2009 Volkswagen BlueSport ConceptEnlarge Photo
“Sports car: An automobile equipped for racing, especially an aerodynamically shaped one-passenger or two-passenger vehicle having a low center of gravity and steering and suspension designed for precise control at high speeds.”
With the recent upswing of near production-ready hybrid supercars at Geneva, it is a wonder why there wasn’t a new diesel powered sports car concept.
Diesel engines deliver boat loads of torque, great mileage efficiency, and are uncomplicated. The disadvantages of diesels, like noise and emissions, have almost disappeared thanks to advances in technology such as high pressure injection. While not garnering the same green fans as hybrids, diesels is a favorite of the renewable energy crowd.
The company that is doing the most for passenger car diesels is Volkswagen; the TDi Jetta and Golf cars are in high demand. Look to their efforts with the Audi LeMans TDi race cars or at the Audi R8 TDI and BlueSport Concept, and the engine can be suited for a sports car.
But despite all of their advancements, and numerous concept cars they have been built with oil-burner engines, none have been built. The Audi R8 TDi and the BlueSport Concept car are the two which are closest that has come to being built.
During the R8 TDi garnered a lot of media attention and public excitement. It was a supercar with a diesel engine that could match the cars looks and was connected to Audi’s racing successes at LeMans. Thanks to the economy tanking last year and the increase in diesel prices, the production of this car was halted.
The BlueSport, which debuted at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2009, took 2005’s expensive EcoRacer concept to a more production friendly level. With a price tag of around $30,000, it could be a big hit and be more accessible than the recent Geneva Auto Show hybrid cars. Volkswagen has neither confirmed nor denied production of the car, and with nearly a year of silence, it’s not a good sign.
It should be pointed out that there are sporty, diesel powered production cars like the BMW 335D or the VW Jetta TDi Cup Street Edition. Sure, they may be fun to drive, however these do not meet the definition of a sports car. The R8 TDi and BluesSport do.
Hopefully Volkswagen can man up and finally make the diesel sports car that they’ve been teasing the public with.