I read Ben Pulman’s recent blog on Porsche’s proposed ‘hatch’. While every manufacturer needs to keep a beady eye on its Corporate Average Fuel Economy figures, I presume Porsche would be tackling this with its ever-increasing stake of Volkswagen, using thousands of dinky Bluemotion Polos to balance a single Cayenne on the economy seesaw.
But if it was planning a model to sit below the Boxster, I don’t think the ludicrously named Up would be the place to start. Sorry Ben. Too small, too fringe and with too narrow a profit margin, as Smart so effectively illustrates. And, as we know, Wiedeking is partial to a bit of profit.
So here’s my fantasy suggestion for a real 914 replacement. Remember the Ecoracer, Volkswagen’s delightful low-weight high performance diesel roadster from the 2005 Tokyo motorshow? Good. Keep the Ecoracer’s front-mid layout, targa roof, ultra-light materials and rear-drive dynamics. Get rid of the VW’s gruff diesel (now that would be a step too far for Porschephiles) and instead drop in a blown flat four using a pair of the Up’s 1.2-litre two-cylinder turbo-charged engines mounted on a common crank. Add a six-speed PDK box and decamp the car and Porsche’s best ride and handling engineers to the Nürburgring for a month. Keep the kerb weight below 1000kg and power above 180bhp. And for the finishing touch, haul Harm Lagaay out of the retirement home and get the Dutch master to pen something clean and beautiful and simple. With round headlamps. And two boots. Call it the Speedster and price it from £27-30k. And there you go – a Porsche 914 ready to debut in 2012, complete with a dodgy Volkswagen link. Just like the original. Any takers…?
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