VW used the 2009 Detroit show to reveal the Concept BlueSport roadster. It looks great and we're excited and hopeful VW will build it but it is very similar to the Concept R that was launched at the Frankfurt show in 2003.
Rewind a bit over 5 years. VW launched the Concept R roadster. Shortly after, VW was even talking about a production version. The Concept R utilized a 261 hp VR6 engine running through a 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox. It was said to blast from 0-60 mph in just over 5 seconds and had a top speed of 155 mph (limited). It was just over 4 meters in length, 1.8 meters in width, and 1.2 meters in height. Then all went quiet.
Now jump back to present time and the Detroit show. VW showed us the Concept BlueSport. While it looks better and more aggressive than the Concept R (including a bit of Porsche Boxster meets Mazda MX-5 meets a bit of Honda S2000), the similarities are interesting. The overall dimensions are nearly identical and the engine develops around the same amount of torque. The big changes isn't that surprising given the times; a diesel engine replaces the thirsty VR6. The oil-burner is a tweaked version of the TDI engine in the Jetta. It develops 177 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Like the Concept R, it uses a 6-speed DSG gearbox. VW claims a dash to 60 mph in the low to mid 6 second range and a top speed of 140 mph. They also say that the roadster will average 55 mpg, helped by stop/start and other fuel saving technologies.
We're excited about the possibility of a small, sporty VW roadster but we'd dump the diesel and drop in the GTI's 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine. Better yet, VW should fit the hotter version from the Audi TTS.
To read more about the 2009 Volkswagen Concept BlueSport, go to our 2009 Detroit auto show 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.