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Paris show: VW springs Ducati-powered coupe

On yer bike: A 1200cc Ducati V-twin engine provides the motivation for VW’s XL Sport concept, revving to 11,000rpm.

Volkswagen’s 270km/h XL Sport concept borrows V-twin Ducati engine


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2 Oct 2014

VOLKSWAGEN sprung one of the surprises of the Paris motor show when it unveiled a feisty 270km/h rear-engine sports coupe powered by the world’s most powerful V-twin engine from sister company Ducati.

The modified engine – taken from Ducati’s 1199 Superleggera – pumps out 147kW of power and revs to an eye-watering 11,000rpm in the VW coupe which, at this stage, remains a concept with no firm plans for production.

The coupe is based on VW’s superlight XL1 that was shown at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. While the XL1 is a plug-in hybrid with a focus on fuel economy, the XL Sport is a sports thoroughbred with a focus on fun factor.

Interestingly, rival Ferrari reportedly has patented a V-twin engine.

The VW XL Sport – finished in matt blue paint for the show – is slightly longer and wider than the XL1, at 4291mm and 1847mm, respectively. Its wheelbase also is stretched, to 2424mm, and its roof tops out at just 1152mm.

The fenders have flared arches to accommodate fatter wheels, giving the XL what VW describes as an impressive appearance on the road. On the back, an automatic spoiler rises at highway speeds.

Side scoops channel air into the engine which appears to sit just in front of the rear axle. In case anyone was wondering about the origins of the engine inside, Motore Ducati badges are fixed to the body just in front of the rear wheels.

Although no kerb weight has been revealed, the XL Sport is undoubtedly light, having been based on the 795kg XL1.

Acceleration from standstill to 100km/h is said to take 5.7 seconds, assisted by a reduction gear between the engine and the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

The engine has only 130Nm of torque, but the gearing is said to mitigate that, giving the XL Sport nippy performance.

Once mobile, the coupe is undoubtedly fast, allegedly hitting 270km/h on the open road.

Inside, a race-style digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver.

The XL Sport was unveiled alongside first plug-in hybrid Passat, the GLE, at a media event on the eve of the Paris show.

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