Stuttgart breaks with precedent to squash rumours it'll build a small 4x4
30 May 2007

Porsche's openness to the press over its next big unveiling has been incredible. As a result, there are Aboriginal tribesmen living in remotest Australia who have never seen a TV, but who know that Germany's biggest sports car-maker is working on a four-door saloon car called the Panamera. What the rest of the car-savvy world is discussing is what's coming from Stuttgart after that. Some say it'll be a thousand horsepower supercar to unseat the Bugatti Veyron, others a front-engined spiritual successor to the 928. There are even rumours that it could be a crossover coupe in the mould of BMW's forthcoming X6.What it won't be, however, is a small 4x4 based on the mechanicals of Audi's forthcoming Q5; Porsche explicitly ruled that possibility out last week.

Keep your small 4x4

Car manufacturers as high-profile as Porsche don't usually react to rumours and speculation circulating the motor industry. Someone in the German press must have hit a nerve, therefore, to have prompted such a direct reaction from Weissach.In response to the suggestion that Porsche was intent on seeding the apparently boundlessly rewarding SUV market with a smaller sibling for the Cayenne, Porsche spokesman Albrecht Bamler was quoted as saying "there are no such plans."The comment came in response to a story in German car magazine Auto Bild, which insisted that the mechanicals that are about to be employed underneath Audi's Q5 SUV would be adapted by Porsche for a small SUV called the "Roxster".There is precedent within the history of the VW Group for such a move; the larger Porsche Cayenne SUV and VW Touareg share a platform. However, Porsche has taken criticism from purists in its willingness to accept mechanicals from 'lowly' VW. It's evidently keen to avoid such criticism with future products.Although it's not unknown for a car-maker to deny a plan it knows very well to be true, Volkswagen also denied the veracity of the story shortly after Porsche, which suggests that it really is a fiction.

So what will follow the Panamera for Porsche? Check out Autocar.co.uk on June 6 to find out

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