Entry-Level Porsche a ‘Top Priority’

Porsche 914 fans, rejoice. After toying with your emotions for the better part of a year, the latest word out of Stuttgart is that the sub-Boxster Porsche is not only on again, but a top priority.

The idea of a 914 revival has been kicked around Porsche HQ for years, but it only gained real traction last year with the debut of now-owner Volkswagen’s Concept BlueSport roadster, which many saw as a potential base for an entry-level Porsche. As the past year has dragged on, hopes of production have been raised and dashed, only to be raised again. First, production of the VW model was approved. Then, we heard that Audi had a model in the works, possibly the R4. With Porsche, though, it’s been a rollercoaster ride.
The core issue was an internal power struggle. Some in the upper echelons of Volkswagen and Porsche thought a more affordable sub-Boxster offering would be a great way to bump up Porsche’s CAFE numbers and increase sales. Others saw it as a dilution of the brand and wanted nothing to do with it. In the end, those opposed to the car were apparently overruled when Porsche, reeling from $14 billion of debt acquired in a failed attempt to take over Volkswagen, sold itself to the very company it was trying to buy. With VW head honcho Martin Winterkorn calling the shots now, the entry Porsche is back on.

It isn’t just back, but back in full force. None other than Wolfgang Duerheimer, Porsche’s head of development, recently told a German magazine that developing a vehicle “significantly cheaper” than the Boxster is not only on his to-do list, but a top priority. Winterkorn has already told us that he wants a Porsche version of the BlueSport and he sees it as one of the keys to growing the Porsche brand and meeting his goal of doubling sales in the next five years.

So, for now anyway, the baby Porsche is back. Will it make it all the way to production? Will the 914 name be revived?