• Aug 24th 2009 at 9:58AM
  • 29
2010 Porsche Panamera - Click above for a high-res image gallery

VW CEO Martin Winterkorn appears to be laying out a future for Porsche that could make the company happier, but might not please its core customers... again. Of course, the impetus is to increase volume. Porsche sold nearly 100,000 vehicles in its last fiscal year -- but won't get anywhere close to that this fiscal year -- but Winterkorn wants the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer to put out 150,000 units annually by 2013.

More volume means selling more of what they've got, or making something new to sell. The new proposed direction is the latter: three new models, two of which would be lower-cost numbers-makers. There were no details given beyond market placement, but the first car would slot in below the Boxster. If you have images of a 914 sputtering through your head, banish the thought -- Winterkorn promises that VW will not make Porsches.

The second car has been referred to as a "baby brother" for the Cayenne, or a Porsche version of VW's Tiguan. That could be the mini-ute that Porsche and Audi have spent the past few years denying its existence. At the top is another version of the Panamera, maybe one with the same stellar interior and driving abilities but with a stellar back end to match. No matter what they end up looking like, the real point is that you'll be seeing a lot more Porsches on the roads soon.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      ...And as volume increases the resale values of late model Porsches will continue to fall.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ...which would be perfect for me to get into a used one!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not necessarily. The used market will be impacted somewhat to people's reaction to the new product. One of the reasons the 993 is holding it's value compared to the 996 is many die hard Porschephiles believe the 993 was the last real Porsche (being the last air-cooled and all). If the new product under VW ownership is crap or perceived as an insult to "true" Porsche owners, the used cars will carry a premium. If the new product is good and true to the brand, then you're right. The increased volume will help push used prices down. That being said, if VW's track record is any indication, and this is coming from someone with two, older watercooled VWs in the garage, owners of older Porsches won't have to worry about the value of their cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is the end. Porsche will end up as a Skoda/Seat/VW/Audi rebadge brand. The Cayenne was the first step along this path, and now it continues.

      What the hell is the point of owning so many brands if you don't use them to cover a specific segment? Seriously, does every brand manager not actually look at the entire company? If you want a lower than Boxster roadster - call it the Audi R4.

      The Cayenne was and is a joke. The Panamera might have been okay instead, but it is a bit bloated. A 3-series competitor with more sporting credentials would be interesting, but that is a tough market.

      And heresy - the 911 should finally be allowed to die, let the superior Cayman chassis grow into an adult.

      My next car will be a Lotus, a brand that, for now, remains true to their sporting roots.
        • 6 Years Ago
        While Skoda/Seat/VW/Audi are all joined at the hip, other brands like Lamborghini, Bugatti and Bentley all have a fair degree of independence, so it is quite possible Porsche will too.

        Keep in mind that Porsche and VW already have common origins and a history of sharing models and development, so any announcement of expansion plans by their new boss is hardly "the end" of Porsche.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Baby Boxster? Sounds good, although VW's BlueSport concept might be a better car.

      Different Panamera? The description sounds awfully cryptic, but a 928 revival sounds good.

      Baby Cayenne? No. Just no.
        • 6 Years Ago
        914 and 928 FTW, but why not a baby Cayenne ?

        let the soccer moms have the Cayenne and the active young people get something more fun, like a Porsche X1. i would buy a new 914 and the baby Cayenne (Roxster probably).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agreed, new 928 FTW!
      • 6 Years Ago
      the 911 is the icon, the heartbeat of Porsche, but yeah i am not kidding, the Cayenne currently outsales the 911 and together with the small boxster/cayman it made Porsche much more profitable. i mean it is a bit cheaper also, so...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well I guess VW will have the last laugh. I foresee Porsche being so dilluted to the point where even diehard fans can't stomache the brand and then VW will fold it completely as some form of petty revenge.
      I believe the saying fits here "Less is more.". Dont make more models if anything nix some of 'em. The Cayenne should be either canceled or made to be a "limited run" SUV. Less made means more exclusive.. which in turns means people will pay more money for 'em. That and the Panamera is sadly hitting the market a day late and a dollar short as another saying goes will sell like hot cakes. I just hope and pray they dont make variant after variant.... last thing I think any of us care to see is a Panamera GT3 RS running around.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What Porsche really needs is another 944. Something that is lower-cost, gets decent gas mileage, and provides room for four. Hatchback also is very useful for hauling stuff around.

      My two cents-
      -Replace the current boxster, yes replace, with a low cost version as planned.
      -Panamera is just the wrong car at the wrong time. The sooner Porsche cuts their losses on this the better.
      -Consider cutting the Cayenne or at least making more with a V6 instead of a V8. Offering a cheaper mini version to sell along side the current model will be a bad move for Porsche. Instead, when the time comes for an update, shrink the existing model a bit.
      -Shrink the 911. They are getting way to big and heavy and the engines are just too large. My 996 C4S is my last late model 911, I find I prefer the smaller 993s and 964s. The 997s are huge.
      -Kill the Cayman. I owned one (an S) and I don't care how many shootouts it wins or what people write about it, unless you are beating the hell out of it on the track its just not that exciting. Sales for the model say it all. Resale value says it even more for folks who disagree with the first statement.
      -Introduce a lower cost four seat, two door model. Something that is still Porsche but can compete in this economy. This will be the new boxster/Cayenne (read: money maker) for the next decade.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Uh, couldn't they just leave Porsche alone and de-value VW and Audi? I mean, these sound like the types of strategies GM would use on Pontiac or Cadillac. Besides, just because the Cayenne was/is a hit doesn't mean it's gonna work again. Maybe I'm not the average consumer, but if Porsche gains another SUV of any sort, they'll lose their sports car reputation (and thus, most of their current appeal) in my eyes. A couple of mid- and rear-engine cars don't make a company exciting when they're also selling sedans and multiple SUVs.

