Volkswagen has resurrected plans for an affordable, mid-engined coupe and roadster as part of an image building campaign as it sets about fulfilling its ambitious target of selling over five million cars a year by 2018.
According to Volkswagen chairman, Martin Winterkorn, the company is planning to unveil a concept version of a lightweight two-seater at the LA motor show in November. If reaction is positive enough then the new car, which has been styled under the leadership of Walter da Silva, could be in showrooms as early as 2011.
“We are working on a mid-engined concept for the Los Angeles motor show,” a senior source revealed to Autocar, “It is the fifth time in as many years that we have created such a car but this time, more than any other, the signs are looking good that we will get a production green light.”
The new Volkswagen roadster is described as being a cut-priced alternative to the Lotus Elise, designed to be stylish and lightweight while offering genuine performance and class-leading fuel economy.
Power will come from mid-mounted four-cylinder petrol engines, with Volkswagen’s 168bhp 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine and a new 125bhp 1.6-litre TDI common-rail diesel both being considered for use. Drive will be supplied to the rear wheels by a seven-speed DSG gearbox.