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XL Sport
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  Volkswagen XL Sport
 

  Article Image gallery (17) Specifications User Comments (2)  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:2014
Introduced at:2014 Paris Motor Show
Source:Company press release
Last updated:October 01, 2014
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThere has never been a sports car like the XL Sport concept being showcased by Volkswagen in a world premiere at the Paris Motor Show. A car that uncompromisingly furthers the development of the lightweight sports car in its very essence. A 270 km/h driving machine based on the XL1, the most efficient car of all time. Efficiency and emotion compellingly recombined. At the rear of the XL Sport sits one of the finest achievements in engine technology - the V2 adapted from the new Ducati 1199 Superleggera, the world's most powerful two-cylinder motorcycle. Like the XL1, of which only 250 units will be built, the Superleggera is also being manufactured in a limited edition (500 units), in a process that embraces hand fabrication and high-precision industrial manufacturing technologies alike. The XL1 and the Superleggera, two icons of lightweight carbon and magnesium design technology, thus unite to create a unique sports car. With the XL Sport, the group brands Volkswagen and Ducati impressively demonstrate how high-tech developments can lead to synergies between brands and be used by both parties as modules for new concepts.

The Ducati 1199 Superleggera has the best power-to-weight ratio of any production motorcycle in history. In the world of the motor car, the XL Sport achieves something similar. In this case it is the ratio between weight (890 kg), power (147 kW / 200 PS) and aerodynamics (cd x A = 0.44 m2) that currently makes this concept car the fastest 200 PS car in the world. No other sports car has ever reached a top speed of 270 km/h with 200 PS. One stand-out feature in this is the vehicle's aerodynamics. As indicated above, the coefficient of the drag coefficient (0.258) and the vehicle's frontal area (1.7 m2) is 0.44 m2. This is one of the best values ever achieved and a major triumph for Volkswagen's aerodynamics engineers and designers, made all the more impressive due to the fact that as a thoroughbred sports car, the concept's design brief demands wide tyres, a high requirement for cooling air and optimal downforce. There are a number of individual features that contribute to the XL Sport's arrow-like performance in addition to the uncompromising aerodynamic styling of the body. These include special air curtains that direct the air in the frontal area into specific channels, wheel arch ventilation, a further optimised underbody, lift-reducing air ducts in the bonnet, an extendible rear spoiler (powered by the same unit as in the Lamborghini Aventador) and adaptive waste heat vents incorporated in the rear hatch (louvre that opens and closes automatically as required to conduct excess engine heat away).

The Ducati 1199 Superleggera's V2 engine was slightly modified for use in the XL Sport but is basically the same as the motorcycle engine. Thanks to its tough, lightweight titanium connecting rods, the 1,199 cc DOHC engine can attain speeds up to 11,000 rpm. The Superquadro's high speeds are made possible by its extreme bore/stroke ratio (112 mm/60.8 mm) and the exceptionally short crankshaft stroke associated with it. In addition, the two four-valve cylinders, which are arranged at an angle of 90° to each other, feature a desmodromic valve control system (positive valve closure) that is typical of the high-revving Ducati engines and requires the finest of precision engineering to ensure optimum valve clearance. Other features of the world's most powerful two-cylinder engine are the magnesium alloy clutch, cylinder head and oil pan covers, the two disks of the throttle valves, and the two injectors per cylinder. Last but by no means least, the XL Sport has a newly developed intermediate gearbox to reduce engine speeds by a factor of 1.86. Torque from the V2 engine (134 Nm) is transmitted to the rear axle via a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG).

The way this lightweight sports car is propelled by its engine is worthy of some note. The car's acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds almost becomes a secondary issue when considering the impressive combination of the vehicle's high-revving V2 engine, low weight, perfect aerodynamics and significantly redesigned chassis that together take the XL Sport straight into the realm of the racing circuit. The chassis, incorporated in a high-strength steel space frame, consists of a double wishbone front axle with the dampers connected below in a pull rod configuration, and a double wishbone rear axle with the dampers connected above in a push rod configuration - here too, the parallels with motor racing are impossible to overlook. High-speed tyres sized 205/40 R 18 (front) and 265/35 R 18 (rear) embrace forged magnesium wheels, which offer a total weight reduction of 23.9 kg compared with aluminium wheels. The XL Sport is decelerated by an extremely stable brake system with ceramic discs.

The XL Sport is a sister model of the XL1. 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). 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.

The wing doors of the XL1 and XL Sport are reminiscent of those of a high-end sports car. They are hinged at two points: low on the A-pillars and just above the windscreen in the roof frame, so they do not just swivel upwards, but slightly forwards as well. The doors also extend far into the roof. When they are opened, they create an exceptionally large amount of entry and exit space. The door windows are made of polycarbonate. The upper part of the windows is firmly attached to the exterior door skin due to the specifications of lightweight design, while a segment of the lower area of the side windows can be opened. The windscreen of both models is manufactured from a special type of thin glass.

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  Article Image gallery (17) Specifications User Comments (2)