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Rumor: Porsche's New Owners To Nix Cayenne, Panamera

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2010 Porsche Panamera

2010 Porsche Panamera

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Under the leadership of Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech, Porsche may be subjected to fairly strict controls -- at least as far as the marque's lineup is concerned. Most importantly for Porsche enthusiasts, rumor has it that the company's new owner will axe the Porsche Cayenne SUV and Panamera sedan when their product cycles wind down seven years from now.

This is potentially great news for Porsche. Many have accused the Cayenne of diluting the normally sporty Porsche family with a perfunctory SUV for upscale soccer moms. Similarly, the brand-new Panamera has been the target of frequent ridicule in the press, in part because of its less-than-stellar design. The two models are indicative of former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking's bold, expansionist style -- including his failed efforts to take over VW entirely.

If all goes as planned, Porsche will return to the business of producing only sportscars, allowing VW to supply the sedans and SUVs for its growing family of vehicles. That sounds like a great strategy to most of us, and a smart, simple way to strengthen the Porsche brand.

However, there'll be no iron curtain between VW and Porsche, and the two will certainly share technology down the line. Analysts speculate that VW will borrow a platform from Porsche fairly soon, and a report in Car Magazine suggests that Porsche might base a future entry-level mid-engine sportscar on Volkswagen's evolving Modular Sportscar Structure. Plans for a supercar successor to the Carrera GT they also be in works -- though where that might fit into the Volkswagen Group's sprawling family of Audis, Bentleys, Bugattis, and Lamborghinis remains to be seen.

[AutoObserver via Jalopnik]

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Comments (2)
  1. Putting aside the wisdom of a Porsche SUV, what's being lost is the fact that the Cayenne/Toureg was possible because they used the same platform. So now, all new platform costs would have to be shouldered by the Toureg--vw execs deciding to cut off their noses to spite their faces by killing off the Cayenne. This type of sectarian sqwabbling will ensure that the technology transfer will be one way, and capital budgets will favor VW to the detriment of Porsche. Personally, I won't miss the Cayenne, but now we get to look forward to longer Porsche product cycles and fewer products (I think the GT replacement is a red herring). Think more 914 and less 928.

  2. Well, I'd argue that the real problem is that NO ONE really loved the Cayenne OR the Touareg. And from a marketing/branding perspective -- which is how I often approach these things -- Porsche is better off in the long run honing its brand than diluting it in an attempt to reach new markets with non-sports models.
    But then, I tend to be conservative that way.

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