Do you badly want a new mid-engined Porsche? Is the Boxster/Cayman combo still a bit rich for your blood, given the weak economy? Chances are you have been waiting patiently for news about Porsche’s “Baby Boxster,” the long-discussed, entry-level, flat-four-powered version of Volkswagen’s Bluesport concept. The sad news: you may be waiting quite a bit longer. In an interview with the FT Deutschland, Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller says
There is no decision to develop this car into production. The decision is due soon, but they may well drag on into next year
Why? Well that’s easy: Porsche’s number one priority is to remain the world’s most profitable automaker, with “at least” a 15% operating margin and a 21% return on capital. And it can hit its 200k sales by 2018 goal without adding a sixth or seventh model… thanks to the fact that its fifth model is an entry-level SUV, called the Cajun.
Of course the downturn doesn’t affect a cash cow like the Cajun, but the smallest, lightest, cheapest mid-engined Porsche in modern history may well be off the table. If it does come to market, the earliest release date would be Summer 2014. But if the markets dip again (and in Europe that outcome looks near-certain), the Baby Boxster could be lost forever. One hopes that if that does happen, VW and/or Audi will step up and fill the breach. After all, how are people supposed to get through a recession without affordable, mid-engined roadsters?