Just today, a Volkswagen official – design chief Walter de Silva to be more exact – in an interview with German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport has stated that "this is a vehicle that we particularly like, and we always had in mind."
de Silva also said in the interview that he is not the only one in the company that thinks a small roadster wouldn’t be a bad decision for VW and that several employees are pushing to put it into production.
While we are not very sure this is an official confirmation of a production version, we are pretty sure a new round of speculations is about to begin.
Click past the jump to read more about the BlueSport Concept.
Well, we guess not only good things can come out of car shows, as we often find out our fair share of bad news. The latest out of Volkswagen is a killer though. A model that we have been speculating on and that has been turned on and off more than a public restroom hand dryer is finally confirmed as D.O.A., for now. Sadly enough, this highly anticipated model is the Bluesport roadster.
The last we heard of the Bluesport was when Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s head of R&D, told EVO that the Bluesport project was alive and well, despite rumors of its demise. He even went as far as to place a roughly £30,000 price tag on it.
After an interview with Autocar at the Paris Motor Show, Hackenberg said that there is “no business case” and “we didn’t find a market for it” in reference to the Bluesport, tossing a bucket of ice on all of our hopes in the process. In the same breath, however, Hackenberg also made it clear that this isn’t the end of the Bluesport, but rather just a suspension until the market shakes loose.
The reasoning Hackenberg gives for suspending it is to avoid the death blow, which is an outright rejection of the project by upper management. He made it clear that if a market open up for the Bluesport in VW’s lineup it will be quick and easy to install it and get things rolling.
So for now we just have to accept the fact that Vee-Dub will continue on without its sporty roadster for the foreseeable future. As always, we’ll keep a close eye on this one, as Volkswagen is a tricky lot sometimes and could pull a complete 180.
A few days ago, it was rumored that the Volkswagen Bluesporthad been dropped because the company couldn’t find enough sales to justify investing in the model. But, according to British magazine Evo, this simply isn’t true because the Bluesport is still on track.
In a recent interview with EVO, Volkswagen’s engineering boss, Uli Hackenberg, stated that the Bluesport project is still very much alive: "dealers are always looking backwards, not forwards… this is particularly the case when a new model is being considered as they don’t have any reference point to guide them, so they look around at the current market and give an estimate based on that."
Uli elaborated by stating that a production version will arrive in the next three years and will carry a price tag of about £30,000 (about $47k at the current exchange rates). Maybe this means we’ll also see the baby Boxster in the near future?
This may put a little hiccup in Volkswagen’s plans to increase sales to 800,000 units a year by 2018, but according to Volkswagen of America boss Jonathan Browning, "we don’t need to keep adding to our portfolio of models. We’re concentrating on our core models." Nice sidestep, but this only means that the company failed to find the market needed to sell 50,000 units a year of the production BlueSport.
They’re surely not getting rid of the vehicle, though, especially since engineering for the Blue Sport has been completed: "There is no official release for the project. It’s not a technology problem, but of finding enough customers. I don’t have enough [sales] volume to get the go-ahead," said Volkswagen’s engineering boss, Uli Hackenberg.
So, for now, the production Volkswagen BlueSport has been put on hold, further opening the door Porsche cracked when the Baby Boxster took its fall. We’re guessing Audi’s plans of offering a new sports car slotted under the R8 may get invited to this party, but Audi seemed pretty intent on producing the junior model. Only time will tell.
Ever since Volkswagen unveiled the BlueSport concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, we’ve heard plenty "to be or not to be" rumors about a possible production version. Now we can finally confirm, without any doubts, that the Volkswagen Group will offer three different versions of this concept. Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen will each have their own version of the concept with different levels of sportiness and performance, butSkoda and Seat will be left out of the mix.
Starting with Audi, their production version will be inspired by the E-tron Spyder concept and will be offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot and 2.5-liter five-cylinder units, priced at around $45,000. The Porsche model will take its design cues from the iconic 1953 550 Spyder and will be offered with a twin-turbocharged engine with an output of about 380 HP. It is also believed that the Porsche model will be called the 550 as a tribute to the classic model. Prices will be in the $52K area. The Volkswagen model will, in fact, be the only version taking its design inspiration from the BlueSport concept. It will feature a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of about 170 HP. This will be the cheapest version with prices starting from around $30K.
