Fighting within the VW Group over small sports cars
Like a family fighting about where to go on vacation, the Volkswagen Group are having a little internal conflict of their own. This situation could endanger the future of the Porsche 356, the Audi R5, and the VW BlueSport.
The VW BlueSport was shown at the 2009 Detroit auto show and it got such good press that it was close to production. Yet, because of the infighting, the vehicle is on hold.
So, what’s going on? Well, Porsche doesn’t want the next-generation Boxster to lose sales because of the cheaper 356. Audi, who is having issues withR8 demand, doesn’t want a third sports car to be put between the new Audi TT and their supercar. While VW really likes the idea of the BlueSport, they are currently occupied with other areas, such as the next-generation Golf.
"Sports cars are not at the top of our priority list," states chairman Martin Winterkorn. "This applies in particular to sports cars that require the collaboration of Porsche, which is not even part of the VW Group yet."
Hit the jump for the rest of the story.
Over at Porsche, were they can’t seem to invent anything themselves, things aren’t going well. The company will likely lose the next generation Cayenne to Audi and if they base the 356 off of the BlueSport, the company could lose that as well.
"The VW Group needs a modular sports car structure to stretch from the entry-level segment to the 911 or even beyond. And the only brand that can credibly conceive such a structure is Porsche," says one source in Zuffenhausen.
Rather than try and cool both sides down, VW chief Ferdinand Piech is trying to rev them back up. He is encouraging Audi to pitch a new platform to go against Porsche. This is a wonderful idea, as it helps each company come up with something new.
What’s under the hood depends on what badge is on the front. If Porsche gets the call, then the car will likely have a flat four in a coupe and roadster. Then Audi could use a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder in the TT RS. Finally, VW could use a turbocharged and supercharged 1.4-liter motor in their car.
It should be interesting to see what comes of this little sibling rivalry.