Though it was originally supposed to debut at the 2008 Los Angeles auto show, our first official look at the 2009 Volkswagen Concept BlueSport roadster came today at the 2009 Detroit auto show.
Described by VW as the "comeback" of the compact roadster, the Concept BlueSport seems to be just that - a slinky two-seat, mid-engine roadster. Were it not for the headlamps and front fascia patterned after the new 2009 Scirocco and Golf, you'd be forgiven for assuming the BlueSport is an Audi - the body section and flared fenders are lifted from the R8 supercar, albeit at three-quarters scale.
You won't find the R8's massive 4.2-liter V-8 out back, either. As implicated by its name, the Concept BlueSport makes use of Volkswagen's TDI diesel technology, and mates a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel I-4 - the same block found in the Jetta TDI - to a six-speed DSG transmission. Power is boosted to 177 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and is reportedly capable of a 0-62 mph time of 6.6 seconds, a top speed of 140 mph, and a combined fuel economy of 56 mpg on the EU test cycle. We'd attribute some of that performance to the car's lithe structure - widespread use of aluminum in the BlueSport's body allows the car to weigh in under 1200 kg.
We've yet to speak with VW executives on possible production plans, but apart from a fanciful infotainment interface within the interior, much - if not all - of the Concept BlueSport seems virtually production-intent. Sources suggest should the roadster receive the green light, it'll roll off assembly lines as soon as 2013.
To read more about the 2009 Volkswagen Concept BlueSport, go to our 2009 Detroit auto show blogs coverage. All the latest blogs from the Editors of Automobile Magazine can be found HERE. We've got our whole staff wandering the floor at Cobo Hall bringing back live photos and more information about all the new debuts from Detroit.
For complete coverage of the 2009 Detroit auto show, click HERE