Ducati-powered Volkswagen XL1 in the works, may be called XLRFri, 08 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Volkswagen is pushing ahead with plans to boost the performance of its two-seat XL1 with a highly strung two-cylinder gas engine sourced from the Ducati 1199 Panigale superbike, high-ranking insiders at the German car maker have confirmed.
Speaking on the sidelines of the unveiling of the new e-Golf in Wolfsburg, Germany this week, Volkswagen's head of R & D Hans-Jakob Neusser revealed development of the Ducati-engined XL1 is well underway. “Yes, we are working on it internally. It is a special project,” he told Autoweek.
Neusser declined to confirm when the new car would be revealed, although Volkswagen sources suggest the XLR (We're sure Cadillac won't take issue with that... -- ED), as the powered up XL1 is expected to be named, could make an appearance at the 2014 Geneva motor show prior to being placed in to limited production.
In standard guise, the rear-wheel drive XL1 runs a plug-in diesel-electric hybrid driveline developing a combined system output 68 bhp and 103 lb-ft of torque.
Plans are to supplant it with the Panigale's 1.2-liter two-cylinder petrol engine, which in standard guise delivers 187 bhp at 10,750 RPM and 91 lb-ft of torque at 9,000 RPM.
A computer-generated image of the XLR was revealed by Volkswagen board chairman Ferdinand Piech during a lecture at the Vienna University of Technology at the end of September.
By Greg Kable