Currently reading: Four new roadsters to rival Fiat
Rivals to Fiat's new £20k Abarth coupe will come from Porsche, VW, Toyota and Renault

Fiat's new £20,000 Abarth roadster will face tough competition with rivals from VW, Porsche, Toyota and Renault. Here, Autocar looks at four of the budget sports cars the car will have to beat.

Read the full story on Fiat's new £20k Abarth roadsterSee pics of the Fiat roadster's four key rivals

Porsche ‘baby Boxster’Created to allow the Boxster to move up in size and to make the VW BlueSport programme more cost-effective. It remains on schedule for a launch in 2012.

New Porsche boss Matthias Mueller is an expert product-planning strategist who has been a supporter of the BlueSport plan, which includes models from VW, Porsche and Audi based on a single mid-engined platform, and around 100,000 vehicles per year.

Baby Boxster could sneak under £30,000, as long as the firm is happy for one of its cars to have a turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant.

Toyota ‘MR2’Toyota’s new brief is to make cars that people want — and a successor to the mid-engined MR2 is at the heart of the new ‘emotional’ product plan. The car was scheduled to use a V6, but the success of Honda’s CR-Z has persuaded Toyota to use a hybrid system based on a 1.5-litre petrol engine.

Toyota’s sports car efforts won’t end with the MR2, though. In tribute to its chief tester, Hiromu Naruse, who died in a road accident earlier this year, the firm is also turning a hot hatch concept into an ultra-cheap, front-engined, rear-drive coupé.

Renault AlpineRenault’s new design chief, Laurens van den Acker, has reignited plans to build a rear-drive Alpine coupé. “Any car maker with a broad product range should have room for an affordable sports car,” he told us. Insiders say the model under consideration is close to the Alpine A110 ‘Berlinette’ in spirit, and it could be on sale within three years.

A potential assembly site for the Alpine could be the Renaultsport factory in Dieppe. Its manufacturing commitments have eased following a decision to put the hot Mégane down the regular line in Spain.

Volkswagen BlueSportVolkswagen is on track to provide one of the Abarth sports car’s key rivals in the shape of the BlueSport, due in 2013. The BlueSport’s engines will be from the VW Group’s latest EA888 line-up, a range that serves the Golf and Scirocco.

The VW version is likely to get a new turbocharged 1.6 FSI motor that can offer up to 220bhp when fitted with an Audi variable valve lift system. Transmissions will be standard six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG units, codenamed DQ500.

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SteveB 20 November 2013

A cheap "baby" Porsche for less than £30k

This will take away a lot of sales from bmw z4/merc slk drivers who normally couldn't possibly afford a Porsche, so clearly a good marketing ploy, but it will be a great shame if it's seen as cheapening the brand. The last thing car lovers want is the Porsche's image to be ruined by millions of sun glass wearing, image consious chavs who suddenly find they can now afford a Porsche on contract plan or lease. At the end of the day though, at around £30k, both the Porsche and the VW, look to be superb buys and no doubt will sell like hot cakes.
bomb 29 October 2010

Re: Four new roadsters to rival Fiat

Autocar wrote:
Fiat's new £20,000 Abarth roadster

Or should that be £25,000?? Make your mind up please Autocar...

artill 29 October 2010

Re: Four new roadsters to rival Fiat

What a good news story, with all these manufactures trying to offer us some more driver focused cars.

A rear drive soft top from Renault, with their suspension abilities sounds fantastic, as does a cheap rear drive coupe from Toyota. The MR2 replacement will be disapointing if its only a hybrid, and therefore ends up with a cvt.

Same goes for the VW with a DGS, although i would hope a manual version would be available too. The Porsche just sounds too expensive for a re badged VW, but then what else should i expect. They better make it fantastic if they think £30k is a fair starting point, and a VW version is available for less.