#50 Volkswagen XL Sport – Futuristic and revolutionary

When Volkswagen first debuted the XL1, its solid aim was to demonstrate that cars can be more efficient. The XL1 is unlike any other vehicle in the Volkswagen range. The classy curves, unique streamlined shape and the futuristic design made the nearly Kshs 20 million machine (£ 99,000) a unique car to own.

Volkswagen XL Sport 

However, the XL1’s design features and futuristic look could not match the fact that it has impressive fuel consumption figure of 1 litre/100km! As you collect your jaw from the floor VW has introduced an even better and more powerful version. The XL Sport not only improves on the XL1 looks but also delivers impressive performance figures. However, the new sporty Volkswagen still retains the great fuel efficiency qualities visible on the XL1.

Volkswagen XL1 

Futuristic design
The Volkswagen XL Sport builds on the dynamic and extravagant design of the XL1. The XL Sport’s carbon-reinforced polymer (CFRP) body features a more muscular look and wider panels. The lines on the car not only add visual appeal but also aid in improve the overall efficiency of the XL Sport. 

Whereas the XL1 is at its widest at the front and curves towards the rear, the XL Sport is just as wide at the back as at the front. The XL Sport front still features VW “design DNA”. Compared to other VW, which use a prominent front grille to achieve this, the XL Sport uses a continuous stripe. The black cross-stripe, consisting of energy-efficient dual LED headlights, forms a continuous band at the front.

Wider and aggressive front 

The narrow turn indicators use LED technology. These form an “L” shape. The lights are housed underneath the front headlamps. Air intakes located at the front and side of the car aid in improving airflow along the sides of the car. As with the XL1 there are no side mirrors. They are replaced by tiny cameras, which convey information to small screens located inside the car. The XL Sport also features the same striking wing doors visible on the XL1.

Coupe influenced profile 

The wing doors are hinged at two points, the A-pillars and just above the windscreen in the roof frame. The result of this is that the doors do not just open upwards, but slightly forwards as well. The doors also extend far into the roof. When opened, they free up an exceptionally large amount of entry and exit space.

Red LED ribbons dominate the rear 

The XL Sport features a differently styled and wider rear compared with the XL1. This consist of an extremely wide, flat rear with its distinctive shoulders and the extendible rear spoiler which occupies almost the full width of the vehicle’s rear end. As with the XL1 there is the coupe-shaped roofline without rear windscreen.

A merger of motorcycle and vehicle technologies 

Merging into the roofline is the rear hatch that conceals the Ducati engine, the 7-speed DSG and 107 litres of luggage space. A red LED ribbon follows the shape of the rear section. At the sides, the ribbon is framed by another, vertical, LED element which serves to emphasise the width of the XL Sport. Lastly a large black diffuser merges almost seamlessly into the completely enclosed underbody and is finished at each side with a chrome exhaust tailpipe.

View from above 

Innovative performance
The wide rear of the XL Sport conceals the world’s most powerful two cylinder engine. The Ducati sourced 2.0-litre V2 power unit delivers an impressive 147 kW (197 hp) and 134 Nm of torque. The minute engine revs to an incredible 11,000 rpm. Torque from the V2 engine is transmitted to the rear axle via a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG).

Power train set up 

Compared to the XL1, which had a top speed of 160 km/h from a 35 kW (46 hp) two-cylinder TDI engine and a 20 kW (26 hp), the XL Sports can clock 270 km/h. 0 to 100 km/h takes 5.7 seconds which is 7 seconds less compared to the XL1 acceleration time. The XL Sport rides on a double wishbone front and rear chassis. The large 18-inch forged magnesium wheels conceal powerful ceramic disc brakes.

Slightly offset seats 

Sporty interior
The large winged doors open to reveal an interior that is similar to what is visible on the XL1. However, certain modifications have been done to reflect the nature of the XL Sport. The XL Sport features a digital instrument cluster specially designed for motor sports, with an individual lap time and oil pressure display. A flat carbon part, which extends at the top of the instrument cluster covering, eliminates reflection from the sun.


The XL Sport’s steering wheel has decorative red stitching and is equipped with aluminium shift paddles for rapid gear shifts. Aluminium touches are visible on the air vents, climate control buttons and around the centre console. The red seat belts match the distinct stitching found on the steering wheel. The slightly off set passenger and driver seats remain unchanged. They both offer impressive ergonomics suitable for long drives.

Striking and sporty 


With the XL Sport, Volkswagen and Ducati impressively demonstrate how high-tech developments from motorcycle and motoring can be combined. Although the XL Sport is less economical compared to the XL1, it offers the perfect blend of futuristic design and sportiness. The XL Sport is justifiably the one best Volkswagen cars on offer today. Only 500 units will be on offer when the XL Sport begins production. Although no prices have released yet, expect to cough an exceptional amount of money to park this impressive machine in your garage.