A mid-engined sports car from Volkswagen? You better believe it. If all goes well, the BlueSport will hit dealer showrooms in 2011. The impetus for the BlueSport is the fact that the Volkswagen Group isn’t hurting too much from the current recession, so they are working on developing new vehicles that they hope will help them capture a larger market share once the economy rebounds. And it’s a really fun car.
The name BlueSport comes from VW’s line of clean diesel technology called BlueMotion. A variant of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine found in the current Jetta is planned for the BlueSport, and it will deliver 180 horsepower with an impressive 55 mpg. Not what you would expect from a mid-engined sports car, but then again, most people don’t expect sports cars from VW. On top of that, the engine has an NOx trap, a particulate filter, and stop/start technology to conserve fuel. The BlueSport could end up being the cleanest sports car on the road. VW also plans to offer more engine options, like a 2.0 turbocharged gasoline engine, that will provide even more power.
The planned chassis will be the MQB design that VW is working on for their next generation of vehicles, including the smaller Audi models and the VW Passat. The suspension and steering are tight, providing good feedback to the driver (a must for any sports car), but not so tight as to be uncomfortable on bumpier roads.
The BlueSport is currently planned as a two-seater, and despite the small size of the car, the cabin is fairly spacious. The main reason for this is the mid-engine design. By eliminating the need to attach a transmission behind the hood (and between the seats), a lot of leg room is opened up. And, like all Volkswagens, there is ample headroom when the roof is up. The mid-engine design also means that there is plenty of empty space under the hood for storage, and there is even a small trunk in the back to carry more stuff, although this space will be minimized when the top is down.
The BlueSport is shaping up to have the main characteristics of all of Volkwagens cars: practicality, affordability, and efficiency. It won’t break any records on a race track, but it will provide the fun drive of other sports cars, while at the same time offering exemplary fuel economy.