The rumors are flying around the Internet. Volkswagen forums are buzzing with talks that VW is going to show a new mid-engined sports car at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. Now, I’ve been a huge Volkswagen fan since I was a kid. I currently drive a 1998 GTI VR6 and my father drives a 2007 GTI. Though sometimes a tad over-engineered, V-dubs (as they’re called by fans) are great cars. So you could see my excitement when I heard about this rumored sports car.
I searched a few automotive Web sites and the only one that seemed to be aware of the rumors was RoadandTrack.com. What info they did have once again sparked by interest. From a technical standpoint, all the ingredients are there to make a great little sports car.
Here’s what R&T wrote: "Although VW/Audi officials deny "knowing anything about the car," one source did offer this interesting tidbit: "Porsche [a major shareholder of the VW group] fully supports what we’re doing in the U.S. market, and is not suppressing our lineup whatsoever." We take that to mean the previous buzz that Porsche would never allow a mid-engine VW or Audi to market, for fears of losing Boxster sales, is not true."
We will sadly have to wait until the L.A. Auto Show to see if these rumors are really validated. If they do show a concept, expect a 2011 model to be sold at the end of 2010. Current specs being thrown around are that the engine will be the company’s 1.4-liter TSI supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder producing about 170-hp. Though an interesting thought, my guess would be VW using the already potent and mass-produced 2.0-liter turbo found in the GTI. From strictly a cost standpoint the TSI engine is expensive to produce. Whatever engine it uses you can bet it’ll be coupled to the company’s upcoming 7-speed DSG gearbox.
With a targeted weight of about 2,200 pounds, this should be a great driver’s car. Performance should be satisfying and if they are priced well, there’s no reason why they should not fly out of dealer showrooms. What’s more, Audi is supposed to get their own version of this chassis, dubbed the R4. Keep your fingers crossed V-dubbers! This could be the car we’ve all be waiting for. If the Boxster is the poor man’s Porsche, then the VW roadster could be the poor man’s Boxster.
This could be the car that sees me get rid of my beloved VR6.
Source: Road and Track
Photo: Road and Track