Currently reading: Baby Porsche ‘on ice’
Porsche is poised to kill off its plans to launch an entry-level roadster within the next two years
Autocar
News
2 mins read
16 January 2012

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.

Hilton Holloway

See all the latest Porsche reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
31
Add a comment…
6th.replicant 18 January 2012

Re: Baby Porsche ‘on ice’

kraftwerk wrote:
6th.replicant wrote:
So who'd want a Boxster when you could have a Bluesport-based Porsche with (arguably) sweeter handing and a better power/weight ratio, for less money?
Isn't this, more-or-less, what some said about 911 Vs Boxster when the Boxster was announced?

In handling terms, yes. But the Boxster has never been allowed to be a threat to the 911 in terms of its power-weight ratio. Clearly, the Boxster has always had lower-power versions of the 911's normally aspirated flat-six, which would require a small fortune to yield extra bhp and lb-ft.

However, the then-proposed turbo-charged four-cylinder for the 'baby Boxster' could've yielded c. 300bhp with 300lb-ft after a remap, for a relatively modest outlay of c. £450.

To paraphrase Honda's ex-president, Nobuhiko Kawamoto: "Boost is a lot cheaper than revs [or increased displacement]."

matsoc 17 January 2012

Re: Baby Porsche ‘on ice’

kraftwerk wrote:
]I've been looking at used Boxsters - just looking, mind. Were I in a position to spend £10k on a car, there's nowhere else I'd rather put it and there are so many around, it's a buyer's market. £10k will buy a late-ish 3.2s manual with full history and relatively low mileage

Yes, Boxter used prices are quite affordable. Here in Italy prices are not as low as in UK but still low. Actually I think that considering the driving pleasure and overall quality the Boxter seems not so overpriced even new as long as you begin to add extras....they are too pricey raising the price to levels that I don't find attractive anymore for what you get.

kraftwerk 17 January 2012

Re: Baby Porsche ‘on ice’

Myk wrote:
I wanted to buy a small Porsche and can't quite run to a Boxster at the moment.
I've been looking at used Boxsters - just looking, mind. Were I in a position to spend £10k on a car, there's nowhere else I'd rather put it and there are so many around, it's a buyer's market. £10k will buy a late-ish 3.2s manual with full history and relatively low mileage.