There has been talk for some time of an “entry level” Porsche sports car, smaller and less costly than the Boxster. However, Porsche has decided to put the everyman’s Porsche project on hold for the time being.
Baby Boxster shelved
According to AutoCar, an entry-level Porsche roadster, based on the Audi R4 and the Volkswagen Bluesport roadsters, was hinted at in 2010, and the rumor mill has been churning ever since. The plan was, according to AutoBlog, to share architecture across the three brands and create three different four-cylinder two-seater convertibles, in order to boost sales in the world’s single largest market for sports cars.
The plan made sense, as an entry-level model could entice more people to get excited about and start buying Porsches. However, according to USA Today, the “baby Boxster,” as it was referred to, has been indefinitely shelved for the time being. The Bluesport and the Audi R4 are shelved as well for the time being.
Cajun SUV the immediate focus
The “baby Porsche” was targeted for release in 2014, possibly as a 2015 model. However, according to AutoCar, Porsche executives are worried about possibly “diluting” the brand and have decided to focus on the upcoming release of the Porsche Cajun, the small SUV that shares some of its architecture with the Volkswagen Tiguan.
Porsche says it may wait for a “whole new generation of customers” before releasing a convertible smaller than the Boxster.
The stated goal for Volkswagen and Porsche, as each company owns a large share in the other, according to Bloomberg, is to boost their collective sales in the United States. The idea was to introduce a budget-minded fun car, but since the Bluesport, R4 and as-yet-unnamed budget Porsche are on hold, both Porsche and Volkswagen have stated they are concentrating on “core models.”
Could have worked at right price
Volkswagen, according to AutoCar, wasn’t going to sell the Bluesport in the United States. The Audi R4 and baby Porsche might have made strong competitors in the convertible segment, depending on how they were priced. If both were less than $40,000, they would have made for strong sellers, as few true roadsters, meaning two-seat convertibles, go for less than that.
There are plenty of convertible coupes for less than $40,000, like the Chevrolet Camaro, the Ford Mustang, the BMW 128i convertible, Chrysler 200 convertible and the Mini convertible range, but no two-seaters.
For new roadsters less than $40,000, the cheapest is the $23,470 Mazda Miata. The MiniCooper Roadster starts at $25,050, the Cooper S Roadster at $28,050 and the John Cooper Works Roadster at $35,200. Those are the only sub-$40,000 roadsters currently on the market.