Victim of the recession? Most likely. The VW BlueSport Concept that was shown at the North American International Auto Show in January, is likely dead. I suspect there is multiple reasons behind it.
It was a promising concept showed the benefits of clean diesel technology in a sporty and fun package. But alas it was not to be. The business model depended on three vehicles based on the platform: the BlueSport, the Audi R4 and a new Porsche 914-like mid-engined model. Basing those three models off the platform, including the higher profit Audi and Porsche models, would have helped to make the program viable.
Porsche was thought to have been seriously considering a low-cost model of it’s own. However, a recent report has Porsche R&D head Wolfgang Dürheimer revealing the company has opted against that, due to a desire to keep the brand upscale and the realities of the current economic climate. That makes reworking the numbers for producing this car very hard.
I suspect it has something to due with the whole Porsche-VW merger/buyout thing going on. I think Porsche doesn’t want VW or Audi encroaching on it’s mid-engined performance territory with the Boxter and Cayman. Porsche knows that if they pull out, it basically dooms the entire program. It’s too bad, I was looking forward to the VW BlueSport and especially the Audi R4. VW’s mid-engined concepts never become more than just that. Thanks, Porsche!