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Volkswagen XL Sport Concept First Look

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 10/1/2014 Kelly Pleskot

Last year, we drove the Volkswagen XL1, a diesel-electric plug-in hybrid capable of traveling over 200 miles on a single gallon of diesel. This feat, according to VW, makes it the world's most fuel-efficient car. Now, VW is revealing a new model based on the XL1 that will feature almost three times the horsepower and a motorsports-derived chassis for a completely new feel. The Volkswagen XL Sport concept debuts at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Despite the XL1's athletic look, the model wasn't intended to break any performance records. It produced 68 hp and took 12.5 seconds to hit 60 mph. The new XL Sport builds upon the XL1 with a new powertrain and a more muscular appearance.

© Provided by MotorTrend The XL Sport does not include an electric motor but instead features the world's most powerful two-cylinder engine. Its V-Twin engine, sourced from a Ducati Superleggera, was only slightly modified from its original form to produce 197 hp and 99 lb-ft of torque in this sports coupe. High-strength steel subframes, magnesium-alloy components in the engine, and a body made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer keep the car strong and light. Top speed is estimated by VW at 168 mph, as the car achieves a similar power-to-weight advantage as the motorcycle from which it took its inspiration. All these factors also help the XL Sport hit 62 mph in a VW-estimated time of 5.7 seconds.

From first glance, it is clear the XL Sport adopts a wildly different look than the XL1. That car looks like a strange mix of an Audi R8 and a flash drive, with soft edges that taper off into a polarizing bullet-shaped back end. The sportier model also reminds us a bit of the R8, but features aggressive air intakes, broader fenders, bold rear spoiler, and a redesigned LED ribbon at the rear.

Peeking into the interior reveals carbon fiber accents on the instrument cluster and aluminum decoration near the controls. Red seatbelts complement contrasting red stitching on the steering wheel. A digital instrument cluster includes a lap timer and oil pressure gauge. As you might expect, the swoopy concept isn't terribly practical, as cargo space is limited to just 3.8 cubic-feet of space.

© Provided by MotorTrend Just 250 examples of the XL1 are being produced, while only 500 copies of the Ducati Superleggera are planned. It's unclear if the XL Sport will make it to production, but if it does you can expect it to be in similarly low numbers. © Provided by MotorTrend

Volkswagen XL Sport Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Volkswagen XL Sport Concept
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