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by Brett Davis

Porsche has been planning to introduce an entry-level model underneath the Boxster for some time now, but a final decision on production is still to be made. Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller says the decision to go ahead will depend on how the global economy pans out.

Nicknamed the ‘baby Boxster’, or the new Porsche 550 – a modern successor to the original 550 of the 1950s – the all-new model is set to be the cheapest Porsche in company’s showroom. A final decision on production was meant to take place later this year, with market entry set for 2014.

Mueller told the Financial Times Deutschland the decision on if and when the new model would go ahead may have to be pushed back until next year due to economic distress.

“The financial crisis is real and we need to see how far it develops into an economic crisis. If this happens and it leads to a cooling of the auto industry, then this would certainly impact our strategy,” he said.

It’s understood the baby Boxster will feature a new four-cylinder boxer engine offering power levels ranging from 150kW to 225kW. This should ensure the new model is not powerful enough to threaten the Boxster and also help keep fuel consumption down.

The new model is in line with the company’s new marketing strategy of introducing products aimed at attracting new buyers; buyers that perhaps cannot afford Porsche’s more expensive models.

Porsche is planning a compact SUV (nicknamed the ‘Porsche Cajun’) and, according to speculation, a smaller version of the Panamera (nicknamed the ‘Porsche Pajun’). The baby Boxster would sit underneath all of these models and potentially be priced from 40,000 euros ($53,200 after a straight conversion, not including taxes and additional costs).

Would you like to see an entry-level Porsche with a price tag somewhere beneath the current Boxster ($106,199)? We’ll keep you updated as the decision unravels.




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