Volkswagen’s Concept R show car unveiled at last September’s Frankfurt motor show is going into production, according to AutoWeek magazine.


The mid-engined roadster, conceived as a cut-price alternative to the Porsche Boxster, is planned for launch in late 2007 with the choice of either four or six-cylinder power, VW sources in Wolfsburg, Germany, told an AutoWeek correspondent based in the country.


AutoWeek noted that VW chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder said recently the automaker plans to boost its niche market potential in future years rather than relying on traditional volume sellers like the Polo, Jetta [Bora] and Passat. In a report in Auto Motor und Sport, Pischetsrieder reportedly said “the roadster will be built” as a mid-engined model like the concept for proper balance and to more easily meet coming Euro pedestrian crash standards.


Noting that mechanical details remain scarce, AutoWeek speculated that the new roadster will use suspension components from both the Polo and Golf and three different petrol engines: a two-litre, 148-hp four, a two-litre, 197-hp turbocharged four-cylinder FSI from the soon-to-be-launched Golf GTI, and a new 3.6-litre, 280hp V6 due out next year in the redesigned Passat.


The mid-mounted engines would come with either a standard six-speed manual or optional direct shift gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddles, AutoWeek added.