Monday 25 July 2011

Porsche confirms entry-level model

2009 Volkswagen BlueSport sketch
Porsche has announced that it will produce an entry-level model that will be a ‘modern-day’ adaptation of the 550 Spyder. Rumours of a low-priced Porsche model started circulating immediately after Volkswagen debuted the BlueSport at the Detroit motor show in 2009.

Porsche CEO, Matthias Mueller said to a German publication “I can imagine that such a modern version of the famous 'James Dean' Porsche would be well-received by our customers.” Unlike recent incarnations of classic models, he concluded by saying the vehicle will not be retro-styled.

The sports car will underpin a new mid-engined steel and aluminium architecture that's being developed by Audi and Volkswagen to form the basis of the upcoming R4 and BlueSport sub-compact sports car. To make space for the new model in the marque's product line-up, the next Boxster will be larger and more expensive than the current model, so expect a £35,000 price-tag when it goes on sale.

Power will come from a flat 4-cylinder, 2.5 litre Boxer petrol engine that would produce around 360bhp (355PS/268kW) when turbocharged. This engine will eventually find its way under the Boxster, Cayman, and possibly, the 911.

Wolfgang Durheimer, manager of Porsche' R&D department said at the 2010 Detroit motor show: “We have a four-cylinder boxer engine under development.” He admitted that the unit “can be applied” to the Boxster and Cayman. He added the engine “could be applied if necessary to the 911. Our decision is, on the 911 side, we’ll stay with the flat [six]. But there are opportunities for the future.”

If all three cars (Porsche sub-Boxster, Audi R4, and Volkswagen BlueSport) were to be produced, VAG is expecting to manufacture 100,000 units per annum.

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