Even though VW officials may not publicly admit it, the mid-engined, rear-wheel drive BlueSport roadster that was revealed for the first time at this year's Detroit Show, is essentially a low-cost alternative to the Porsche Boxster.
"The two-seater is still a concept, but as a production car it would have the best talents for turning the segment of compact, genuine sports cars upside down," said VW in a statement. "That is because this roadster is sporty, sustainable and affordable all at once – a people's car and a sports car for a new era."
Developed with a 'back to basics' approach, the concept version of the 3.99 meter long BlueSport roadster is powered by a 2.0-liter TDI turbocharged diesel engine that cranks out 180HP and 350Nm or 258.2-lbs/ft of torque which is transferred to the rear axle through a 6-speed dual clutch transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel.
With the 180HP 2.0 TDI, the soft-top roadster that weighs in at less than 1,200kg (2,645-lbs), can sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62mph) in about 6.6 seconds and achieve a top speed of 226km/h or 141mph. Volkswagen claims that the two-seater roadster can deliver an average fuel consumption of just 4.3 liters per 100km (54.7mpg US). In combination with the 50-liter tank, the car's theoretical range is greater than 1,150 kilometers or 715-miles.
If, or rather when the Roadster enters production, expect to see an array of turbocharged gasoline (TSI) and diesel (TDI) engines that will most likely include the 160HP 2.0 TDI, the 1.4 TSI with 122HP as well as the Scirocco R's 265HP 2.0 TSI.
The German firm promises that in spite of the car's sporty credentials, the roadster still offers a respectable level of everyday utility. In the cargo area under the front hood, the Concept BlueSport can stow 112 liters of luggage while the rear trunk handle an additional 70 liters of cargo. Altogether that makes 182 liters or 20% more space than what the Mazda MX-5 / Miata offers (150 liters).
If all goes well and the BlueSport Roadster receives the final green light for production, the first cars could arrive at VW showrooms around late 2012.