Volkswagen has made no secret of its desire to revive the compact roadster market with numerous concept cars over the last decade, however the latest design, called the Bluesport, takes it to a new level with almost production-ready specs and a real possibility of getting the green light for global sales.

VW’s goal was to build a convertible sports car that was affordable, economical and quick, and the numbers for the Bluesport seem to indicate they've achieved their goal. Powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel, the Bluesport develops 180 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is enough to push the roadster to a top speed of 140 mph and send it from 0-60 mph in just 6.2 seconds while retaining fuel efficiency of 35 mpg in the combined European cycle.

The basic mechanics behind the Bluesport are also sound as the engine is mid-mounted and drives the rear wheels--a departure from VW's signature of relying on front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive powertrains. The transmission is a six-speed dual-clutch unit and is mounted near the front of the car to give it an almost ideal weight distribution of 45:55 front to rear.

The concept has a wheelbase of just 2.43 meters, sits 1.26 meters tall and has an overall length of about 4 meters. In front, the sports car exhibits a track of 1.49 meters and in the rear it is 1.52 meters.

Overall, the roadster weighs around 1,200 kilograms--light by modern standards but relatively heavy compared to a Lotus Elise and around a hundred kilos more than the latest generation Mazda MX-5. One benefit of the slightly larger size will be more practicality, with the Bluesport capable of holding 182 liters of cargo in two storage areas--one under the front hood and one in the rear.

The new concept will make its debut at this week’s 2009 Detroit Auto Show, and show the world the latest iteration of VW’s new hard-edge design language, which was first showcased on the Scirocco coupe and then on the MkVI Golf.


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