Volkswagen made waves with its ultra efficient XL1, a 1,700-pound two-seater that nets a claimed 261 miles per gallon. And while that degree of insane efficiency is admirable, we'd be lying if we didn't see some performance potential with the car's low curb weight and fanatical elimination of aerodynamic drag.

The crew in Wolfsburg must have had the same thoughts, as a story has emerged from German publication Bild that VW has a car called the XL Sports in the works, that ditches the XL1's two-cylinder, diesel-powered engine and electric motor for something a bit more potent - the 1,198-cc, 190-horsepower V-twin from the Ducati 1199 Panigale. It'd be relegated to the track, but what a firecracker it would be.

And before we get wrapped up in Bild's tabloid reputation, the story is accompanied by a shot that looks about as authentic as can be. We can't run it here, but we strongly suggest you hop over to Bild (fair warning, it's in German) and have a look. It shows Ferdinand Piëch in Vienna, showing a racing variant of the XL1, called the XL Sport, to a group of students at the Vienna University of Technology. Head over to BIld and take a look, and then head back this way and let us know what you think.


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  • 33 Comments
      dan1malk
      • 1 Year Ago
      ...and will be priced into irrelevancy. :(
      Pinhead
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love the interior of the xl1. Reminds me of a modern take on my MkI CRX.
      domingorobusto
      • 1 Year Ago
      Neat! But I wish thye'd do something like that for the street, that would be priced so that the average person could buy one. Put the Polo's awesome little 180 hp twincharged 1.4L TFSI engine in there, no hybrid system. Iron brakes. Replace some of the carbon bits with high strength steel, aluminum, and CRFP. I bet they could get a 180-200 hp and 2100 lb variant out of the door for $30k-$40k and enter the Elise/4C arena. Bet it would still get 40-50 mpg highway too.
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      If it's Ducati-powered, what gearbox does it use? Does it have reverse?
      Bill
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like the rear view. It makes me think of early Tatras!
      vizcarmb
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too bad it won't go in reverse due to how motorcycle engines are designed. But that would be bad ass
        imag
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vizcarmb
        Reversing has to do with the transmission, not the engine. There are plenty of sequential transmissions with a reverse gear.
          vizcarmb
          • 1 Year Ago
          @imag
          motorcycle engines usually have transmission inside the engine. Do you even ride motorcycles?
          EVnerdGene
          • 1 Year Ago
          @imag
          not "inside the engine" integral with the engine
      wonky donky.
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am sure the word, "Farfergnugen" was used at least once.
      AcidTonic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Stop building toys and get a version of this in the public's hands. Tired of hearing about this car which no one can obtain..... Lease doesn't count either if they say it costs $175K and won't let you buy it. Start with one using less exotic materials targeting a 100mpg and a reasonable price figure. Then we'll talk.
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AcidTonic
        VW will never make this specific car into something affordable. They already make cars, and are developing more with hybrid and diesel setups. I don't mean to sound snarky but... reasonably priced XL1, keep dreaming.
      mylexicon
      • 1 Year Ago
      An SBK engine at full chat has a very short service life. I doubt this is true.
        icon149
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mylexicon
        not to mention that people don't tend to put high mileage on track only cars.
        Gerald22
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mylexicon
        So what? It'st about the same with any hypercar. Look at a Bugatti Veyron for instance. That's not really what these cars are about. They're just and purely for fun.
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 1 Year Ago
      That makes as much sense as Toyota building a track only Prius.
      Ricardo Gozinya
      • 1 Year Ago
      And it'll get its ass handed to it by the Panigale. Granted, nearly every street legal car in existence will get its ass handed to it by the Panigale as well. I really don't see why anybody spends money on sports cars if they plan to actually go fast. Way more bang for your buck with two wheels, and a lot more exciting.
      Hans
      • 1 Year Ago
      It begs the question: "but why"...would I buy sth so silly looking then call it a Sports car. That inevitably comes out as an excuse, and it's not like VW would need one. Surely, it's just a gag (and a nice exercise for your rusty German :-)
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