By on March 24, 2009

Rumors have simmering for some time now that say Porsche is considering extending its once-focused brand downmarket. Again. And though the Roxster rumors prompted a repudiation of volume-chasing from Zuffenhausen, word is filtering in from the German auto press that Porsche might be considering a neo-914 project with VW. Or, as the starry-eyed fools at Motor Authority put it, “work on the next-generation Boxster and what has been thought of as a 914 revival may be a sort of cover for the even more secret work on the 356’s modern spiritual successor.” What they mean (I think) is that the new baby Porsche could be a rebadged VW, true to tradition. The Bluesport Concept, in this case. Of course that means cannibal trouble for the proposed Audi version, but that was coming anyway (VW “needs” to share the platform with “at least” three brands). Meanwhile, CAFE doesn’t just loom for Porsche, they’ve been fined every year since 1991. Oh yeah, and the lovable Boxster has loaded over $6K onto its base MSRP since its 1997 debut. So I’ll break with site tradition and say Porsche should keep stretching that brand. Let’s face it: the Bluesport ain’t coming stateside as a VW, so we can’t expect a true “performance bargain” out of the Bluesport platform. A sub-$40K Porsche? That might be worth dreaming of.

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29 Comments on “Ask The Best And Brightest: Baby Boxster?...”


  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    I read it’d weigh 2700lbs.

    I bet it will happen.

    I can’t wait.

  • avatar
    McDoughnut

    I don’t need a full size Porsche because my penis is of a normal size…….

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    Also, “downmarket” I would call it not.

  • avatar
    like.a.kite

    Why can I not edit my comments? I meant to say I wouldn’t call it brand dilution, though not to say you did.

  • avatar
    wsn

    How many CR black eyes will this one get?

  • avatar
    meefer

    Well it’s not like they’ll run into any existing VW AG products at that price lev…oops.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    If they can build suv:s and four-door saloons, I don’t see why not. At least that would be brand extension in the right direction, to the root of Porsches soul. The 356 Speedster has always been one of the most desireable Porsches of them all.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Drastic cost-cutting combined with VW parts would make me very, very nervous about owning one. The Cayenne’s reliability was atrocious in its first few years, and this would likely be worse. Better to let them beta test it on a few suckers first.

  • avatar
    BobJava

    I’d say go for it except for the following:

    1. It will be filled with Audi-VW. More a concern of (lack of) reliability than of Porsche purity … and yes I know that’s a bit of an oxymoron.

    2. Yet ANOTHER freakin’ convertible. I want a real hard top.

  • avatar

    If Porsche really wanted to build a modern day 356, they could easily build something along the lines of a decontented 911 with a basic 3.0 liter normally aspirated engine. I realize that the platform has been constantly updated, but the 911 has had to have been amortized up the wazoo by now and it might be the cheapest platform for Porsche.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    Following Porsche’s current brand “focus” I’ll predict this vehicle is a fwd automatic only rebadged golf with a 911 nose and tail grafted on.

  • avatar
    paul_y

    In theory, it’s a great idea.

    In practice, it will probably cannibalize Boxster sales badly (or vice-versa).

  • avatar
    esg

    If that lady in the photo came with a sub 40k, I would buy that particular one and have her serve me every way possible. I would pay 40k for the toy car and have her service it each night.

  • avatar
    essen

    A sub $40,000 Porsche? You are dreaming. Even if it lists for that, you won’t be able to get it without “options” like $4000 for red seat belts and white gauges, like the do to the Cayman

  • avatar

    Wouild be nice, as long as its better than a Miata.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    A Porsche at $5k over a Miata, and built to be worth that price, would be a great addition to Porsche’s stable and the market.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    Wouild be nice, as long as its better than a Miata.

    It would have to be better than a Lotus Elise, wouldn’t it? Is Porsche going to build a minimalist car that can’t handle the likes of an Elise or an S2000? If it does, it’s not a true Porsche. Having said that, a lightweight, primitive Porsche that is truly tossable would be sweet, regardless of price.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    I can’t be hypnotized into justifying the price of these automobiles.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    I can’t be hypnotized into justifying the price of these automobiles.

    Neither can I, especially when Miatas of any age are so damn good at what they do. But I like that the Lotus Elise exists. I don’t think Porsche should build something that performs “between” the Miata and the Lotus. I’d rather see them build an eight seat SUV than a mere Miata beater (but just barely).

