• Sep 26th 2008 at 2:27PM
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Volkswagen is set to debut a mid-engine concept at this year's LA Auto Show, and an Audi R3 derivative that could replace the TT is reportedly also being considered. With Porsche's increased stake in VAG, it was just a matter of time before rumors of sharing this mid-engine platform between VW, Audi and Porsche began to surface, and a new model destined to slot in below the Boxster is the obvious conclusion.
Once again, CAR is leading the speculative charge, with sources suggesting that Porsche will use the mid-engine architecture to revive the 356 marque – not the 914 moniker – to create a baby Boxster priced around £20,000-35,000 and produced in very small numbers.

Unlike the stillborn Audi R4, the R3 and its Porsche sibling wouldn't encroach on Boxster sales due to their limited availability. Fixed roof and convertible versions of both models are planned, but engine choices would be limited to turbocharged four-cylinders displacing between 1.2- and 2.0-liters and ranging in output from 105 hp to 280 hp. Diesel variants could also be offered in the Audi, but Quattro all-wheel-drive wouldn't be part of package due to weight and friction penalties.

It's a very compelling proposition, particularly since the new architecture is reportedly being developed to accept everything from electric drivetrains to hybrids, and with a curb weight around 2,200 pounds. But don't expect anything to come to market until 2012 or 2013 at the earliest, assuming that Porsche doesn't get cold feet and kills off the project before it leaves the drawing board.

[Source: CAR]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      A SMALLER car? I already am too tall for the Boxster.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Exactly, though somehow Lotus seems to fit just as much legroom in the Elise.
      • 7 Years Ago
      wow. This car will go GREAT parked next to my Jaguar F-Type, Mercedes F400, Mercedes Vision SLA, Dodge Demon, BMW GINA, Lexus LF-A, Volkswagen Concept R, and of course my Jag XK180.

      This will definitely round out the garage....
        • 7 Years Ago
        I didn't think any of those cars got prod...


      • 7 Years Ago
      You are all missing the point. The Porsche is in speculation, but what they are really hoping to do is create a small, mid-engined VW and Audi. IE, something similar to an MR2, and would compete with the Solstice/Sky (if they are still around by then). I think this is a great idea.

      Just a side note, this has been in discussion for over a month. In fact, this article is basically an update of one the same author wrote last month.

      • 7 Years Ago
      "to create a baby Boxster priced around £20,000-35,000 and produced in very small numbers."

      yes.. because everything we understand of Porsche and their drive to make money would totally justify a brand new model, limited in production, undercutting the boxter. Perfect sense. All the money designing it, any tooling, all just overhead never absorbed by the low msrp...

      • 7 Years Ago
      Just make the boxster look like the illustration, lower the price just a bit, and go.

      Much smaller than the existing boxster, and it will be too small. The NA and NB Miata were already there. The Boxster is just enough bigger to be more comfortable, without compromizing weight and performance too much.

      If audi wants to renovate it's TT into a mid-engined car with an inline or narrow-V engine... let them do it, but Porsche doesn't need that, a-la 914.

      Boxster/cayman is already a winner, why not spend the money on it's upkeep as a winner, rather than undercutting it? They already don't let Boxster/Cayman undercut the 997, why should they undercut the 987?

      Perhaps they should spend the cash making sure the Panamera is an attractive car. so far, spy shots seem to bely that, and they appear not to want to resurrect the 928 idiom with a 2+2 front engined V8 grand touring coupe on that platform.

      There are other products that they could make, or improve before undercutting the boxster to go further down market.

      Why would they want to if they are trying to absorb VAG, anyway? Why would they want to compete for down-market sales with their future-wishful-subsidiaries?
      • 7 Years Ago
      is anybody else seeing some s2k styling cues in that rendering? from the front axel back looks very s2000'ish. I like the departure from the traditional Porsche shoulder lines, but...
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