Porsche is contemplating putting the famous 550 badge on an entry level roadster development of the Volkslwagen Bluesport concept, their CEO has revealed.
Speaking to German newspaper Handelsblatt, Matthias Mueller said: “I can imagine that such a modern version of the famous ‘James Dean’ Porsche would be well received by our customers.”
In the interview, published in Germany yesterday, he went on to say that the new entry level Porsche would not be a retro model, but a modern small open topped two seater tasked with making the brand more accessible. This is because Stuttgart has set itself the task of selling more than 200,000 units by 2018, over double the 97,000 sales it achieved in 2010. It isn’t going to do that purely from marketing the existing range better; a new, more affordable Porsche is needed.
There is an outside chance Porsche will develop something unique and by itself but, as part of the VW group (almost — the sale has not yet gone through), it is more likely to use a sportscar platform that other group member companies have access to. Step forward the VW Bluesport.
A Concept Bluesport was shown at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. At the time it was suggested that car would go into production wearing a VW badge, with Audi and Porsche versions also possible — it actually formed the basis of the Audi e-tron concept car, which could yet hit the streets badged as the Audi R4.
A Porsche version of the Bluesport would drop the show car’s 2.0 TDI engine for a Porsche developed four cylinder petrol. Would they go for a conventional inline four or a flat ‘boxer’ four, to echo the engines in the Boxster, Cayman and 911? We think the latter, probably of 2.0 litres or less, and also make that engine available for hybrid installations in the larger cars.
And now we know it could get the 550 badge, adding some substance to the rumour that such a car is on its way. If it does reach the streets, don’t expect it before 2013. It will be priced from around £25,000.
Image is of the 2009 VW Concept Bluesport.