The three models will stare the same platform, but their interiors will deliver different levels of luxury by featuring parts - such as instrument panels and dials - that are unique to each model. This type of differentiation was successful with the Q7, the Cayenne, and the Touareg SUVs so Volkswagen is sure to recreate that success with the three roadster models.
More details to come on Volkswagen’s three different production BlueSport Concepts, so stay tuned!
After what seems like forever of the to be or not to be confliction, Volkswagen has finally confirmed the production version of the BlueSport roadster unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Sales will begin in 2013 at a price of around $30k.
The future BlueSport will feature the same design language as the current Golf and Scirocco, translated into a sleek headlights, a narrow, horizontal grille and LED daytime running lamps. The interior will be similar to the one found on the Scirocco.
It will be a mid-engine sports car featuring a choice of: 178bhp 2.0-liter diesel, a turbo and supercharged 1.4 TFSI engine and a 2.0-liter turbo unit. The engines will be coupled to a standard six-speed manual gearbox or a dual-clutch DSG as an option. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is expected to be made in around 6 seconds. The 2013 Bluesport will come with an ultra-light aluminium chassis, plus a manually operated canvas folding roof.
Like a family fighting about where to go on vacation, the Volkswagen Group are having a little internal conflict of their own. This situation could endanger the future of the Porsche 356, the Audi R5, and the VW BlueSport.
The VW BlueSport was shown at the 2009 Detroit auto show and it got such good press that it was close to production. Yet, because of the infighting, the vehicle is on hold.
So, what’s going on? Well, Porsche doesn’t want the next-generation Boxster to lose sales because of the cheaper 356. Audi, who is having issues with R8 demand, doesn’t want a third sports car to be put between the new Audi TT and their supercar. While VW really likes the idea of the BlueSport, they are currently occupied with other areas, such as the next-generation Golf.
"Sports cars are not at the top of our priority list," states chairman Martin Winterkorn. "This applies in particular to sports cars that require the collaboration of Porsche, which is not even part of the VW Group yet."
At last week’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Volkswagen of America CEO Stefan Jacoby opened up a bit about the German automaker’s future plans here in the U.S. The people’s car builder intends to bring a lot more Americans into the Volkswagen Family by drastically increasing annual sales from the 220,000 VWs that are sold today to 800,000 units by the year 2018, and in order to do so they plan on coming out with a few new models that they hope will take hold here in the U.S.
We have shown you renderings of the future NMS (New Mid-Size Sedan), a Passat replacing four door that is set to debut at the 2011 North American Auto Show in Detroit. However until we can see a production version of that one, we can expect to see a smaller, Mexican built NCS (New Compact sedan) that will take over the role of the current Jetta and will debut in June 2010. And now the good stuff, Volkswagen might offer a new two door notchback targeted specifically at the U.S. market and is likely to measure over 180 inches in length. Mr. Jacoby only heightened our hopes by saying that considering the public’s reaction to the unveiling of the BlueSportConcept, that there is a strong possibility of a production version. This only adds fuel to the future914 fire.
The German automaker Volkswagen has a long history with the independent motor vehicle manufacturing firm Karmann, most notably the classic VW Karmann Ghia that was styled by the Carrozzeria Ghia and constructed by the coach builder Karmann. More recently the Volkswagen Group announced that they have acquired the land, machinery and equipment at the Osnabrück site that formerly belonged to the Karmann holding company. The best part about the acquisition is that VW is planning on setting up a new manufacturing subsidiary and eventually break ground on a new project.
Production at the Osnabrück facility isn’t scheduled to begin until 2011, however current projections detail the creation of over 1,000 jobs by the year 2014. There has been no mention of whether VW will keep the Karmann staff on for the new project, however it would be foolish to let all of those experienced automotive craftsmen go due to their extensive experience building limited edition vehicles. One of the models that will be built at the Osnabrück site is the Volkswagen BlueSport diesel roadster as well as a drop top Cabrio version of the next generation Golf VI. It’s always nice to see old friends getting back together.
In their latest Web-TV episode, Fifth Gear’s Vicky Henderson has a go in the coolest Volkswagen concept ever: the diesel burning Concept BlueSport that was revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show and harks at a return of the lightweight Porsche 914 with its mid engine and open top configuration.
The Concept BlueSport is powered by a 177 HP 2.0 Liter Clean Diesel TDI power plant mounted behind the driver and fed by a high pressure common rail injection system. Volkswagen says that the fun to drive roadster will be able to go from 0 to 60 MPH in around 6.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 140 MPH.