Ever since Volkswagen showcased a small midengine roadster concept in 2009, Porsche has been mentioned as a candidate to receive a version – if and when the car would actually be built. We’re still waiting, but in a recent interview in Automotive News Europe, Porsche CEO Matthias Müller seems keen to get the proposed car on the production track.
In fact, Muller even has a name all picked out: 550. For the uninitiated, the Porsche 550 Spyder is one of the brand’s seminal vehicles and the tiny roadster was the first Porsche ever to win a major sports car event, the 1956 Targa Florio. Produced from 1953 to 1956, the 550 was the car that the legendary actor James Dean was driving when he was killed and the car has been a popular vehicle for replicar producers over the years.
When Volkswagen rolled out its diesel-powered Concept Bluesport roadster at the 2009 Detroit auto show, talk started swirling that a new car would be developed for the VW Group, with Porsche as one of the main players.
But since then, there’s been nothing more than talk, which Muller himself has started to do now that he’s been on the job for a couple of months. During the ANE interview where the CEO talked about Porsche’s future plans, Muller coyly hinted that the project is still on the table and could arrive in 2014.
“For 2014, I could imagine a legitimate successor to the Porsche 550 -- namely, a small midengine sports car.” Muller told ANE. Actually, I couldn't imagine a better name for a small roadster like that than the 550. But we're just in the assessment phase.”
Of course, any vehicle that Porsche would potentially develop underneath the Boxster/Cayman would be a dicey proposition as any Porsche version of the car must be a premium offering, which makes pricing an issue. But as Porsche begins its drive to sell as many as 200,000 vehicles by 2018, the prospects of a small, Porsche-badged roadster with an engine in the middle seem to be bright.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)