rod configuration, and a double wishbone rear axle with the dampers connected above in a push rod configuration.
The exterior shapes are mostly based on aerodynamic requirements. Despite sharing the underlying design with the XL1, the XL Sport has a distinctive look, focused on performance and dynamics.
The XL Sport is 4,291 mm long (XL1: 3,888 mm), 1,847 mm wide (XL1: 1,664 mm), 1,152 mm high (XL1: 1,153 mm). The wheelbase has also been increased to 2,424 mm (XL1: 2,224 mm).
Active aerodynamic elements include special air curtains that direct the air in the frontal area into specific channels, wheel arch ventilation, a further optimised underbody, lift-reducing air ducts in the bonnet, an extendible rear spoiler (powered by the same unit as in the Lamborghini Aventador) and adaptive waste heat vents incorporated in the rear hatch (louvre that opens and closes automatically as required to conduct excess engine heat away).
mong the additional design details are the wing doors that are hinged at two points: low on the A-pillars and just above the windscreen in the roof frame, so swivel upwards and slightly forwards.
The doors extend far into the roof. When they are opened, they create a large amount of entry and exit space.
The door windows are made of polycarbonate. The upper part of the windows is firmly attached to the exterior door skin due to the specifications of lightweight design, while a segment of the lower area of the side windows can be opened. The windscreen of both models is manufactured from a special type of thin glass.
Most of the body panels are made of carbon-reinforced polymer (CFRP).
From the official Press Release:
The concept car builds on the dynamic and extravagant design of the XL1. The monolithic surfaces have an even more muscular appearance as they extend over the significantly broader wings and the large wheels.
With extreme proportions and lines which are powerful and precise in equal measure, the XL Sport is broad and low on the road, dominating it with an untamed dynamism even when stationary.
The precise, clear surfaces and shapes of the XL Sport are more than just the expression of a sporty aesthetic: the aerodynamic engineers and designers have worked hand in hand to create a sculpture that is both highly appealing and aerodynamically perfect.
The broad front section of the XL Sport exudes an unmistakable charisma with its dual LED headlights and the signature of the LED daytime running lights that is characteristic of the XL1.
The front of the XL Sport features air intakes on each side of the headlights for the air curtains which feed the air optimally around the car’s bow and front sides.
In common with the XL1, the front section of the XL Sport does not have a conventional radiator grille, yet it retains the current Volkswagen design DNA, with horizontal lines dominating this area: specifically, a black cross-stripe combines with the dual headlights to form a continuous band. The actual air supply for cooling the Ducati engine is via vents in the rear wings.
Whereas the XL1 is at its widest at the front and tapers towards the rear, the XL Sport is just as wide at the back as at the front.
From above, the shape is that of a classic racing car, with the doors retracted like a waist.Looking at a side view of the wings and doors it is obvious why: here, at each of the A and B pillars, there are distinctive air inlets and outlets to ensure an optimum air flow and for cooling the drive unit. In addition it gives the silhouette an exciting stretched appearance that promises power yet exudes a rare elegance and a timeless beauty.
Observers will look for door mirrors in vain; replacing them are small streamlined cameras integrated in the wing doors: e-Mirrors (digital outside mirrors) that send images of the surroundings behind the car to two displays inside the vehicle (e-Mirrors made their debut in the XL1). In front of the rear wheel arches, ‘Motore Ducati’ lettering refers to the 1199 Superleggera engine in the rear.
As illustrated, the XL Sport gives off a completely different impression compared with the XL1, especially at the rear, as this is now significantly wider.
At the same time, the new XL Sport also has four specific features that catch the eye.
First, the extremely wide, flat rear with its distinctive shoulders (powerful, wide surfaces above the wheels) and the extendible rear spoiler which occupies almost the full width of the vehicle’s rear end.
Second, as with the XL1 there is the coupé-shaped roofline without rear windscreen. Merging into the roofline is the rear hatch that conceals the Ducati engine, the 7-speed DSG and 107 litres of luggage space.
Another new feature of the XL Sport is a louvre comprised of five slats that are seated flush in the rear hatch, which, depending on the temperature, open automatically to cool the drive unit.
Third, the iconic red LED ribbon that follows the shape of the rear section. At the sides the ribbon is framed by another, vertical, LED element which serves to emphasise the width of the XL Sport.
Fourth, there is a black diffuser that merges almost seamlessly into the completely enclosed underbody and is finished at each side with a chrome exhaust tailpipe.
The interior of the XL Sport is based on the interior of the XL1, but has been modified and individualised with a number of special details conforming with the complete realignment of the vehicle’s dynamic.
For example, the XL Sport has a digital instrument cluster specially designed for motor sports, with an individual lap time and oil pressure display. A flat carbon part that extends the top of the instrument cluster covering to completely eliminate reflections.
The XL Sport’s steering wheel has decorative red stitching and has been equipped with aluminium shift paddles to facilitate ultra quick gear shifts.
There are further classy details to add a sporty touch, with anodised aluminium accents around the air vents, the climate control fascia and the DSG shift gate. Picking up the theme of the contrasting red stitching in the steering wheel, the seat belts are also red. No changes have been made to the ergonomics enjoyed by the driver and passenger.