Volkswagen research and development chief Ulrich Hackenberg told Autocar that engineering of VW’s version – the Volkswagen BlueSport – is complete, but says it cannot advance to production because the German manufacturer does not believe it can achieve baseline volume levels.
Volkswagen estimates the car would need to attract 50,000 sales for the project to be viable.
The BlueSport was destined to share its mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive architecture with similar vehicles from Audi and Porsche, referred to as the Audi R4 and Porsche baby Boxster within the industry. Those models will almost certainly not go ahead if the BlueSport is not given the green light.
The Volkswagen BlueSport concept made its debut more than three years ago at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. A production version was expected to be revealed last year, but it never eventuated.
According to Autocar, Volkswagen and Audi remain enthusiastic, but some within Porsche are cooling on the project.
Hackenberg told WhatCar? that developing the vehicles on a more cost-effective platform – front-engined and front-wheel drive, for example – was not an option, as they would no longer meet the manufacturers’ objectives from an emotional or design perspective.