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Volkswagen Concept BlueSport: High Performance, Low Impact

Motoring Channel Staff - 12/January/2008

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport
Volkswagen Concept BlueSport

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport
Powered by a 2.0-litre turbo diesel, the 132kW
motor uses very little fuel: 4.3 litres per 100km

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport
The interior features a colour touch screen
infotainment system and a simple design theme

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport
The Volkswagen Concept BlueSport makes a
compelling case for an economical sports car

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport
Volkswagen's design department took the
"less is more" approach and it works well

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport
The Concept BlueSport looks dynamic
but the orange roof is a bit of a worry

Detroit, America – Volkswagen revealed a novel concept at the NAIAS Detroit Motor Show in the form of the Concept BlueSport.

This new roadster is a trendy looking vehicle with a removable roof and a sporty stance, powered by an economical (but powerful) turbo diesel engine.

Production ready, the new model would rival vehicles such as the iconic Mazda MX-5.

The idea of an economical sports car is not new. Most car makers are currently working on new hybrid or fully electric sports car products, but one of the biggest differences of vehicle over its rivals is its weight.

Most modern luxury cars weigh between 1.5 and 2.0 tonnes, but the VW Concept BlueSport is lighter than 1.2 tonnes, or 1200kg.

As car makers such as Lotus have proved, a low weight can lead to big performance even with low power engines.

Volkswagen says the new concept vehicle is about "Maximum driving fun with minimal fuel consumption" and the BlueSport is expected to be the first of many concept and eventually production cars that use low weight and diesel power to achieve ultra-low emissions.

Engine

Though the idea of performance diesel cars haven't taken off in Australia yet (though HSV could change this if the rumours are true), you can't argue with figures like 6.6 seconds and 226km/h. 

The mid-mounted 2.0-litre turbo diesel (TDI) engine powering the Volkswagen concept car outputs 132kW (180hp) @ 4200rpm and an impressive 350Nm of torque @ 1750rpm.

Volkswagen, Germany's largest car maker, says this allows the smartly designed roadster to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds. It has a top speed of 226km/h (140mph).

But here's where it gets interesting: the BlueSport uses an average of just 4.3 litres of diesel fuel per 100km travelled (55mpg). This makes it more efficient than Toyota's current generation Prius Hybrid, which uses 4.4L/100km.

Emitting CO2 of just 113g/km, Volkswagen's new concept car shines the spotlight on a different path to economical performance.

Speaking in Detroit at the motor show, Volkswagen's head honcho Martin Winterkorn said the new model shows a clear VW design, but is also uber-efficient despite its high levels of performance.

"The BlueSport proves to be a compact and passionate car with a clear Volkswagen signature," commented Winterkorn.

"The car offers pure dynamics with a powerful 180 PS Clean Diesel engine that is combined with the characteristic Volkswagen philosophy of efficiency," added the Volkswagen boss.

Volkswagen is calling the engine a 'Clean Diesel', and this version uses common rail injection and a downstream NOx storage catalytic converter.

The transmission for the concept is a 6-speed DSG dual clutch transmission which VW claims is "the most economical and agile transmission system in the world". This gearbox transfers engine 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 litres per 100 kilometres in city driving.

Design

Measuring 3.99 metres long, the VW Concept BlueSport boasts a bright orange fabric roof and a contemporary design influenced by the new Golf and Scirocco models.

The headlights in particular give the vehicle a convertible Golf appearance, and the design could be described as simple. 

Volkswagen's chief designer, Walter de Silva, put it this way: "It's styling is clear and is reduced to the essentials; the car body itself has a lean and linear structure.

However it is labelled, the tidy design seems to work and the vents on the rear deck hark back to the days of the original VW Beetle.

"It is the symbiosis of outstanding technology and timeless Volkswagen design that makes this car an exceptional sports car," continued de Silva.

Volkswagen's eye-catching concept car sits on large 19-inch alloy wheels (fitted with 235/35ZR19 front and 245/35ZR19 rear tyres) which have slighter wider tyres at the rear.

According to VW, the interior of the car exhibits "finesse in details and conveys a high level of technological fascination". 

This techno fascination comprises an intuitive, high resolution touchscreen infotainment system, lightweight single-piece seatbacks with leather. upholstery plus LED and xenon lighting systems.

It may not have been the most dazzling concept at the Detroit Motor Show in 2009, but it is one of the most original and it has a simple but appealing design.

It puts Volkswagen in a front row position for high performance, low impact motoring in the near future, hinting at a new model that could be on sale in as little as 12 months time.

Related Links:
VW CC Eco Performance Concept (2008)
- Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli + Passat CC (2009)
Volkswagen Passat CC (2008)
Volkswagen Passat TDI Wagon (Road Test)
- Volkswagen Golf GTI (Road Test)
Volkswagen Eos (Road Test)
- Volkswagen Passat R36 (2008)
Volkswagen Golf (2009)
Volkswagen Touareg R50 (Road Test)
Volkswagen Tiguan (First Drive)
Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Life (Road Test)
Volkswagen Golf GT - TSI (Road Test)
- Volkswagen Golf R32 (Road Test)
Volkswagen Scirocco (2008)
- Volkswagen Polo TDI (Road Test)

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