Volkswagen BlueSport concept revealed in Detroit, 2009

A Black Knight stalks the ramparts of corporate castles, he carries a shield decorated with a wreath of beans, he swings a double-edged spreadsheet and he rides a terrifying black mare called The Bottom Line. His name is The Business Case and if a new report from Autocar is accurate, he's done his foul work again, this time dealing another blow to the already-long-delayed Volkswagen Bluesport Roadster. Even though the engineering work for the two-seater convertible is reportedly finished, it appears no one can come up with a way to support the necessary sales projections of 50,000 units annually.

That is in part because Jonathan Browning, head of VW USA, apparently doesn't see the point of expanding VW's product portfolio with another model (a truly unexpected sentiment coming from Volkswagen as far as we're concerned). The U.S. being the largest consumer of sports cars, our sitting this one out puts the 2009 Detroit Auto Show showcar in a tough spot.

Synergies being what they are, that also puts Bluesport's brand brothers from Audi and Porsche in doubt. Audi plans for an R4 will apparently get iced in light of the news, but Porsche might have dodged a bullet: it wanted a four-cylinder 550-successor, but not one that would eat into Boxster sales, which this car almost certainly would. The Bluesport isn't officially dead yet, but at three years in and counting, you can be sure there's a hand on the life-support plug.