If the development of the Bugatti Veyron represented the greatest gift the Volkswagen Group could have given from its deep R&D pockets to performance enthusiasts, surely the XL1 does the same for tree-huggers. It represents no less significant an investment on VW's part, and no less significant and advancement in terms of environmental credentials. But that doesn't mean that the XL1 won't have what to offer those who care more about burning natural resources than preserving them.

Back in September we reported on a rumor that Volkswagen was planning to turn the hyper-miling XL1 into a hyper-strung performance model. And now those rumors seem to be coming to fruition. Speaking with Autocar at the launch of the new e-Golf, Volkswagen's R&D chief Hans-Jakob Neusser revealed that the purported performance-oriented version of XL1 is now well underway, with sources expecting it to be unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show before it goes into limited production.

So what are we looking at, exactly? As previously reported, VW is planning to replace the XL1's diesel-electric hybrid powertrain with the 1.2-liter v-twin from the Ducati 1199 Panigale, raising output from 68 horsepower in the XL1 to 187, but dropping torque slightly from 103 pound-feet to 91. Considering the XL1's feather-like curb weight, which will only further drop with the removal of the battery packs, the horsepower should be the more important element here.

As for name, while previous reports dubbed it the XL Sport, Autocar says the final version will more likely be called the XLR. If that name rings a bell, it's because it once belonged to a Cadillac roadster that also benefited from some inter-brand collaboration within one of the world's largest automakers. Whether VW and GM have any conflict over the name or not remains to be seen, but one way or another we hope for an even higher level of performance in the new XLR than from the old.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wouldn't the "greatest gift" to tree huggers be a performance EV and not an internal combustion engine?
      Haelphadreous
      • 1 Year Ago
      Could be interesting, playing around with a 0~60 calculator and keeping in mind that the curb weight will likely be in the 1550~1650 lb range, I expect it could manage a mid to high 4 second range sprint, while still returning between 30~40 mpg. possibly better. Considering the likely 6 figure price tag the best I will be able to do is admire it the same way I would a Ferrari or Lambo or other exotic that is well beyond my means, but it has a certain appeal for offering good economy and performance no doubt about that.
      Willy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Instead of building a performance version, how about one that's affordable to regular people? I'm interested in a 200+ mpg car
      hemusbull
      • 1 Year Ago
      This thing is as uglier as the first generation Honda Insight.
        creamwobbly
        • 1 Year Ago
        @hemusbull
        Yes, it is. If >100 mpg is ugly.
          Tweaker
          • 1 Year Ago
          @creamwobbly
          This is not going to get 100 mpg. It uses a motor that gets maybe 30 mpg on a 300 lb motorcycle frame.
      danfred411
      • 1 Year Ago
      If they wanted a performance version, why not electric performance.. facepalm
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        VM Management not forward looking. The XL1 got too many orders and embarrassed management.
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      More performance from the VW XLR than the Cadillac XLR? I don't think so...
      goodoldgorr
      • 1 Year Ago
      I might be interrested to buy if i won the lottery. Is that car enterred in an internet sweepstake ?
      Bernard
      • 1 Year Ago
      Elon Musk is laughing right now...
      creamwobbly
      • 1 Year Ago
      So they took the original concept, put the seats side-by-side, added weight courtesy a battery pack, and now they're castrating it by making it into a closed-in Atom? What next, remove the bodyshell? Sounds like a solution looking for a problem to solve...
        The Wasp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @creamwobbly
        You owe an apology to the Atom. This is not in the same league.
      mcc1975
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of the ugliest concept cars to grace the face of the earth...
      audisp0rta4
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like the idea of this. They'd need to remove the wheel skirts, widen the rear track, do something about those horrid taillights and add some more aggression to the front/rear ends. Oh...and knock about 100k off the price. Then it would be just right!
      Tweaker
      • 1 Year Ago
      Your typical Ducatti only gets maybe 40 mpg if you stay off the throttle. And it weighs 400 lbs.
    • Load More Comments