Volkswagen sources claim the delay is simply because they feel the Roadster will resonate better with showgoers in Detroit. But speculation says it's the economy.
The Roadster is expected to use a fuel-efficient four-cylinder along the lines of VW/Audi's 2.0-liter TFSI engine found in products like the GTI, Tiguan, A3, and A4. We'd love to see VW's excellent 1.4-liter twin charger (turbo- and super-charged) engine make its way into this little Roadster, especially as sources claim the Roadster will be very lightweight and feature an aluminum-intensive suspension and body. VW's EcoRoadster concept used a turbodiesel for torquey performance and stellar economy, another concept we really like. Either the twin charger or a turbodiesel in a light chassis would easily yield real-world economy of 30-plus mpg combined (probably 40-plus for the diesel). Who said the spirit of the MR2 was dead?--Colin Mathews