Paris 2014: Volkswagen Group Event Offers Early Reveals

If it’s the night before a major European Auto Show then it must be time to spend with the Volkswagen Group. As is typical for the mega-manufacturer, each of their portfolio brands starred in a preview reveal event sure not to leave anyone disappointed.

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Speaking of not disappointing, the rumor of Volkswagen working on a sporting equivalent to its XL1 high efficiency vehicle came into the light in the form of the XL Sport. This ultra-light weight and mean-looking sportscar is powered by a Ducati 2-cylinder engine and bears more than a passing resemblance to the little brother the Audi R8 never had.

 

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The first plug-in hybrid to be offered by Volkswagen in both Sedan and Wagon versions, the new Passat GTE boasts a range of 50 km of all-electric operation and a combined range of 1,000km.  It’s not all about economy though, the Passat GTE also features sportier driving characteristics when “GTE” Mode is engaged.

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Originally shown last week at the IAA, the Volkswagen Tristar concept is a mobile command center with off-road capabilities.  Look past the rugged exterior, and you can easily see the next generation Transporter.

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Finally, for those watching the Ducati brand, Audi’s motorcycle subsidiary chose this night to also show off its new Scrambler. Technically, this new bike made its first debut at the Cologne Motorcycle Show, but it’s new enough that it was worth a mention in front of the assembled automotive media.

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At the super-premium end of the Volkswagen Group, Lamborghini revealed its first look at a hybrid drivetrain in the form of the Asterion LPI 910-4 concept car. The name comes from the mythical centaur, itself a bit of a hybrid – half man, half bull. The name seemed fitting and the car, presumably based on the Huracán’s and upcoming second-gen Audi R8’s MSS platform, could even reveal the hybridized potential for Audi’s mid-engined sportscar.

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SEAT pulled the wraps off of a cladded version of the León wagon, with a design very reminiscent of Audi’s allroad. Dubbed the León X-perience, the car looks to be a solid sales success for the SEAT brand and also a proof of concept for why Audi should very quickly launch an A3 Avant and fit it with some allroad cues.

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The Volkswagen Polo R WRC was also in attendance, marking its first public appearance after helping to clinch the WRC Manufacturer’s title in Australia.  This particular chassis is being actively campaigned by Sebastien Ogier, who has won six events so far this year, and hopes to clinch the Driver’s Championship title this weekend at Rally France.