Volkswagen to unveil a roadster at Detroit?
This might be the biggest and most unexpected surprise at Detroit: according to rumours, Volkswagen might unveil a roadster concept car that previews a future production model whose release date remains unknown.
Dubbed Rayra, the concept car would be Volkwagen's serious attempt to move its brand image upmarket on the American market, but it might also be a mistake. Indeed, it is said that the concept car share shares its platform with the Audi R8 and features a similar layout with a mid-engine and all-wheel drive. The car would be powered by the same 4.2-litre V8 which produces 414bhp at 7,800 rpm. The concept car would comes with an innovative anti-theft vehicle alarm system and a speed warning device.
Volkswagen doesn't need another car derived from an Audi to build its brand image and increase its sales. The market doesn't need another V8-powered roadster with a price starting at £75,000. At a time when regulations are stricter, Volkswagen needs to learn that power doesn't mean fun. There is a Japanese car maker who understood it, it's Mazda. Its Mazda MX-5 sells more and more every new-generation but no European car makes had the guts to launch a model that could compete with the small roadster. Bring the 2003 Concept R (pictured) or the 2005 EcoRacer concept car to production but don't put roll off an umpteeth supercar.
Beyond this rumour, if Volkswagen brings the Rarya at the Detroit Motor Show, will Audi unveil the R8 roadster? Or is the Rayra the rumoured R8 roadster?