• Oct 23, 2009

2010 Porsche 911 Turbo – Click above for high-res image gallery

Can you image a VW-badged Panamera? What about a 911-based product from Wolfsburg? It could happen according to Porsche CEO Michael Macht. Autocar reports that Macht says, "Porsche needs to become a strong pillar of VW," and part of that means sharing platforms and components. The two companies have been on a rocky collision course towards merging for years, and now that the deal is all but done, the business of identifying synergies between the two companies is on.

Porsche apparently is not worried about diluting its brand image by sharing platforms with VW, even if that includes the iconic 911. What they won't be sharing, however, is engines. Macht made it clear that "Engine development is a core value for Porsche." At the moment, the only Porsche model with an engine that wasn't developed in-house is the V6-powered Cayenne.

Putting aside your feelings about whether or not Porsche sharing its platforms with VW is a good idea, what are some positive results that can be imagined? A Panamera-based Phaeton? A 911-based Audi speedster? A Boxster-based production version of the VW Concept BlueSport?



[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      @BoxerFanatic

      "Otherwise they'll end up like GM in the 80s and 90s. Chevys, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and even some Caddies, all stepping on each other's toes, and mucking up the works with duplicated products, and muddling the brand image of all of the brands."

      Of all of the points you bring up, this one hits home. Ford/Mercury in the 90's had a similar toe-stepping situation. I remember we went to check out an "all-new" Mercury Mountaineer... It was a f*cking Ford Explorer, plain and simple. The key here however, is that depending on the options (even without too many options) the price point was almost identical. So was the engine, so was the body. They literally slapped some Mercury logos and extra reflectors on it and called it a day.

      This article mentions Porsche might share some of it's platforms with VW. Not engines, not bodies, not even whole frames (as Zamafir pointed out). If such a thing does happen, you won't see Porsche making design concessions so that the VW variant can have a transverse I-4 instead of a boxer, nor will you see the next Cayman have a 2-litre TFSI 4 cylinder option. As you mentioned, the two auto makers do not compete for the same price point... Not even close. Porsche has some incredible engineering prowess, somehow I doubt that even IF the flow of parts and platforms was reversed (VW>Porsche) Porsche would have any interest in VW's offerings. Except possibly for use in their SUV's and future sedans, but who cares, those things have already diluted the bloodline right? And made them millions, but who's counting?

      I do agree though that the 911 should remain an unflinching and pure testament to Porsche's heritage. The hardcore Porsche boys seem to always have a problem with anything new or with it's engine in a different place so lets be honest, we are really talking only about the 911. Somehow I don't see that particular model changing much because of platform sharing. The upside is that something like the BlueSport can suddenly be produced by VW on a Boxster platform without having to build something from the ground up. They will put a turbo'd 4 in it and it will be a VW in every way. It will naturally have to carry a VW-like price tag, meaning the thrust, brakes, handling, and styling will be good... But nowhere near Porsche good. A competitor product? Not really. And the 911 can remain the same as it has since 1963. In a good way ;)

      How does a lesser VW product with maybe 10% Porsche architecture (and closer to 0% physical components) that will never be mentioned in the same breath as it's Porsche sibling dilute the brand again? Does Porsche design and manufacture it's door locks? the radiator hoses? The spark plugs? I'm betting that there are some VW's that already share components being used in Porsches... Blasphemy!

      Stop being ridiculous all you Porschites.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good gawd, what an absolutely horrible idea. This does not bode well for Porsche....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Put a 4 cylinder engine in it and we have the brand new Beetle!
        • 5 Years Ago
        In the early mid 50's swapping Porsche engines into VW Beetles was fairly common and not difficult to do because of common parts. A cousin of mine did a Beetle like that. He took me, on a hair raising ride one night on the old twisty coal country back roads of Penna.. Real ridge runner roads, and driving. My heart was in my throat and it felt like my butt was just barely 3 inches from the road surface. It was fun!

        In later years, for awhile, he drove and I wrenched for a local garage/used car dealer/ race car owner, on dirt tracks and drag strips throughout Penna., N.J. and New York.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nein, nein, nein!
        • 5 Years Ago
        too soon to get points for an Inglourious reference, especially from the commercial.

        a better one might be "Looks like we have a bit of a sticky situation here." but that was best used before the forced merger went through when VW and Porsche were angling for position.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As long as there's no VR6 powered 911, I'm cool with it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should base the next beetle off the 911.
      • 5 Years Ago
      VW has nothing to offer porsche(besides some extra cash) as far as technology or design. I would never own a VW, I would love to own a porsche. I understand them sharring the development of an SUV with VW but how could you rebadge a 911 into a VW. WHO WOULD BUY A 911 VW???? Oh ya to the person who responds that they would buy a vw 911 well you will always have to live with the fact that people will laugh at you and they will know that you just couldn't afford a proper 911.
      • 5 Years Ago
      MISLEADING STORY TITLE.

