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British automotive tabloid AutoExpress is reporting that Volkswagen‘s long awaited two-seat sports car has been approved for production.
Designers have reportedly stayed true to the Bluesport concept that previewed the car at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. The car is expected to weigh in at around 2600 pounds, roughly the same weight as a Mazda MX-5. The roadster will be powered by the familiar 1.4TFSI four-cylinder making 170 horsepower, as well as the 200 horsepower 2.0TFSI from the GTI. Staying true to the Bluesport concept car, the new roadster will also offer a 178 horsepower 2.0L diesel engine. All three choices will be available with a DSG or 6-speed manual gearbox. VW’s new sports car should hit showrooms in mid-2013.
In a case of large-scale office politics gone awry, Volkswagen‘s Bluesport concept (pictured above) along with proposed models from Audi and Porsche, have been placed on indefinite hold after internal fighting, and a focus on volume passenger cars led to the projects being stalled.
Porsche and Audi are resistant to the idea of a new small sports car, for fear that it would undermine their current products by introducing a smaller, lighter and cheaper sports car. Porsche also harbors some long simmering resentment over losing development of the Cayenne and an unreleased small SUV to Audi, and does not want to take on a third product that was not developed in house.
The brand with the most to gain from this is Volkswagen. With a relatively low-key product line, Volkswagen could benefit from this sort of halo product that is also affordable, with a 1.4L twincharged four-cylinder from the Polo GTI helping to keep costs down. The Audi and Porsche variants would use a turbocharged 5-cylinder and a flat-four engine respectively, keeping in line with their respective brands.
[Source: Automobile Magazine]