Click above for a live gallery of the Volkswagen Concept BlueSport

Volkswagen's Concept BlueSport should go a long way towards making the term "diesel performance" a household name. While it might seem to be an oxymoron to some, seeing it at the Detroit Auto Show, we can tell you that if it reaches production, everyone will be a believer. While officially just a concept for now (and the interior is a dead giveaway this isn't production-ready), the two-door roadster sports a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four mounted amidships. It puts out 180 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque and pushes just 2,600 pounds via a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Expect a 0-60 of 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 140, all while returning about 35 mpg on the European cycle and upwards of 62 mpg in "Eco" mode.

The BlueSport might look a lot like an Audi TT with a Scirocco nose, but unlike its corporate sibling, the mid-engine layout provides a 45:55 front-to-rear weight distribution. It's also a tidy package at just over 13 feet in length, with a 96-inch wheelbase, a front track of 58.5 inches and a rear track of 60 inches. So it's about the same size as the TT, but in reverse. In person it seems much smaller than the Audi and reminds us of the Porsche Boxster more than anything, which isn't a bad thing. Stylist Walter da Silva explained his design inspiration in great detail for the assembled masses, unfortunately he did it in Italian, without subtitles, so we have no idea what he said. We did understand what Volkswagen Chairman Martin Winterkorn said, and that was that VW is officially committed to growth with cars that will continue to offer maximum excitement with minimum consumption, and the BlueSport is a perfect example of that philosophy. We say build it and bring it, ASAP. Hit the jump for all the details in the pres release.

Live photos copyright ©2009 Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, Inc.


Detroit 2009: World Premiere of the Concept BlueSport

Volkswagen celebrates comeback of the compact roadster
Wolfsburg/ Detroit, 11 January 2009 - Maximum driving fun with minimal fuel consumption: This is the standard by which Volkswagen is starting the new car year 2009 and is presenting the roadster Concept BlueSport at the North American International Auto Show. "The BlueSport proves to be a compact and passionate car with a clear Volkswagen signature. The car offers pure dynamics with a powerful 180 PS Clean Diesel engine that is combined with the characteristic Volkswagen philosophy of efficiency," confirmed Volkswagen's Chairman of the Board, Prof. Martin Winterkorn in Detroit.

The Concept BlueSport is making its appearance at the car show in Detroit with a Flex Silver exterior and orange fabric convertible top. "It is the symbiosis of outstanding technology and timeless Volkswagen design that makes this car an exceptional sports car. Its styling is clear and is reduced to the essentials; the car body itself has a lean and linear structure", explains Volkswagen chief designer Walter de Silva. The interior shows finesse in details and conveys a high level of technological fascination. Immediately visible to the eye is the intuitive and easy to operate touchscreen. Perfectly adapted to the interior are the leather upholstered seats in lightweight construction with their single-piece seatbacks.

Behind the two sport seats of the 3.99 meter long Concept BlueSport, a 132 kW / 180 PS strong Clean Diesel (TDI) with common rail injection and downstream NOx storage catalytic converter delivers dynamic performance. A 6-speed DSG dual clutch transmission – the most economical and agile transmission system in the world – transfers power to the rear wheels. In just 6.6 seconds the sports car is moving at 100 km/h; its top speed is 226 km/h. Also having a positive impact on the car's low fuel consumption of just 4.3 l/100 km and reduced emissions are two technologies that are part of the so-called Eco mode: an automatic start-stop system and energy regeneration. Together they propel the Concept BlueSport to an additional fuel savings of up to 0.2 liter per 100 kilometers in city driving.

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