VW slots Ducati Panigale superbike engine into the world’s most fuel efficient car. Supercar awesomeness ensues.
Earlier this year Volkswagen launched a 795kg car called the XL1. It looked like a supercar from the future, its motor was in the middle sending drive to the rear wheels, and it had madly-hinged doors. All the ingredients for an out and out supercar, then.
One problem. Its engine was tiny (800cc) and it ran on diesel. And it was a hybrid, so it was quite slow, 0-62mph took twelve seconds, and its top speed was around 100mph – slow indeed. But speed wasn’t the point, the XL1 was supposed to be a grown-up eco car, not some kind of totally mad, immature supercar that drunk fuel like a Russian drinks vodka. It looked supercar-ish because the body needed to be super slippery in order to deliver a hardly believable 313mpg figure – making it the most fuel efficient car…In The World. So, the XL1 was a car that chased insane MPG figures and was slower than a rabbit riding an ant.
But fuel efficiency is boring. MPG and C02 figures aren’t the sort of things that get the petrol head fizzing like a five year old that’s high on red cordial. And VW, happily, understand this. Which is precisely why they’ve revealed plans to create a totally bonkers version of the once-hippy-friendly XL1 eco-car.
This is the plan; remove that wheezy little diesel engine, rip out the electric plug in hybrid gubbins, and stick a 1200cc Ducati motorbike engine in the middle. The Ducati Panigale V-twin engine produces 190hp at a dizzying 10750rpm, which is a bit awesome. Projekt (it’s spelt ‘project’, VW) XL Sport should rip its way to 62mph in less than four seconds with staggering ferocity – because superbike engine.
The XL Sport features a rowdy front splitter, lots of cooling ducts and lightweight race wheels – the rears now exposed rather than covered.
If the XL Sport makes production it will likely be a track-toy only sort of car, which is a bit of a shame, but we reckon VW could do a street-legal version if they really wanted to…