Porsche: Why Build The "Baby Boxster" When We Have A "Baby Cayenne"?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

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 Aud i will step up and fill the breach. After all, how are people supposed to get through a recession without affordable, mid-engined roadsters?

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  • LeMansteve LeMansteve on Nov 14, 2011

    Would it be a fair statement to say that all Porsches with number-names are generally superior to Porsches with word names (Boxster variants excluded)?

  • Imag Imag on Nov 14, 2011

    This pretty much sums up what's going on with the economy. Porsche is developing multiple supercars (918 plus something underneath it), and canceling a ~45K sports car. The middle class has no money. The wealthy are snatching up supercars with absurdly priced options like there's no tomorrow. It's a shame. I would love a mid-engine car in that price range, and I don't really want a used Boxster time bomb. My guess is that this means the Audi and VW are on hold as well...

  • Probert There's something wrong with that chart. The 9 month numbers for Tesla, in the chart, are closer to Tesla's Q3 numbers. They delivered 343,830 cars in q3 and YoY it is a 40% increase. They sold 363,830 but deliveries were slowed at the end of the quarter - no cars in inventory. For the past 9 months the total sold is 929,910 . So very good performance considering a major shutdown for about a month in China (Covid, factory revamp). Not sure if the chart is also inaccurate for other makers.
  • ToolGuy "...overall length grew only fractionally, from 187.6” in 1994 to 198.7” in 1995."Something very wrong with that sentence. I believe you just overstated the length by 11 inches.
  • ToolGuy There is no level of markup on the Jeep Wrangler which would not be justified or would make it any less desirable [perfectly inelastic demand, i.e., 'I want one']. Source: My 21-year-old daughter.
  • ToolGuy Strong performance from Fiat.
  • Inside Looking Out GM is like America, it does the right thing only after trying everything else.  As General Motors goes, so goes America.
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