The Porsche 718 ‘baby Boxster’ project will not happen, according to the firm’s head of research and development Wolfgang Hatz.
Expected to cost around £35,000 and to be powered by a new family of four-cylinder engines, the baby Boxster has long been tipped as a way to increase Porsche’s sales volumes. The Porsche 718 name was rumoured as an acknowledgement to the firm’s racing history.
However, Hatz said: “The project is stopped. We have a very good entry point to the range with the Boxster, and we see no reason to go below that. Porsche should remain exclusive, and you cannot chase volume when you are such a brand. The Boxster is our perfect entry point - we have already set the right entry level.”
The car was expected to be developed as part of a cross-VW Group strategy. However, without the sales volume generated by all its relevant brands being involved, the car is not now expected to be developed in any form.
Autocar first scooped the car back in 2010, and 12 months later company boss Matthias Müller confirmed the scoop, saying that the carmaker would build a ‘modern-day’ version of the classic 550 Spyder as an entry-level model for the brand.
Müller told German newspaper Handelsblatt: "I can imagine that such a modern version of the famous 'James Dean' Porsche would be well received by our customers." He also said that the new model would not be retro-styled.
The Porsche was at that time expected to be based on a new mid-engined aluminium and steel platform being developed by Audi which was also set to be used for the proposed Audi R4 roadster. However, that project was also cancelled, leaving the baby Porsche's chances of making production very slim.
The engine range would have been drawn from the new flat-four engines Porsche has in production. These will be rolled out on the facelifted Boxster and Cayman ranges in 2015. The engine is understood to produce around 400bhp in turbocharged form.