      Your quote of "Porsche needs to become a strong pillar of VW," doesn't even come close to stating that VW will be sharing the 911 platform. This is your worst post to date. Are you journalists or high school kids?

      • 5 Years Ago
      new bug? :p
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hope they won't end up being the GM of Germany.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Panamera + Lambo = New Espada. 612/DB9 fighter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh, calm down. VW and Porsche have always been joined, as Ferdinand Porsche did the designs for the original VWs, and the earliest Porsches were gussied-up VWs. As someone who owns two Porsches, I don't see anything wrong with this at all... it should make both companies stronger.

      Now, bring us the new 914/Bluesport already...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @BoxerFanatic

        "Otherwise they'll end up like GM in the 80s and 90s. Chevys, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and even some Caddies, all stepping on each other's toes, and mucking up the works with duplicated products, and muddling the brand image of all of the brands."

        Of all of the points you bring up, this one hits home. Ford/Mercury in the 90's had a similar toe-stepping situation. I remember we went to check out an "all-new" Mercury Mountaineer... It was a f*cking Ford Explorer, plain and simple. The key here however, is that depending on the options (even without too many options) the price point was almost identical. So was the engine, so was the body. They literally slapped some Mercury logos and extra reflectors on it and called it a day.

        This article mentions Porsche might share some of it's platforms with VW. Not engines, not bodies, not even whole frames (as Zamafir pointed out). If such a thing does happen, you won't see Porsche making design concessions so that the VW variant can have a transverse I-4 instead of a boxer, nor will you see the next Cayman have a 2-litre TFSI 4 cylinder option. As you mentioned, the two auto makers do not compete for the same price point... Not even close. Porsche has some incredible engineering prowess, somehow I doubt that even IF the flow of parts and platforms was reversed (VW>Porsche) Porsche would have any interest in VW's offerings. Except possibly for use in their SUV's and future sedans, but who cares, those things have already diluted the bloodline right? And made them millions, but who's counting?

        I do agree though that the 911 should remain an unflinching and pure testament to Porsche's heritage. The hardcore Porsche boys seem to always have a problem with anything new or with it's engine in a different place so lets be honest, we are really talking only about the 911. Somehow I don't see that particular model changing much because of platform sharing. The upside is that something like the BlueSport can suddenly be produced by VW on a Boxster platform without having to build something from the ground up. They will put a turbo'd 4 in it and it will be a VW in every way. It will naturally have to carry a VW-like price tag, meaning the thrust, brakes, handling, and styling will be good... But nowhere near Porsche good. A competitor product? Not really. And the 911 can remain the same as it has since 1963. In a good way ;)

        How does a lesser VW product with maybe 10% Porsche architecture (and closer to 0% physical components) that will never be mentioned in the same breath as it's Porsche sibling dilute the brand again? Does Porsche design and manufacture it's door locks? the radiator hoses? The spark plugs? I'm betting that there are some VW's that already share components being used in Porsches... Blasphemy!

        Stop being ridiculous all you Porschites.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @BoxerFanatic,

        Actually, the 356 and the Beetle share pretty much all the mechanics (even though the components are not interchangeable), including the horrid suspension geometry of the Beetle (TB front and rear with swing arms). Later, when 911 came, Beetle was upgraded to pretty much the same standard (TB front and rear, mcpherson strut front, trailing arm rear).

        Besides, I don't think VW is keen to return to this path - it took Porsche almost 4 decades to transform the original rear engine configuration into a safe and competitive option. Rear engine was extremely popular once but everybody abandoned it - today only 911 is rear engine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        " Porsche is almost 2 brands now... one with racing and sports car programs, and the other building larger passenger cars, being Cayenne and Panamera. There is a distinct line between the 9xx cars and the front-V-engined line."

        Yup... so if we're reading "porsche to share platforms with vw" or "What about a 911-based product from Wolfsburg?" what direction is that arrow going? From Porsche to VW yes? So porsche is implied to keep dominion over their car and is sharing that platform with VW,not being made to utilize a vw platform. Awesome, it's what we've been hearing all along, a better platform for the A8, not much meddling in porsche's 911 core from VW.