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    I hope it’s light weight. That is what I want. Lighter cars are more fun to drive. If I get a sports car, it will be something close to a miata, only more comfortable for my size.

    Otherwise, might as well get a cruiser, or luxury car. Most of them have plenty of performance. I am not that interested in a tweener like the 1 series which needed an uber engine to make it fun.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I just can’t see this working the way people are hoping it will. Porsche just doesn’t have the mindset to compete with Mazda in this space. Going that far downmarket just doesn’t work for them: it’ll end either with a heavily decontented Boxster, which the Miata will be better than, a more expensive Miata that won’t be worth it, or an Audi TT with different badging, which will suck for entirely different reasons.

    You want a 911 on a shoestring budget? You should have bought an MR-2 when Toyota still sold them.

  • avatar
    JJ

    I say no.

    Leave this one to VW please, even if the VW may not be coming to America, it would still be right here in Europe. I would say don’t even make an Audi version of it.

    Also, it would really have to be light and hardcore, like an Elise, for people to take it seriously. If it’s not, it would immediately be labeled a chick car, which would be fine for VW, but not so much for Porsche. However…

    If it would be a lightweight sportscar (which the pretty cool looking VW concept seems to be by the way) then how are you really going to differentiate between Porsche, VW and Audi. There’s not a whole lot you can do with trim levels on a light weight sportscar nor with suspension settings, because it will have to be an engaging drive whatever the badge.

    I just don’t see 3/4 different brands appealing to a different customer base with a car like this. By the way, I think SEAT came with a similar concept years ago…No idea whether or not that one got shot down in favor of the VW.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    “Porsche is considering extending its once-focused brand downmarket.”

    Once-focused? Like when then only made tiny, light, fun 4-cylinder cars?
    Nothing would be more focused than making a modern interpretation of the 356.

  • avatar
    grog

    Wouldn’t the 914 be considered an historical attempt by Porsche to go downmarket?

    We all know how well *that* turned out. VW should have stuck with the Karmann Ghia and left the 914 in the boardroom.

    What is it they say about people who don’t learn their history?

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    A new smaller Porsche would most certainly be built off the current or next-gen VW Scirocco/Audi TT platform. So, expect simple Golf mechanics, and a price above the TT, but below the Boxster.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Depends on the product – if it reflects Porsche brand values then I see no problem. Most luxury brands that tried entry level cars failed because their product was lousy and not so much for other reasons. The reason the 318ti reflected poorly on the BMW brand was because it sucked not because the price was too low.
    If Porsche gets the product engineering right then this has every chance of succeeding.

  • avatar
    Ferrygeist

    “Wouldn’t the 914 be considered an historical attempt by Porsche to go downmarket?”

    Historically, you can argue the point, but the 912 and 912E was the more logical down market extender than the 914. Remember, the 914 has a different chassis, is mid-engine, and was in very limited numbers also offered as a 914-6, and 914GT, which included flat six motors identically prepped to their 911 counterparts.

    To boot, the 914 has lent itself as a sensational platform for race cars and tremendously fun, fast project sports cars today, for those who don’t get hung up on the need for a 911 silhouette. Some of the fastest cars I see on a routine basis are 914s. Yes, aircooled flat six motors are no cheaper to run in a 914 than a 911, but 914 chassis are a lot less expensive to buy used than a 911.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Rebadged VW EOS? I heard that thing is heavy.

  • avatar
    paanta

    I’m biased. My first car was a 15 year old 924 and it’s gotta be just about the most tossable RWD vehicle in history. Terrible car by today’s standards, but not when considered in context. Slow, low limits and perfect balance = awesome street car. Hell, just that car with a 20v 2.0T would be more’n fine with me with me.

    Historically, it’s worked well, though not from a marketing sense. The 914 was a joy to drive, and the much-maligned 924/944/968 cars were all pretty damn pure blooded sports cars when you took them out of the hands of the hairdressers.

    Anyhow, I’d welcome it, but I dunno what platform they would be able to build it on. Agreed that basing it on an existing low-end Audi or VW would be suicide…those cars have all the feel of a Camry these days.

    I wonder if they could just give the GTI another 5 reverse gears, put the headlights on the back, and call it a day.

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