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A track-only concept version of the super-efficient Volkswagen XL1 powered by an engine borrowed from a Ducati motorbike has been revealed by the brand’s chairman.

European media reports Ferdinand Piech revealed the Volkswagen XL1-based concept during a lecture at the Vienna University of Technology, where the Austrian is associated with the faculty of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering.

Dubbed Project XL Sport, the concept is not only visually different from the diesel plug-in hybrid unveiled at this year’s Geneva motor show, featuring Volkswagen Motorsport livery, a racing bodykit, wide guards, a vented bonnet and large alloy wheels, it’s also powered by a 1200cc V-twin from a Ducati Panigale that produces 140kW at 10,750rpm and 124Nm at 9000rpm.

Volkswagen XL Sport - 2

By jettisoning the production car’s drive unit and associated electrical system, the concept would be expected to weigh even less than the standard XL1’s already impressive 795kg.

Unlikely to match the 800cc two-cylinder turbo-diesel-based hybrid’s claimed fuel consumption figure of 0.9L/100km, the Ducati-powered XL Sport would no doubt better its sibling’s 12.7 second 0-100km/h time and electronically limited 160km/h top speed.

Though a Ducati engine might initially seem like a strange choice for a Volkswagen passenger car, Audi, part of the Volkswagen Group, acquired the Italian marque in April 2012.

No plans for the model have been officially announced, with the concept more likely to remain that way for students and fans to contemplate.

In 1984, Piech was granted an honorary doctorate in technical sciences by the Vienna University of Technology in recognition of his services to automobile construction.

Volkswagen XL1




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