A Volkswagen board member says the company needs more emotional cars.
Volkswagen member of the board of management for development, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, is continuing his push internally for a production version of the VW BlueSport roadster concept (pictured) shown back in 2009.
The BlueSport was a mid-engined two-seater sports car. Its production hopes were dented in 2012 when Porsche backed away from a plan that would have seen a sub-Boxster model, as well as a compact Audi, built on a shared platform.
Dr Hackenberg says Audi is also understandably concerned about cannibalising TT sales. But while he admits the BlueSport will struggle to justify its business case on VW volume alone, he believes the model would boost Volkswagen’s brand image.
“It [the roadster] would be great for a brand like Volkswagen, because what VW needs is some emotion,” Dr Hackenberg told CarAdvice at the recent local launch of the new-generation VW Golf.
“The Golf is a very good car, it’s very precise… but it’s still a car looking for functionality, and it has to meet all these demands.
“With a roadster, such as emotional car, we can make a much sharper positioning and we can go full into emotion.
“We are doing that now with the Polo and WRC. So the reaction coming from media and customers about our engagement in WRC is fantastic. Our customers also want to be proud of the brand and see that the brand makes fantastic things. And that we are winning WRC rallies now, it’s great for the customers.
“And it would also be great to show we can build such an emotional roadster.”
Dr Hackenberg has previously said VW would need to sell a minimum of 50,000 to 60,000 BlueSports to make investment worthwhile.
The concept was almost four metres long and powered by a 132kW turbo diesel engine delivering a 6.6 second 0-100km/h sprint and a 226km/h top speed.
Volkswagen’s current open-top offerings are the Golf Cabriolet and folding hardtop Eos, and the Beetle Cabriolet not sold in Australia.