When most people think of Volkswagen in the United States, visions of college-aged girls in Jettas and New Beetles or a bunch of hippies motoring down the highway in an old VW Bus often spring into focus. When it comes to truly sporting aspirations, the GTI is usually the first present day U.S. model to spring to mind.
VW is looking to change that perception today with the unveiling of the Bluesport concept at the Detroit Auto Show. The Bluesport bucks the trend of most concept vehicles unveiled at auto shows and is near production ready -- in fact, the mid-engine roadster is said to share the same platform with an upcoming "budget" Porsche model which is said to recall back to the 914.
The mid-engine Bluesport roadster is RWD instead of the FWD configuration found in most current VW models available in the U.S. Not surprisingly, VW dug way down into the parts bin to secure the magnificent dual-clutch six-speed transmission which can be had in the aforementioned GTI.
Most importantly, however, is the Bluesport’s source of motivation. The vehicle is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbodiesel engine (180 HP, 260 lb-ft torque) -- a less powerful variant of the engine used in the Jetta TDI. The engine propels the 2,646 pound roadster to 60 MPH in 6.2 seconds and runs out of breath at a respectable 140 MPH.
AutoblogGreen says that the vehicle is good for 54.7 MPG on the European cycle. Switching the vehicle into Eco mode pushes the figure slightly to 57.36 MPG. The numbers seem quite lofty, especially considering that the 3,230 pound Jetta TDI EPA rated at 30 MPG / 41 MPG (city/highway).
It's quite possible, however, that the 600-pound lighter Bluesport could achieve EPA numbers approaching 35 MPG / 46 MPG (city/highway) if VW does end up producing the vehicle (and even more miraculously, bringing it to the U.S.).