Tag Archives: Porsche

Porsche rejects entry-level roadster — again

Talk about a sports car to sit below the Porsche Boxster has been rife in recent times. Pinned as a modern-day Porsche 718, the car certainly sounded promising. However, it has now been ruled out according to Porsche Cars North America chief executive Detlev von Platen.

After thinking about it long and hard, Porsche has abandoned the idea of building an entry-level roadster.

“You won’t see anything lower than the current Boxster model,” said Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche Cars North America. “We had many discussions about this in the group, and the decision was made that the time is not right.”

Porsche considered a Boxster-based mid-engine roadster named 718, insiders have said. It was aimed to be shorter, lighter and less expensive than the Boxster.

The company has periodically taken a look at an entry roadster over the past three decades, and each time executives reached the same conclusion.

“We’re not talking about entry models at Porsche,” said von Platen. “Our entry model is our pre-owned program.”

He would not discuss the so-called “Ferrari fighter” at the other end of the spectrum, or a four-door smaller than the Panamera, two other ideas said to be circulating within the company.

Of course, Porsche has extended its lineup recently with the Macan midsize crossover that went on sale in May.

So far, it’s not only on track, “it is better than on track,” von Platen said. “The conquest rate so far is 60 percent, and we expect that to increase when availability is higher.”

Macan buyers new to the brand are “younger, with more women than we have seen normally, and they are more urban. So far, it is a very strong launch.”

Von Platen said the waiting period for the Macan is more than six months. Porsche recently began offering short-term leases for the Boxster and Cayman, “a kind of bridge to Macan” for Macan intenders who face a long wait.

He said more than 100 shoppers have leased a Cayman or Boxster while waiting for the Macan.

Meanwhile, the average transaction price for the Macan S is around $65,000 and for the Turbo, $83,000. That means customers are adding a hefty 12 to 14 percent in options over the list price.

Von Platen said: “That’s absolutely in line with what we are doing with our sports cars.”