A few months ago, talk had been circulating about a new entry-level in the Porsche hierarchy, a car that retailed for less than $50,000 and would avail the Porsche nameplate to a whole new range of customers. Speculatively named the ‘718’, the sub-Boxster looked like a sure thing.
However, according to a new report from the UK’s Autocar, Porsche R&D boss Wolfgang Hatz has confirmed that this separate 718 project is in fact not such a safe bet.
“The project is stopped,” noted Hatz. “We have a very good entry point to the range with the Boxster, and we see no reason to go below that. Porsche should remain exclusive, and you cannot chase volume when you are such a brand.”
Frankly, that’s too bad, because the baby Boxster ought to have sold well, albeit at the cost of its big brother. The 718 was allegedly an umbrella project for the Volkswagen Group, spawning in the very least an Audi counterpart. The sports car, adopting nomenclature from Porsche’s racing heritage, was pegged to receive the firm’s upcoming flat-four engines as well as a new lightweight aluminum and steel mid-engine chassis.
Though as Automobile puts it, all might not be lost for the stillborn 718. The publication is reporting that instead of becoming a separate model, the 718 nameplate will instead encompass the next-generation Boxster and Cayman models, as well as a new lower-priced, four-cylinder variant. The move operates much in the same way that the 911 badge applies itself to the 360-horsepower Carrera as well as the high-flying 560-horsepower Turbo S, and everything in between.
If this report rings true, a new bottom-of-the-range Porsche with four-cylinder power could surely be in the cards. Though considering Hatz reservations on exclusivity, a steep price drop looks unlikely.
Internet, what would you do? If Porsche priced a four-cylinder Boxster in the mid $40,000 range, would there be any takers?
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