There are many words we could use to describe modern Volkswagen cars – serious, reliable, safe, modern, maybe a bit boring. Of course there are exceptions – the GTI and R Series cars are impressively fun packages, but they’re just sporty versions of normal cars. However, in 2009, Volkswagen was preparing to deliver a real sports roadster. The car named BlueSport was actually close to production.
Volkswagen avoids making sports cars, because there are other brands in the Volkswagen Group responsible for that. However, the company was serious about changing that in 2009 when it presented the BlueSport concept.
This story began much earlier than the 2009 auto show in Detroit. Volkswagen revealed Concept R in Frankfurt in 2003. It was a roadster with a mid-mounted 3.2-liter V6 engine and a dual-clutch DSG gearbox. This handsome car looked quite futuristic, but wasn’t some kind of an impossible alien design. The size of the Concept R was practically identical to the fifth-generation Golf, on which the concept was based.
In 2005, Volkswagen executives claimed that their production plans included a roadster similar to the Concept R. And journalists believed it – what is there not to believe? The Concept R was like a pocket supercar that could fit in the market alongside the BMW Z series. Everyone has heard about the success of the Mazda MX-5, and the Porsche Boxster is also a very popular car. Concept R looked like something that could be built and would find its buyer.
The plans became a reality in 2009, when the Volkswagen Concept BlueSport was officially presented at the auto show in Detroit. This concept car already looked like a production-ready model. Journalists could not see any design elements that would be incompatible with safety requirements – the BlueSport had real headlights, functional bumpers and did not look too futuristic. It was easy to imagine Volkswagen BlueSport carving corners of some winding country roads.
The heart of the BlueSport has shrunk to 2.0 liters and four cylinders. This mid-mounted engine produced 134 kW, but with the help of a dual-clutch transmission still allowed the car to reach 100 kph in just 6.2 seconds. The Volkswagen Bluesport had a modern solid design and was a reasonably practical two-seater.
Concept R was too similar to the Porsche Boxster, which is likely why Volkswagen chose to use a smaller engine. In addition, the Volkswagen brand is associated with more affordable cars. Volkswagen was planning to use the BlueSport platform for other models – an Audi version, likely to be called the R4 or R5, was expected, as well as some baby Porsche. However, we never received any of these cars on the road.
Volkswagen worked on the BlueSport for at least another couple of years. At the same time, the company’s analysts closely monitored the market situation. Calculations showed that BlueSport would not make enough money for the Volkswagen Group. The model would likely not have been unprofitable, but the same production capacity could be allocated to much more sensible projects.
In 2012, Volkswagen introduced the MQB platform, which was used as a basis for the majority of the Group’s models. BlueSport was a mid-engined car and used a different platform. And so we didn’t get the BlueSport or it’s relatives from Audi or Porsche brands.