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?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

More by Edward Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
  • -Cole- -Cole- on Nov 14, 2011

    I still hate the new Cayenne. But WTF is a smaller one? At least BMW has its sht straight. But WTF is a baby Cayenne? That's what the people are clamoring for? Another bloody Q car? I predict cute utes will start getting real unfashionable soon. Will Porsche lose its grip on the growth basket? Jesus wept.

    • See 8 previous
    • Redav Redav on Nov 15, 2011

      @-Cole- Is it okay to call it a coonass?

  • Syke Syke on Nov 14, 2011

    Silly Edward, thinking that a good sports car is important. Ve vill make you drive SUV!!!!!!!!!!!!! Und like it!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 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...