2010 Porsche PanameraEnlarge Photo
2009 Porsche CayenneEnlarge Photo
Porsche fans have loudly lamented the company's loss of independence, especially - as they see it - to Europe's prime purveyor of the mundane, Volkswagen. But that alliance may actually bring about the Porsche Purists' ultimate end goal: the eradication of the non-sports car models from Porsche's lineup - at least, if the latest reports out of the UK are to be believed.
Take the following with a lifetime supply of salt, but according to a report in Car magazine, the Volkswagen Group is planning to force Porsche out of the SUV and sedan business once the current models are done with their run. That should take about seven years - the average lifespan of a car architecture.
The argument goes something like this: VW already builds plenty of sedans and SUVs through its VW and Audi brands, among others, and doesn't need the duplicative efforts of Porsche impeding growth and sapping development dollars.
That makes sense, in a way, but presumes that Porsche and VW's other brands overlap in a way that makes significant business sense. An extension of this logic would lead to the banishment of all sports cars from Audi's portfolio, including the stunning new A5 and its upcoming S5 Sportback and possible RS5 variants. Does that make sense?
And while they're at it, they might as well eliminate duplication between VW and Audi as well, and scrap all the sedans, wagons and SUVs at VW, leaving only a few hatchbacks, the rebadged Chrysler-based Routan minivan and a few odds and ends in the South American market.
And so on, to even greater levels of absurdity - why not throw Skoda into the mix? Surely Bentley and Lamborghini could use some tweaking as well?
On the other hand, a VW vendetta against Porsche's more mainstream offerings wouldn't be entirely out of character with the boardroom dramas and baby-monitor spy sagas of the previous two or so years of hostile takeover posturing.
Volkswagen also won't be putting Porsche development entirely on the back burner, instead leveraging a joint platform that's been discussed many times over the past year: a mid-engine, entry-level roadster like the Bluesport. The idea behind the project would be to revive the spirit of one of the cars that made Porsche great, the original 356.
Following on with the sports-cars-only theme, a possible replacement to the Carrera GT could also still be on the books, possibly something like the Le Mans Prototype RS Spyder-based car we previewed for you back in May.