Volkswagen’s BlueSport is still in concept form, but that didn’t stop Autobild from taking it out and comparing it to Mazda’s Miata, the industry standard for affordable fun. “Not bad, truly not bad,” is how the BlueSport’s creator Marco Fabiano describes the Miata, his concept’s intended prey. Which means the BlueSport will have to be “damn good, truly damn good” to break Mazda’s 20-year stranglehold on the entry-roadster market. At least VW is clear on that much going into the project.
Autobild says that the 95 km/h-limited BlueSport feels “similar” to the MX-5, even though it hasn’t got the production go-ahead yet and the diesel engine still sounds like a tractor. But the stomach “kribbelt” around the corners and the shove is said to be admirable, which is what really matters. And since the front suspension is Polo-based, and the mid-engine drivetrain is a shoved-back Golf’s transverse unit, the BlueSport should cost less (in Europe, anyway) than the Miata. They’re saying under €25k.
On the less positive side, wasn’t this basic strategy attempted with Toyota’s MR2 Spyder? Sure, the MR2 never had a diesel option, stop-start technology, or any of VW’s conceptual teases, but otherwise the concept was remarkably similar. And despite benchmarking the Mazda, Toyota’s roadster came up well short in terms of sales. Given that VW is planning Audi, Seat and possibly Porsche versions of the same concept, VW also runs the risk of replicating the MR2’s “success” across several line-blurring brands.
But, hey, since when do enthusiasts care if a car makes money? Any competition for the Miata is enough to warrant a positive post. Because who’s going to blame us when VW decides to not bring it stateside?