Porsche is poised to kill off its plans to launch an entry-level roadster within the next two years
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

16 January 2012

"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 Porsch"

Yes, I think thats exactly what they reflect.

16 January 2012

I don't see the place for a baby Boxter. The new Boxter is not more expensive and is not significantly larger than the old one so it hasn't created the space for a new model.

16 January 2012

[quote matsoc]I don't see the place for a baby Boxter. The new Boxter is not more expensive and is not significantly larger than the old one so it hasn't created the space for a new model.[/quote]Why does the new Boxster have to be larger to create the space below it for a 'baby Porsche'? A four-cylinder, mid-engined Porsche to rival the MX-5, FT-86 and forthcoming Alfa and/or Abarth? Yes, please. What a pity that it may not now happen.

16 January 2012

There is the place for everything nowadays.

You know Porsche is become a brand of large Diesel boats now.

16 January 2012

[quote david RS]

There is the place for everything nowadays.

You know Porsche is become a brand of large Diesel boats now.

[/quote]And if it could make a profit doing so, why not?

16 January 2012

The Japanese manufacturers must be rubbing their hands at this news. Another Toyota/Mazda/Honda affordable sports car onslaught will surely follow to scoop up the new generation of customers that Porsche/VW/Audi have decided not to bother with... sorry, wait for.

16 January 2012

I wonder if the baby Porsche will become a Lotus....... Now Lotus is about to be sold

Myk

16 January 2012

So Porsche say they must weight for a new generation of customer. The new generation of customer was exactly what the entry-level car was meant to attract.

Yes, cars like the Cayenne and Panamera make more money, but wouldn't it be nice if they gave us a small chuckable sports car. It's supposed to be what they're good at.

16 January 2012

I still do not quite understand this. They have pushed the 911 a bit further up market and increased it's size and the Boxster's too. Surely there is a big market for a small roadster with proven and available mechanicals, an upmarket brand to sell it at premium prices (Audi) looking for a baby brother to the R8, a proven sporting brand who could do likewise ( Porsche), a struggling, supposedly sporting brand lost and needing a halo ( Seat ) and a mainstream brand which wants to be the biggest car co in the world, (VW). Puzzled.

16 January 2012

[quote kraftwerk]Why does the new Boxster have to be larger to create the space below it for a 'baby Porsche'? A four-cylinder, mid-engined Porsche to rival the MX-5, FT-86 and forthcoming Alfa and/or Abarth? Yes, please. What a pity that it may not now happen.[/quote]

Yes, obviously there is still place, you are right, but I think that Porsche doesn't want to go in the same price range of the MX-5. I thought they wanted a slightly cheaper and slightly less potent Boxter while the new would have grow a little more.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer