Volkswagen's mid-engined convertible sports car project, based on the Bluesport concept of 2009, is reportedly under threat of being cancelled due to the lack of a convincing business case.
Reports from British motoring outlet Autocar say that although development of the car is mostly complete, Volkswagen is not confident it can sell the 50,000 units per year it needs to make the model commercially viable.
VW of America's Jonathan Browning has been quoted as saying that the German automaker will be concentrating on its core products as it aims to hit 800,000 global sales a year, and that adding niche vehicles like the Bluesport is not part of that plan.
It's not the first time that the Bluesport project has supposedly been in trouble. Rumours circulated in the middle of last year saying the project was cancelled due to fears it would be unprofitable.
Porsche and Audi were also supposed to make use of the Bluesport's small mid-engined platform, but it now appears the future of those variants are in doubt as well.
With a 2.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine sitting amidships, the Bluesport paltform was expected to spawn a sub-Boxster entry level model for Porsche (likened to a modern-day 550 Spyder), and a four-cylinder baby brother to Audi's R8.
Porsche insiders claim there's little enthusiasm for a Porsche-badged Bluesport derivative, given the potential for it to cannibalise Boxster sales, however Audi is reportedly still keen for its so-called R4.
Yet with the future of the Bluesport program looking so grim, it's becoming increasingly likely that both brands won't be getting a compact mid-engined sports car anytime soon.
The longer the Volkswagen Bluesport sits on the shelf in Wolfsburg, the more its design ages. Even if Volkswagen persists with the program, the Bluesport runs the very real risk of already being obsolete by the time it launches.
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