Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche have been kicking around the idea of small, mid-engine, rear-drive coupes and convertibles for several years now. Porsche wants a modern day 550 to slot below the Boxster and a new Automobile report suggests the project — thought to be shelved — has been pushed back to 2017.
Thank Volkswagen’s on-again off-again BlueSport roadster based on the same MSB-M platform for the delay. VW is having a hard time justifying its roadster based on low projected sales. The fact that Audi wasn’t fond of an R5 sports car being designed by Porsche didn’t help either, and Porsche is keeping busy by preparing new models and updating existing cars.
A Porsche representative told Automobile that once current projects like the 918 Spyder and next-generation Panamera are completed, work on the baby Boxster could resume in the 2016-2018 timeframe. By then, the first models based on the MSB platform will be on sale. The architecture will underpin all mid-engine, rear- or all-wheel-drive models in the VW Group. It is scalable to accommodate the new baby Porsche’s flat-four cylinder engine up the Lamborghini Aventador’s V-12 replacement.
Ideally, the baby Porsche will be engineered alongside the next-generation Boxster and Cayman to keep costs down—especially if VW and Audi abandon their versions. A roadster will arrive first with a coupe following a year later. Styling hasn’t been confirmed but could go retro, linking it to the original 550, or more modern as the rendering above suggests.
The baby Porsche will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter flat-four with the latest power-enhancing and emissions-reducing technology. One or two turbos will be fitted to the engine depending on horsepower level, which could range from 180 hp to 210, hp and 240 hp in base, S, and R variants. Not surprisingly, two transmissions will be offered, Automobile says: a manual or optional dual-clutch PDK—both with seven gears.
The baby Porsche is estimated to sell for $45,000 to $60,000 when it arrives around 2017. For the full story and an additional rendering, head to Automobile here.
Thanks to: Motor Trend