Porsche is poised to kill off its plans to launch an entry-level roadster within the next two years. Company boss Matthias Mueller reportedly told German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche that ‘a new generation of customers’ would be needed before such a model would be suitable for the Porsche line-up.
Mueller’s comments, however, may be a reflection of the fact that VW may be poised to pull the plug on the mid-engine Bluesport concept, which would have been the donor vehicle for the entry-level Porsche and possible Audi spin-off.
As Autocar reported last week, the Bluesport project could be fatally undermined by the fact that it might not be sold in the US, which is also the world’s largest sports car market. VW’s business plan to get to 800,000 sales in the US by 2018 does not, it seems, include niche models like the Bluesport.
‘To get to 800k units, we don’t need to keep adding to our portfolio of models. We’re concentrating on our core models,’ VW of America boss Jonathan Browning told Autocar.
The upshot is that, although engineering studies have been completed, the Bluesport has not yet been given the green light from a business perspective. VW engineering chief Uli Hackenberg says that the company’s sales specialists have yet to find enough potential sales volume to make a viable business case for the model.
If VW does put the Bluesport project on ice, the Porsche and potential Audi versions of the mid-engined roadster would also be halted. It is possible, however, that Audi and Porsche could combine forces to build their own small mid-engined sports car, but any such model would probably be five years away.