Volkswagen premieres the XL Sport hybrid
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Volkswagen have showcased a new hybrid sports car at the Paris Motor Show, the XL Sport Concept.
Based around the XL1 concept of a last year - a car which took driving efficiency to new extremes, the XL Sport Concept adds a whole lot of fun to the platform.
Providing the petrol powered umph part of the hybrid drivetrain is something a we didn't expect, a Ducati V-Twin pinched from from the Ducati 1199 Panegale Superleggera.
The Ducati donk was slightly modified for use in the XL Sport Concept but is still essentially the same screaming twin that currently holds the title of the world's most powerful twin cylinder engine with 147 KW on tap.
With internals such as lightweight titanium connecting rods, an exceptionally short crankshaft stroke and Ducati's iconic desmodromic valve control system, the engine can reach an astonishing 11,000rpm.
Having more wheels than the engine is otherwise normally used for, the XL Sport has a newly developed intermediate gearbox, transferring the 134 Nm of torque from the V-Twin to the rear axle via a 7-speed dual clutch DSG gearbox.
In concept form the XL Sport weighs in at only 890 kg and thanks to some incredibly good aerodynamics it should be able to claim the title of fastest 147 KW car in the world.
Until now no other sports car has ever reached a top speed of 270 km/h with such a comparatively low peak power.
As XL Sport is a sister model of the XL1 concept both share the same basic design.
The main element they have in common is the body, many parts of which are manufactured in carbon-reinforced polymer (CFRP), with a monocoque featuring slightly offset seats for the driver and passenger. Here, Volkswagen prefers CFRP components manufactured using the RTM process (Resin Transfer Moulding).
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The density of this material or its specific gravity is just 20% that of a comparable steel exterior skin, yet it is just as rigid and strong.
Whether the XL Sport will make it into full production is yet unclear, but if BMW could bring the i8 to life, there is a good business case for Volkswagen to bring the XL Sport to the world's roads too.
• We'll have more from the Driven team in Paris over the next few days