Porsche has ruled out building a four-cylinder entry-level convertible, dubbed the Porsche 718, based on the Boxster.
Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, told Automotive News, "You won't see anything lower than the current Boxster model. We had many discussions about this in the group, and the decision was made that the time is not right."
According to company insiders, Porsche has studied the idea of a sub-Boxster-size entry-level model numerous times over the past three decades and each time the conclusion has been the same.
Von Platen continued, "We're not talking about entry models at Porsche. Our entry model is our pre-owned program."
Based on the Boxster, the 718 was to be powered by two of the three turbocharged four-cylinder engines that Porsche is reportedly working on: a 213kW/400Nm 2.0-litre and a 268kW/470Nm 2.5-litre.
In order to make the 718 cheaper and lighter than the Boxster, not to mention put some clear differentiation between the two, the 718 was said to feature a stripped down interior and equipment list. The 718's canvas roof would have done without noise insulation, electric operation and a glass rear window.
Although von Platen categorically ruled out a sub-Boxster 718, he refused to answer questions about whether the company was working on a challenger for the Ferrari 458 and its successors. A report in July this year suggested that Porsche was working on just such a vehicle. Codenamed 988, it would feature an eight-cylinder boxer engine, with around 450kW of power, mounted amidships.