As an automaker's identity evolves over years, its signature becomes defined by any number of factors – heritage (Mercedes-Benz), image (Lamborghini), or market share (Toyota). In the case of Porsche, it was an engineering quirk that forged the German company's most enduring character trait.
This isn't good. Not at all. Automotive News reports that Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller has cooled on the idea of a sub-Boxster Porsche model. Mueller reportedly told German publication Wirtschaftswoche that a vehicle priced under the Boxster could dilute the brand's image, adding that Porsche may need to "wait until the next generation of customers before the idea of a small roadster will work."
Just two weeks after we learned that Honda had suspended plans to introduce a new V10 NSX sports car in 2010 comes word that we may see the car anyway. Sort of. The production program is still dead, but it is being reported that the previously scheduled "concept" will appear at Detroit's North American International Auto Show in a couple of weeks.
CAR and Autoweek have tapped their sources within Volkswagen to get the scoop on a rumored mid-engine Elise-fighter that may debut at next month's LA Auto Show. But when working with unnamed insiders, information tends to get jumbled in the process and differing reports emerge that suggest it's all more speculation than hard facts.
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.
Back in the 70s, GM was looking to take its much beloved Corvette to the next level. The General charged John DeLorean with investigating the possibility of putting a mid-engine rotary under hood, and the 1973 GM XP897 was the culmination of his efforts. The steel-bodied Vette was built atop a Porsche 914 chassis, and GM poured millions into R&D. The problem was that the Rotary engine was just as thirsty as America's much loved V8, and it was an emissions failure. GM deemed the XP897 a lost
The new issue of Winding Road has hit the 'net and they've assembled a panel of experts to speculate on the future of the Corvette. Some of the discussion centers on the C7, while a sizeable portion of the article focuses on a mid-engine variant of the iconic coupe – including the rendering above.