What’s this? Actual common sense from the auto world? One can only hope, but the signs are looking good that Volkswagen is actually going to make a production version of its knockout BlueSport roadster concept car.
Here’s a quick re-cap of events. Back in January, VW sucker punched the auto world with a completely unexpected sportscar. Dubbed the BlueSport Roadster, it was a mid-engined two-seater. There were no rumors, VW just dropped it on a show stand.
That would have been impressive enough, but what was really impressive and got all the gearheads talking was the engine mounted amidships in this little guy. It was a 50 state legal, clean burning diesel, that would let the BlueSport get upwards of 57 miles to the gallon on the freeway, and in the low 40s around town.
Talk about having your cake and eating it too, a fun, tossable two seater that got great mileage, and, with the possibility of running it on Bio-D, could be a very eco-friendly ride.
But then “reality” set in. It was a show car after all, and even though companies will always talk a good game, a show car seeing the showrooms seems to be about a 33% chance in my experience. Then there were the rumors. Nope, VW was going to ax the whole program. Thanks for playing, but we’ve changed our minds.
But now word comes that the BlueSport roadster WILL see production after all.
The news broke via Greg Kable, a writer for Autoweek, who had the chance to drive the concept car. He noted that VW had given the mid-engine sports car a development codename. Hmmmm, you only give out things like that to cars that are going to see production (usually). He also stated that the car could be headed to America by 2013, and that it would have a starting price of less than $30,000 and meet California emissions regs. The 2013 model would have the same drivetrain layout as the Detroit show car: A 2.0-liter common rail turbodiesel cranking out 168 horsepower, and delivering zero-to-60 times of 6.6 seconds with the six-speed paddle-shifted dual-clutch gearbox. And then it got better if you wanted to care less about the environment. Kable said that VW was considering including the 265-horsepower turbocharged gas engine slated for the Scirocco R.
The AutoWeek scribe put over 50 miles in the BlueSport, and found it to be quick, nimble, tossable and an overall joy to drive. The BlueSport is about the size of a Mazda Miata (one of the best sportscars ever) and has the same focus on simplicity that makes all true sportscars great. The BlueSport concept was built using a lot of off-the-shelf components to cut costs, which is good because I’m a cheapskate, and it makes liberal use of aluminum to keep the weight down to 2,640 pounds, which is also good because I’m a big believer in Colin Chapman. Kable said the cabin was comfy, even though the car is small and he praised the car\’s handling, steering and brakes.
\”This is an exciting car. Good to look at and fun to drive, it should be able to hold its head high on the dynamic front with cars costing twice its projected price,” he said, and damn if I don’t agree with him.
OK VW, don’t disappoint us.