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Some readers complain about the continued presence of diesel on these pages, but when it looks this good, we feel good about repeating diesel's inherent MPG advantage over gasoline? VW enjoys doing the same, and they didn't miss a beat in unveiling the new Concept BlueSport. The car is powered by a 180 PS Clean Diesel TDI engine that uses a NOx storage catalytic converter to reduce CO2 emissions. Using a 6-speed DSG dual clutch transmission, the Concept BlueSport gets 54.7 mpg (US); punch the Eco mode button to get 57.36 mpg in city driving - see what we mean about loving diesels? All right, we'll shut up about all this for now. All we know right now anyway is what's in the small press release (pasted after the break) and the three pictures (see gallery below). Check back this afternoon for more from Detroit.

[Source: VW]

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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