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Over the past five years, Volkswagen has continued to tease us with sports car concepts that never seem to come to fruition. Back in 2003, VW unveiled the Concept R in Frankfurt to critical acclaim and two years later, the wraps came off the EcoRacer, proving that the automaker was still kicking around the idea of a lightweight, affordable roadster for the masses.

In the interim, VW had two similar concepts that never left the studio, but when the Los Angeles Auto Show rolls along later this year, a new mid-engine coupe will be revealed, and this one actually has a shot at production.

According to Autocar, this newest concept aims to be a budget alternative to the Lotus Elise, balancing performance and fuel economy in a low-cost package. Sources suggest that the coupe will feature either a 168 hp, 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engine or a 125 hp, 1.6-liter TDI mounted amidships and sending power to the rear wheels via a seven speed DSG gearbox. If and when the production version debuts in 2011, the coupe's curb weight is pegged at just over 2,200 pounds, allowing it to run to 60 in under seven seconds while still returning over 55 mpg.

If the project is given the green light, the same architecture that underpins the VW variant could form he basis for the oft-rumored and continually denied Audi R4. And with Porsche's stake in V-Dub, that means a 914 successor is just a badge and prayer away.

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      wooooooaaaahhh woah woah woah......! I find it all believable up to the 55mpg part. If they knock out 40mpg though that would still be crazy awesome.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The 'Concept R' was, and is, one of my favorite concepts. Has a bit of the old Porsche Spyder in it IMO (especially in this silver-blue color). Awesome!

      I'd have to agreed that if this car is made in Europe it would be unlikely to make it to the US at a price that would make it successful. Perhaps in a few years after VW has their US production facility up and running...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow thats a nice Audi.... wtf?!? wait a minute, this must be a mistake... it has a VW badge!?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now it's clearly evident Porsche is beginning to piss-off VW. It's about to get interesting....
      • 6 Years Ago
      WOW, Build it NOW.

      Keep the price under 25Gs and it will FLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
        • 6 Years Ago
        "they should give it to the Audi TT, which is embarassingly based on the Rabbit."

        the first generation Audi TT (8N) was based on the Golf. However, the 2nd generation TT, the one currently being sold (8J), is not at all based on the Golf, and is in fact a completely independent platform. Most every reveiw of the 8J TT explains that, after the 1st generation which was all about looks and not about performance, this one hits the jackpot with good looks, handling and performance. It is no longer fair to call it a tarted up Golf...
        • 6 Years Ago
        $70k! Talk about your average Artega GT (with a VR6 engine, btw) Although it may be a few pounds heavier.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Artega GT would definitely fit that bill if it was sold in the US -- its only 100 lbs heavier than the imaginary one I described, and that's just fine. Unfortunately, with the euro conversion (without VAT) its about $90k, then tack in shipping and constructing the car under in the US (to comply with kit car registration), and you're looking at $110 grand and a whole lot of hassle.

        It'd be awesome if select VW or Audi dealers were the distribution network of Artega in the US. That'd kick serious ass.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This isn't going anywhere. Without the up! rear engine rear wheel drive platform (they announced a standard fwd layout for the up! today), what are they going to base this on? Porsche Cayman? And if they had the money for an all-new mid-e rwd platform, they should give it to the Audi TT, which is embarassingly based on the Rabbit.

        Don't get excited, this is just a pipe dream for the hippies in LA.
          • 6 Years Ago
          What's with the disparaging remark at the end of your post? If you've come here to troll, perhaps you would feel more comfortable intellectually on one of the teen social sites.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If Vee-Dub can make a MR roadster, why can't it make an up! with a proper rear engine? Isn't they the ones who made more than 20 million RR cars?
      • 6 Years Ago
      A VW that doesn't look like a generic econohatch?!?! I'll believe it when I see it...
      • 6 Years Ago
      sounds very interesting but more of an MX5 fighter than an Elise one
        • 6 Years Ago
        Toyota sold the MR2 pretty well in EU and Asian, it's just you American's that couldn't tell a good car when you saw one, so Toyota never bothered to try to sell it in USA as much.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The 1st and 2nd generation MR. Twos sold very well in the US but the 3rd gen was UGLY and had very little space for anything. The Miata of the time was so much better and outsold it as did the more expensive Z3.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is no more an elise fighter than the mr2 spyder was. Toyota couldn't sell that. Why should VW have more luck?
        • 6 Years Ago
        exactly what I was thinking.. vw miata
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well they stopped the production with no replacements. I don't think they were happy with their sales. By the way I lived in Japan and had one there. I now live in the states and I have a miata. I understand why they lost to mazda.
        The little miata is at least as fun to drive and much more practical. I liked the look of the MRS better though
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh there is no doubt that the MX5 is a nice car, but the MX5 is getting fat, you need the 1st gen one really to have fun.

        The S2000 is also another good competitor int he class, but you still can't beat an MR setup :P
      • 6 Years Ago
      Karmann Ghia!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly what I thought.
        Volks should have built that 2003 Concept R as a kind of successor to the Ghia.
        Considering the success of the New Beetle and the Mini in the marketplace.I don't think most people would mind a front engine/drive roadster as long as it looked like the Concept R.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's an Oxymoron right there... Elise fighter built by VW. What a joke! The first thing to blow is the coil packs, followed by the fuel pumps. lol
        • 6 Years Ago
        Whining yuppies. lol my 1991 Sentra SE-R surpassed 237,000 miles before I sold it last week. I am just giving my personal experiences with VW/AUDI products.

        BTW your 97 Jetta doesn't have coilpacks . . . . . .
        • 6 Years Ago
        followed by heater core - they all do that - alternator and, of course, the CV joints...at 61k: out of warrranty
        • 6 Years Ago
        Gee, I guess I'll have to replace my original window regulators, coil packs, and cv joints, or heater core on my 260,000 mile 1997 Jetta. Or my 120,000 mile Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T.

        It's amazing how my cars are even able to make it that far! Maybe I'm a throwback - when real men took responsibility and properly maintained their own cars. And don't give me that "but my life is so busy" crap! I work 12 hour days and still budget time to make sure the vehicles are maintained properly.

        Most drivers nowadays rank automobile maintenance somewhere near the bottom of their list of priorities (right next to paying attention to the road while driving) after latte drinking, cell-phone talking, face-stuffing, blackberry playing, navigation system watching, newspaper reading, etc.

        And these individuals are among the first to complain when something goes wrong with their precious automobile - WAAAAAAAH!!!!!!

        Whining yuppies...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd love to see this in production, one day I'm going to have to replace my MR2 Spyder, but I have my doubts too.

      Toyota took a name with a history and many accolades, created an extremely well built and performing car, priced it at 25k, kept the weight at 2150lbs, put in a 138hp motor that had it hit 0-60 in 6.9-7.0 seconds and it was a dismal flop from a sales standpoint.

      I'm not sure how Volkswagen plans on making it sell better since it sounds like the exact same concept.

      p.s. I really hope Toyota brings back the MR2 someday...
        • 6 Years Ago
        On a side note, if Porsche could take the car, put it in a porshe-like body, put a flat4 in it and name it something with a history like the "New 356" or "New 914", it could presumably sell very well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can only imagine what it would look like if they kept the front end and turned it into a 3-door sleek hatchback.

      Now THAT would be something that would sell very well globally.
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