Sources in Germany say that the ‘baby' Porsche will be based on a mid-engined platform that had debuted on the VW Bluesport concept and will have the iconic 550 tag of the original 50s Spyder. It will be powered by a 1.6-litre flat-four-cylinder 'boxer' unit, an all-new engine that would be turbocharged, providing a power output of about 200bhp.
Scheduled to arrive in 2014, the new sub-Boxster machine features rear wheels that are attached to a conventional manual gearbox.
However, a PDK twin-clutch will be available too. No performance details have been revealed so far. The two-seater weighs about 1,200kg and could accelerate from zero to 60mph in around 6.0 seconds. It is capable of reaching a top speed of 145mph.
In addition, it offers a fuel efficiency rating of 40mpg and because of start-stop, it has a CO2 emissions level of less than 160g/km. The two-seater 550 is fitted with a manually operated folding canvas roof and will be a back-to-basics Porsche.
It’s smaller than a Boxster but it will be more agile. In fact, it’s one of the most driver-focused cars in the lineup. The same mid-engined platform will be used on a production version of the VW Bluesport (unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show) and on an Audi roadster to be badged R4 that will be slotted under the TT.
The R4 will bring up the TT upmarket when it comes to price. The 550 and Boxster will be moved up as well, with the new entry-level model to be priced from about £35,000, pushing the Boxster to be priced at almost £40,000+.