        I fail to see how VW utilizing porsche's platforms is going to dilute the brand as everyone is crying. The other way around? Sorta? We’re still talking platforms here, modular ones at that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Boxer.... you feel the same loyalty to your 911's as some of us do to our rotary RX 8's. Referring to your comments in a previous blog...we do not want boxer boinger engines in our RX's any more than you want VW parts in your beloved 911's, regardless of someone else's perceived improvements, and I don't blame you.... touché ....
        • 5 Years Ago
        They have been related, They have not shared a lot of chassis. A 911 is not a VW Beetle, even if there are familial resemblances in layout. They are not the same car any more than you are the same person as your sibling, even if you kind of look a bit alike.

        Those that did, have not been without their issues, like 914 and 924. Decent, even good cars... but they were designed as VWs, and Audis respectively, and had trouble catching on under the porsche badge.

        Cayenne has not been widely accepted by the Porsche sports-car enthusiasts, and although it does feed the bottom line, it is essentially a whole different branch of Porsche. Porsche is almost 2 brands now... one with racing and sports car programs, and the other building larger passenger cars, being Cayenne and Panamera. There is a distinct line between the 9xx cars and the front-V-engined line.

        If they dilute the 9xx line, and turn it into something that is not purpose built and distinctly 'Porsche'... it will HURT Porsche's sports car reputation. It is that reputation that sells Cayennes and Panameras, by association. There are plenty of other hot-rod sedans, and even SUVs out there from other companies, like Rangeys, and Jags, or Mercs, or BMWs... Porsche's sports car reputation sells other Porsche cars.

        Screw with that, at your peril, Porsche/VW.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ dondonel...

        non-interchangeable parts is a pretty big difference, even if they resemble each other. But my point is more to the issue of cars being engineered to a price point.

        Porsche's price point is WELL different than VW's. So, if you co-mingle them, either you get expensive VWs, and diluted Porsches with in house competition, or you get cheap Porsches that resemble VWs.

        PLUS the point that I have already made, that longitudinal boxers are not the same design issue that transverse or narrower, longer longitudinal layouts for inline or V engines... it would be difficult, and compromised to design a chassis to incorporate more than one driveline layout, which is a whole lot different than just offering a different engine of the same driveline configuration.

        @My_SS-RX8
        My previous comments in the RX7 and RX8 topics have not suggested putting a boxer engine that Mazda does not have, into a Mazda rotary car. and that a boxer wouldn't fit... for reasons I just mentioned, AGAIN.

        My comments have been to the effect that Mazda should use both their in-house piston engines, as well as their rotary engine, to widen the appeal of their sports car lineup.

        RX8 is not selling very well. Rotary development is a long, hard road, which is also expensive.

        Which would you rather have? a cancelled program, and NO rotary option, or a VERY limited option... OR would you rather have 3 or 4 sports car, sport coupe, and sport sedan lineup, with both MAZDA-sourced piston AND rotary engine options... that makes Mazda some money to keep offering the rotary as an OPTIONAL engine on that lineup.

        Besides, it is just a theoretical suggestion.

        @zamafir,

        Again, above, designing a Porsche to cooperate with VW is going to try to straddle too wide of a gap. Engineering to a price point doesn't work for two different price points, and one side will win over the other... and I doubt Porsche will be making VW sell expensive cars at Porsche's traditional price points, with Porsche's singular focus in their sports cars, for being precisely engineered for that purpose.

        987 and 997 are not platforms that are offshoots of sedans, or other cars. They are purposely designed cars, and only share componentry with each other, for the most part.

        VWs are not. They are platform shared, and made to be modular, and made to sell in volume, and at a profit, usually below $35K, unless you get into redundant Phaeton, or shared, expensive SUVs, which are not sports cars.
        No Porsche even STARTS MSRP below $40K. There is a whole different set of engineering goals at work there.

        VW has had identity issues already, with high-cost, high content vehicles, like Phaeton, stepping on Audi's toes. one wonders why the Touareg is a VW, rather than having been an Audi from day one. VW is stretched all over the place as it is, and now they seem to want to duplicate, or dilute Porsche.

        They need to stick to what they do well, and what market segments they operate well in. VW duplicating all of it's other brands is redundant, especially on niche products like premium sports cars.

        And Porsche would not do well, nor be taken as seriously if they were to be brought down to the point of duplicating VWs and lower end Audis.

        With that many brands in house... there has to be boundaries, and territories.

        Otherwise they'll end up like GM in the 80s and 90s. Chevys, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and even some Caddies, all stepping on each other's toes, and mucking up the works with duplicated products, and muddling the brand image of all of the brands.
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