Deep Dive: Porsche takes control of sports car development at VW Group

Looking farther out, creating a common DNA for all these models and for others not yet mentioned here is a huge challenge for the Porsche engineers under their new chief Wolfgang Hatz, who used to be the number-one engine guy at VW. The biggest potential stumbling block is the sheer complexity of the future sports car range for which MSS, as the sports car components set is called, must act as an umbrella. In an ideal world, this multifaceted work-in-progress should yield the following models:

VW Blue Sport, Audi R5, Porsche 550. The Porsche version will be positioned under the Boxster/Cayman and will be powered by a four-cylinder boxer engine, likely a turbocharged 1.9-liter good for some 210 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. Audi will likely use a five-cylinder and shoot for a (higher) price somewhere between that of the TT and the R8. The VW version will almost certainly use a 180-hp four-cylinder and will incorporate parts from mainstream VWs in an effort to keep the costs down.

Next Boxster/Cayman/911 (2018/19). The current Cayman/Boxster, due in 2011 and 2012, won't be part of the MSS program but may be integrated to some degree during the mid-cycle refreshing in 2016.

High-end Porsche sports car to be positioned between the 911 and the upcoming 918, internally dubbed New V8 GT. This is the hottest project the Weissach wizards currently have up their sleeves. It could have much in common with the next R8 and Gallardo.

Follow-ups to the R8/Gallardo/Aventador, which are still far off but need to be integrated before 2020.

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Edward A. Sanchez
I think this will probably be a net positive. Porsche has extensive racing experience, whereas Lamborghini has never raced, and is generally considered second-class to Ferrari in terms of dynamics and driving experience. However, I do think it will be a challenge to create a common platform that will accommodate such diverse powertrains as a boxer, inline-four, and inline-five. The engines have much different packaging and weight distribution from each other.

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