VW, Audi Mull Low-Cost, Mid-Engine Sports Cars

The Automobile Magazine staff

Insiders' Voices

From Audi:
"Going mid-engine would instantly silence critics who accuse the TT of being a reskinned, overpriced Golf."

From Porsche:
"Our friends from Volkswagen and Audi know that we can throw a wrench in the works at any given stage of the program. But at least they have been wise enough to stay well clear of the Boxster segment. In addition, they are opening up a low-risk opportunity with a high potential for cooperation."

Have a Cigar (-shaped car)
In 2002, VW's tandem two-seat, carbon-fiber-bodied 1-Liter concept car motored to Hamburg from Wolfsburg, carrying Ferdinand Piëch and Bernd Pischetsrieder (with Piëch driving, of course). Production, once planned for 2012, now allegedly has been moved up to 2010. A two-cylinder diesel doubles the cylinder count, but the design is little changed.

Other End Up!
Cost accountants have prevailed in forcing a front-engine, front-wheel-drive layout on Volkswagen's Up! minicar (now due in 2011), rather than the rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration favored by VW's engineers.

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