Just as all signs were pointing to a new entry-level, two–seater Porche sports car that would be smaller and cheaper than a Boxster, CEO Matthias Mueller has dispelled the rumors in a German newspaper, reports Reuters.
Any plans to introduce such a model would risk weakening the brand and alienate customers, according to Mueller. “We would do no good to the brand if we were to lose traditional Porsche customers” by pursuing a smaller Boxster model, said Mueller, in a Stuttgarter Zeitung report published over the weekend.
As recently as January, Mueller downplayed the possibility of the car’s launch, telling German business publication Wirtschaftswoche: “Possibly we need to wait until the next generation of customers before the idea of a small roadster will work for Porsche.”
Prior to Mueller’s recent words, speculation has been rife as the German sports car maker has made no secret over its desire to expand Porsche’s model portfolio, as the company aims to double annual deliveries to about 200,000 sports cars and SUVs. Right now, the Stuttgart outfit produces five models: the Boxster/Cayman series, the Cayenne, the Panamera, and of course, the 911 sports car; a fifth, the Macan compact SUV, is due out sometime next year.
Last week, German car magazine Auto Bild reported that Porsche would produce a sixth model by 2017: a smaller variant of its four-door Panamer, which would seek to compete with Mercedes-Benz E-class and CLS coupe cars. The new model was referred to as the Pajun for Panamera Junior; however, those reports appear to be unfounded, in light of Mueller’s declaration that Porsche has no immediate plans to produce any such vehicle. That said, he didn’t rule it out altogether, hinting that a smaller Panamera could be in the cards for a later date.
Those excited for Porsche to expand its portfolio will no doubt be disappointed at the latest news. Of course, the fact that a new entry-level model, or Panamera variant, will not be hitting showfloors anytime soon will also provide a collective sigh of relief: Many Porsche diehards already feel the brand has suffered due to the introduction of the Panamera and Cayenne. An even-cheaper Boxster or “Panamera Junior” might both be successes financially, but how well they would be received from the Porsche purists remains to be seen – and it looks like we won’t find out, at least for now.