VOLKSWAGEN caused a stir at the 2014 Paris motor show with a sexy Ducati-engined two-seat sports car concept that hints at future rival for the Porsche Cayman and Audi TT.
The XL Sport is the perfect vehicle for people who love motorcycles – and Ducatis in particular – but don’t like getting water in their jocks when it rains.
We’ve been expecting such a vehicle ever since VW acquired the Ducati motorcycle company.
And the good news is that, as it was driven onto the stage at VW’s big Paris Motor Show preview night, it sounded just as mean and horntastic as a proper Ducati bike.
The engine is from the Panigale Superlegerra, where it makes 145kW and frightens the hell out of even seasoned riders.
It’s been shoved into a modified, sexified version of the XL1, VW’s ultimate fuel-efficiency machine, which is a wonder of both lightweight construction and aerodynamic design.
The result is a Coke bottle-shaped construction, with a sleek front end, Ducati badges and a tiny cabin.
It looks fantastic from the front, but unfortunately the design falls apart somewhat at the rear, which looks like a giant, frowning Maserati brake light. It also features a cheap-looking plastic-honeycomb section just above the number plate, which looks incongruous next to the lashings of carbonfibre elsewhere.
Volkswagen announced that, through a carefully constructed coincidence, the XL Sport is the 200 millionth vehicle to be built by the VW Group, which would be more impressive if it was actually a production vehicle, rather than just a concept.
Still, it’s a staggering number, just as a car that sounds like a Ducati is a staggeringly good idea.
Who do you think deserves to win the 2017 COTY title? Cast your vote for a chance to win $1,000.
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.