VWeyes a Porsche pay-off

Porsche and VW could bond in a new sports car, writes James Stan­ford

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Industry News -

ANEW bond be­tween Volk­swa­gen and Porsche could have a sports car pay-off for fans of both brands. A cheaper Porsche starter car and a harder-edged, twoseater Volk­swa­gen are firm­ing for pro­duc­tion.

There are plenty of his­tor­i­cal ties be­tween the com­pa­nies. They col­lab­o­rated on a joint project for the Touareg and Cayenne SUV twins be­fore Volk­swa­gen took con­trol of Porsche last year.

Now, as part of the gi­ant Volk­swa­gen Group— think Lamborghini, Bent­ley, Audi, Skoda, Seat and Bu­gatti — more technology and new-model pro­grams will be open to Porsche.

‘‘I think both com­pa­nies will get a good ben­e­fit,’’ VW board mem­ber and com­pany re­search-and­de­vel­op­ment chief Ul­rich Hack­en­berg says.

‘‘Porsche has a good ex­pe­ri­ence and com­pe­tence in sporty cars and we have a lot of po­ten­tial in hitech en­gine and gear­box from the vol­ume side and also the con­cept side of cars that are not avail­able at Porsche now.’’

He says Porsche will also be able to save a lot of money by tap­ping into the VW Group.

‘Hack­en­berg says it’s un­likely Porsche will ever do a ver­sion of the Volk­swa­gen Golf, but sug­gests other mod­els could be shared.

‘‘If you think about a small sports car that can also be used for Audi or Volk­swa­gen I could imag­ine that we have a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Porsche to cre­ate some­thing that is used for all three com­pa­nies,’’ he says.

But Hack­en­berg says noth­ing is ap­proved. And he says Porsche’s brand’s im­age must not be af­fected.

‘‘The char­ac­ter of the Porsche brand is a very wealthy im­age. We would never do any­thing against the po­si­tion of the brand,’’ he says.

He points to the Cayenne and Touareg as a good ex­am­ple of how mod­els can be shared with­out dam­ag­ing the Porsche brand.

‘‘The Porsche Cayenne and Touareg, they have a dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter but shared technology.

‘‘They are not to­tally com­mon, they have their own en­gines, Porsche has some dif­fer­ences in the driv­e­train. So there al­ways have to be dif­fer­ences that are very im­por­tant for the po­si­tion­ing of the car,’’ he said.

Col­lab­o­ra­tion: Porsche Cayenne shares technology with the VW Touareg.

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