      On the plus side, if the Panamera model mentioned is the coupe that Road & Track wrote about in their last issue, then that would be pretty cool. I mean, the back end looked worlds better than the current Panamera sedan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      sounds like too many of you guys are brand conscious... buy a car for the way it drives or the way it looks and feels, not because of the brand...
        • 6 Years Ago
        thats not how exotics work. alot of it is just in the brand. especially when so many non-enthusiasts purchase them. its not always about superior driving dynamics, but superior bragging rights.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Considering Porsche's original legacy of 4 cylinder sports cars (think 356 variants) and their more recent legacy of excellent 4 cyclinder cars that had nothing to do with the 911 (944 and 968 variants), I can't see why it would be a bad thing for Porsche to make a more affordable sports car as long as it drives like a real Porsche.

      As nice as the Boxster and Cayman are, most dealers option them to within an inch of their lives, so models that seem like they could sell for ~$50K have sticker prices of ~$60K and up (or worse for the S models). In order to justify their entry level car costing ~$60K, Porsche keeps upping the power and techno-features, and that's not necessarily good. For one thing, the Boxster and Cayman keep encroaching on the 911. They are also pricing out people who might pay a $10K premium for a Porsche, but not a $20K premium over something like a 370Z.

      I would definitely consider a lightweight 9/10 Cayman or Boxster with a 225HP turbo 4 and the expected Porsche handling, steering and brakes. No nav, no PASM, no $6,000 custom leather package, just a simple, great drivers car starting at ~$40K. How could this be a bad thing? It would remind BMW and everyone else what a Porsche used to be and could be again.
      • 6 Years Ago
      And so the dance to Porsche's irrelevance in the sports car market begins.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A mid-engined 4-cylinder sportscar for less than a Boxster - that would definitely be interesting.
      • 6 Years Ago
      hm... so much for brand exclusivity. the reason you get a ferrari isnt because its one of the best performing roadcars, its because its a ferrari. porsche's brand isnt that strong, but when you say you own a porsche people know its a serious sports car. if this goes through itll be further dilluted. do you own a hardcore sports car...or a rebadged VW suv? selling out a name plate for increased volume just doesnt make sense in the long term. you get plenty of volume with VW. want executive volume? you have audi.

      porsches arent even exciting now that most of them are the cayenne. used to be, 'oo look a porsche!' now its 'how much do you want to bet that porsche is driven by a upper middle class yuppy housewife?...yep, it is'
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well one could argue that Ferrari, since it's owned by FIAT, does dilute the brand by selling mass market Fix It Again Toni cars. And now even Chrysler will be in the same cake.

        But then again I don't think Porsche should be a mass product, keep it high end and keep it sporty. The 914 and 928 successors would be a feasible idea since there already exists a precedence to it, but to put niche-market-SUV-like-road-cars under the name of Porsche, would go to far imho. Already the Cayenne, even though it prooved to be a huge succes, is damaging the Brands pedigree, but they made up for it by giving it the Porsche edge, Cayenne Turbo S pops into mind.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "porsche's brand isnt that strong"
        apart from the world financial crisis and their stuoid idea to onw VW, Porsche is the most profitable carmaker on earth.

        "if this goes through itll be further dilluted"
        The cayenne is the best selling Porsche, if they wouldn`t have added the Cayenne, Boxster/cayman to their line-up they probably wouldn`t exist anymore. same with Lamborghini and their small Gallardo, which is the best selling lambo of all time.

        i think the market would love to see a 928 successor, a cheaper mide engined roadster. not so sure about a baby cayenne, but smaller SUVs are selling like hot cakes in general, so all models are not the worst ideas imho.
        • 6 Years Ago
        longbowmkii , you didn't understand what catchmyshadow said.

        also what the hell is wrong with them making a smaller Cayenne ? if they can make a smaller roadster , why not a smaller SAV/crossover ? Audi is making the Q3, that will be a great platform for a fast , nimble SAV.
        • 6 Years Ago

        a full size SUV has a bigger market and sells more than a high end sports car? tell me youre kidding! [/sarcasm] adding the boxster/cayman made sense...those are sports cars. a sports car manufacturer making sports cars....genius! do you even know what a 928 is? it wasnt a cheaper mid engine option. BTW, they already make that, its called the boxster/cayman. a modern 928 would be like a panamera coupe. about as fast and more driver friendly than the RR 911. just like the 928 was compared to the 911 in the 80's. i'd have no problem with porsche building a GT type car like that. but a tiguan? thats going to entirely tarnish the brand image.


        ferrari is still pretty independent of fiat. fiat isnt trying to rebadge all their pandas as new ferraris, like it seems vw wants to do with porsche. sure, the ferrari motors are going into maseratis and even the 8C. but those arent exactly volume vehicles.

        taking a reputable niche brand and forcing it into volume sales just screams bad business idea. people get one, because its a porsche, and that screams i was born to race and win! but more and more thats being drowned out by its a porsche, won't you look me, im better than those other soccer moms with their lexuses.
        • 6 Years Ago
        whats wrong with it? its a dilution of the brand. itll become a soccermommobile maker that also sells sports cars. theres more to business than just sales. the cayenne turbo tagline on porsche.com is 'no compromise' lolwut? the entire chassis is a compromise.

        Porches, lamborghinis, ferraris are small makers, you expand it for everyone and well, its not quite as special. ferrari's philosophy has always been build one less than the market demands.

        if the Q3 is such a good platform, let audi build an SQ3.
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