Ever since Audi acquired Ducati, we’ve been anticipating the first cross-brand technological developments between the Italian motorcycle maker and the German automaker. Sure, there have been some cross-promotional tie-ins, but we’ve been waiting with baited breath to see what Audi, and its parent company the Volkswagen Group, had planned with Ducati‘s small engine technology.
Well we don’t have to wait for much longer, as VW Chief Executive Officer Ferdinand Piech revealed the first product of the “DucAudi” union in a speech at the University of Vienna: a new sports car concept called the Volkswagen XL Sport powered by the Superquadro engine from the Ducati 1199 Panigale.
The XL Sport will be a new evolution of Volkswagen’s XL1 project, low-emission diesel plug-in hybrid prototype. The XL1 uses an 800cc two-cylinder turbo-diesel engine claiming 47 hp and 89 ft-lb. and an electric motor producing a claimed 27 hp and 74 ft-lb. of torque. More importantly, for VW, the XL1 claims an impressive 260 mpg while producing just 24 g/km of CO2 emissions.
For the XL Sport, the focus shifts from optimal fuel economy to sportier performance, as the Panigale engine claims about 187 hp and 91 ft-lb. of torque. The XL Sport will also be lighter than the XL1 which claims a weight of 1,752 pounds, significantly heavier than the Panigale but very light by automobile standards. The engine will be matched with a VW dual-clutch transmission.
At the moment, the XL Sport is still in the early development stage, with Piech revealing only a computer-generated mockup. Time will tell when we’ll see an actual concept prototype, and it’ll be even longer to see if there will ever be a production model.