Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
It wasn't all that long ago that Volkswagen were making waves on the global show scene with the XL1, their super-eco Stormtrooper's-helmet-on-wheels that promised 313mpg from its twin-cylinder diesel motor and slimline batteries. And now, for 2015, they've reworked it into the rather sublime XL Sport: all of the outrageous aesthetics with none of the goody-goodyness. In place of the ultra-frugal hybrid drivetrain sits a fresh new motor from elsewhere in the VW group - Ducati, no less. Its a 197bhp V-twin straight from the Ducati 1199 Superleggera, which makes for eager performance in the 890kg XL Sport, taking it from 0-62mph in 5.7s and onward to 168mph. And all that with a characterful superbike wail.
This isn't just an XL1 with a spikier motor, of course. They've reworked the suspension, transmission, brakes, wheels and cooling to suit, while the battery packs have been replaced by a sizeable petrol tank. And instead of being finished in Apple-esque white, this functional showpiece is a searing satin blue, which suits it beautifully.
Shame it's just a one-off, really - the world would be happy to receive a lightweight carbon-fibre VW street-racer with a superbike engine. It'd probably show the Alfa 4C a thing or two.
Spotted at the 2015 Festival of Speed - more photos here.