Volkswagen's Bluesport Roadster May Be Doomed: Report


Plans for a mid-engine, rear-drive roadster from Volkswagen may be scrapped because anticipated customer demand isn’t enough to make the car profitable.

Worse, the death of Volkswagen’s Bluesport Roadster may doom similar projects from Audi and Porsche.

So reports Britain’s What Car?, citing a conversation with VW’s head of R&D Ulrich Hackenberg as its source.

“At the moment, there’s no official release for the project,” Hackenberg was quoted as saying. “We are fighting for it as it fits with the VW brand, but we need demand and volume and we need dealers to get behind it.”

Some 50,000 unit sales worldwide would be required to justify production, and VW’s internal projections don’t come close to those quantities.

To put that number in perspective, Mazda’s MX-5 has broken 50,000 units in annual sales three times: in 1990 (its first full year of sales), 1991 and 1992. If the best-selling roadster in history can’t top those quantities, no wonder VW is being cautious with projections.

Since its debut as a concept at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, production plans for VW’s turbodiesel roadster have been rumored on, then off, then on again more times than we can name.

We’re big fans of the concept, since an affordable ragtop with 180 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque makes sense to us, especially if it returns the claimed 35 mpg in Euro cycle testing.

The VW Bluesport was ultimately to spawn similar roadsters for both Audi and Porsche, although many at Porsche saw no need for a car slotted in below the Boxster. If the Bluesport project is binned, it’s likely that Porsche and Audi will halt development of their own versions.

Unless a story breaks next week, confirming the Bluesport for the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, that is.

 
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Comments (12)
  1. Ahhh, what a waste! I thought this is a wonderful concept and sharing the chassis with Porsche and Audi might make this model affordable(?) The Bluesport concept actually looks more like production ready than just another mock-up. I was rooting for this to be in the showroom because I never was a fan of the MX-5.

    Porsche may see no need for any model below the Boxster, but what it would have been. Ah well, sometimes when something is too good to be true...

  2. the sub boxster will arrive eventually. Porsche woudl be missing out on a massive load of cash income if they didnt, especially as it would be the ideal stepping stone into the porsche family when younger people buy the 514 or the Cajun

  3. @WizardsLore, previous "People's Porsches" have never done particularly well in attraching customers to Porsche, then retaining them. Look at the 914 and the 924 as examples.

  4. @ Kurt, the 912 is a good example of it going right though. besides the models that you refer to are from a different time. Porsche was trying to branch away from the 911 by creating the 924, which was a dog allthe way till they finally got it righ with the 924 S2, by then though it was too late. Same witht he 944 which was perky yet unfulliing till they released the 944 S2 and then absolutely got it spot on with the 944 CS but that was also too late. I think now that Porsche are seen to be caterring for various price ranges they woudl have more success with an affordable car to slot in under the boxster. in todays climate it woudl be embraced more so than years gone by

  5. @WizardsLore, good point on the 912. Back then it was more about bringing buyers into the fold, while today I'm afraid it's more about maximizing profits.

  6. @ Kurt, maximising profits yes, but Porsche ar ethe most profitable car company in the world. They of course woudl be lookign at the dollar figure that a new model line woudl bring in, but in all honesty they would have to slip a 4 cyl engine in there, maybe a twin scroll, so that it doenst encroach on the Boxster / Caymen. but also be cheap enough that it maintains interest for what it is.
    if you want to take a simple example look at the 1 series 5 door that BMW released (the wagon hatch thingy). It is an underpowered, roomless box. BUT it has the bavarian propellor on the front and the power hits the ground at the rear. Porsche could absolutely the destroy the small sports car market if they released a 514/912. people would clammor for 1

  7. @ Kurt, maximising profits yes, but Porsche ar ethe most profitable car company in the world. They of course woudl be lookign at the dollar figure that a new model line woudl bring in, but in all honesty they would have to slip a 4 cyl engine in there, maybe a twin scroll, so that it doenst encroach on the Boxster / Caymen. but also be cheap enough that it maintains interest for what it is.
    if you want to take a simple example look at the 1 series 5 door that BMW released (the wagon hatch thingy). It is an underpowered, roomless box. BUT it has the bavarian propellor on the front and the power hits the ground at the rear. Porsche could absolutely the destroy the small sports car market if they released a 514/912. people would clammor for 1

  8. @ Kurt - there seems to be issue with replys on threads. every time i reply on a thread to a comment made it seems to duplicate the post. Now you cant send the same message again if you have already typed it, so this shouldbe happening. Its also making it difficult to monitor if responses have been made to posts i make !
    thanks

  9. @WizardsLore, I've sent a note to our developers documenting the issue. It looks like your comments worked fine through 1/10, but the problem began on 1/11. Are you posting from a Mac or a PC? What O/S version are you using, and what browser?

  10. nope it was happening well before that and continues to be a problem. I guarantee that it happens with this exact post

    i do most of my posting from here, and this is a PC, with Windows XP Pro, using IE8

  11. @WizardsLore, thanks. I've passed the information to our developers, and they're working on a solution.

Commenting is closed for old articles.

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