The launch of the limited-series eco car, the Volkswagen XL1, was accompanied by many rumors and speculation as to what it could morph into, were it to get a different powertrain, but retain the same basic body and characteristics. At first, we heard suggestions that a hot XL1 may end up being called XR1 and getting a wider body along with as big an engine as the two-liter turbo from the GTI.
Now, we know that the rumors were actually anchored in reality, as VW confirmed it was genuinely considering such a vehicle through its own Ferdinand Piëch, who spoke at presentation held at the University of Vienna., according to Autorevue.
The actual vision is a bit different than what we were banking on, especially in terms of engine choice, as VW will apparently be going for a motorbike engine used to power a very special machine – the Ducati 1198 Panigale.
The motor itself is a 1.2-liter V-twin that makes the equivalent of 191 hp (143 kW) and 132 Nm (98.1 lb-ft), according to the Italian bike manufacturer’s official US site. Its peak power is reached at 10,750 rpm, while the maximum torque comes in very high too, being achieved at 9,000 rpm.
Said to be named XL1 sport, Piëch said it would be lighter than the hybrid XL1, and it will probably lose the cool covered rear wheel design (though I`m not sure exactly why…). It was suggested that it may be used as an image car by VW, and have a one-make series that revolves around it, but we’d still like to see a road-going version of it as well.
If you want to hear what it may sound like, there's a couple of videos of the Ducati Panigale itself posted below, being put up against a Ferrari 458 - chances are that if you had not seen/heard it prior to now, and aren't against motorbikes, you'll be hard pressed not to find it to be very appealing...
By Andrei Nedelea
Photo via Autorevue